Learning that I can’t do this alone has been hard, but it has been a lesson that I have needed to learn. I have a minor eating disorder and am probably on the borderline of being anorexic, but that’s not official diagnosed. I sometimes binge eat, feel guilty about over eating, and then not eat enough for a few days. Not eating enough consists of eating too little at a meal or skipping a few meals. For a while, it was mostly subconscious. But a friend picked up on the pattern pretty quickly, because we often eat together. When she talked to me, it felt like a stab to my chest. It felt like an accusation. I wanted to defend myself. I tried to prove her wrong. But in the end, I realized that what she said made sense, and she was right. I felt like this because while I knew little about eating disorders – and still do not know a whole lot – I knew enough to know that I found myself at the base of yet another mountain that needed to be climbed. And this mountain has turned out to be higher and steeper than I thought.
The next steps were really difficult. I would some days have to force myself to eat more when I did not feel like eating much or even anything at all – but that was not the hard part. The hard part was knowing that I was not eating enough with in the first place. Once I determined that, forcing food down my throat wasn’t terrible. I first had to realize that I didn’t want to eat. (If you have never had an eating disorder, this probably doesn’t make sense. Like, just look at how much is on your plate, right? It’s a disorder. It’s not that simple. If it was that simple, it would not have been quite as hard to overcome. Things always seem simple until you struggle with it, because then you realize how hard it really is.)
And then, over time, things seemingly got a lot better. One day I went back to my dorm, in which there is a full-length mirror, and it seemed as if I lost like 20 pounds, because I saw the real image of myself in that mirror. And after that, I thought I was okay. And maybe I was. But it didn’t last for long.
Someone commented that I lost a lot of weight recently. And then someone else mentioned that I haven’t been eating much lately. And then another person noted that I binge ate a few times and then didn’t eat well for almost a week after that. I thought I was gaining weight for the last two months, but someone that had not seen me in a while said I had lost weight. This is the struggle of eating disorders. You don’t know. You don’t even know at all that you’re not okay until someone else tells you. It makes it harder, because I can’t manage it all myself. It’s literally impossible, because I can’t even tell when I eat well and when I don’t.
I don’t know what you’re dealing with, but you can’t do it alone. God made humans social organisms for a reason. There are other people who want you to get better. They can help you see the bigger picture and help you get better, whether that be checking how much you eat when you eat with them, or keeping sharp objects or extra pills hidden, or whatever it is. There are people out there who really care. It takes a lot of trust to admit that you need help, and that’s really, really hard, but you can’t face this alone. Ask for help. And if you don’t know who to ask, pray for God to send you someone or help you discern who to talk to. But please, ask for help.