Inside the Mind of an Eating Disorder
Below is a diary entry written on my phone in the midst of an eating disorder freak-out, a year ago as I write this. This was/is my homeostasis. I was going to title this post “A Day in the Life,” but there are 1440 minutes in a day, and this was written in 5 minutes. To get a full day, we’d need 288 of what you are about to read.
In rehab, I was asked to write and share about my “worst eating disorder day.” I chose to share this rather than write a new piece because I had documented it in the moment. It was not my worst day, just a day in the life, but its rawness fit the prompt. I read it out loud twice: once to my therapist, once to the group. And yeah, it had impact.
Disclaimer: The mentions of coldness and hotness refer to the fact that malnutrition makes you constantly cold.
January 9, 2016:
Majorly confused right now about what to eat for snack because I have Cody at 5 so I’m waiting in my car and I need to eat my snack now but I have to save it for him. And I’m eating at La Thai with Liza right after and I have no idea what the portion size is gonna be like or even exactly what I’m getting. So I have with me 2 clementines and a quarter cup of almonds and I’m wondering if I should eat all of that with Cody or just the oranges or only 1 orange and the nuts. Because I can’t fill up before Liza. But what if the food I get with Liza is huge? And what if it’s nothing?
I think I’m going to get the tom yum noong soup. But I don’t know anything about that really. Let’s assume it’s the same size as the phos I’ve been eating. Should I do one clementine and the bag of nuts? I think I’ll do that. I feel bad because I kind of feel like this is restricting but it’s unfamiliar territory with the new restaurant and with eating snack and dinner so close together.
I think I will do one clementine and the nuts with Cody and the soup with Liza. But the other option is chicken with Liza. And if I get the chicken appetizer with the peanut sauce I could just ditch the nuts entirely.
I literally called La Thai earlier and harassed them with questions about their menu, obnoxiously, I even asked about sodium content like a pretentious asshole. But even when they describe their portion sizes it’s not like I have the same perceptions as they do or like I can see the food.
I just don’t know what to do!
I’m worried about too much/too little food. But I’m scared of both. Ugh. And Haley just put me in some more pro numbers in Sally Jane’s place which is majorly positive!! But now do I need to work harder? But I don’t know!
I kind of wish Liza and I were eating somewhere else, or later. Let me look at my pictures of everything again. And compare it with pictures online of La Thai’s food. WHICH I ALREADY SPENT HOURS DOING when I was supposed to be working on my service project and I obsessed over this all through Haley’s rehearsal!
Right now I don’t know how big an ideal snack is. That’s the real confusion. As far as dinner, I just can’t picture it yet because it’s a new place. But the snack is causing legitimate confusion. Cody said last time, when in doubt, add something to it, but I don’t know. Gonna look at the pictures again. I’m making myself crazy. What’s wrong with me? It shouldn’t be this complicated! I did so well battling the committee this weekend and yesterday. But because this is new territory with the new restaurant and out of routine both timing and content-wise with the snack, I’m a mess. I guess this is the true test?
But I can’t control how much food they bring me! I don’t know if a soup is even an appetizer or an entrée. And maybe I could get the satay chicken and if it’s not enough ask for a side of sautéed veggies? But I don’t know! Fuck! Goddamn!
I think I should do the soup. Which I had already decided on. But now it’s just a matter of figuring out this snack. I’ll take the things out one at a time, and see how hungry I am after each one, but I don’t know where to start. I’m just having trouble lining things up in my head. Snack size is all thrown off!!!
I put a picture of my clementines and nuts and a screenshot I found online of soup (although it doesn’t show bowl depth) in my food album and it looks alright. Minus the bowl depth thing. So I think I’m gonna stick with that. The “original,” or closest to original, plan. Haley and Liza would be proud. This one’s for you, gals. I’m fighting the committee!
But I don’t have to finish the soup if I’m too full. I won’t finish the soup if I’m too full. And I’ll take my time getting to the restaurant, so hopefully I won’t end up eating till 7. And maybe Cody will let me eat my snack in the beginning. I’ll just be upfront with him about my situation and eat both clementines and the nuts and I can always change my dinner order to something smaller if I’m too full.
But I need to eat soon goddamn this is fucking with my brain and metabolism waiting! I think I’m hungry! AGH normally if I had to wait till 5 o’clock to eat snack I would hold off on dinner! And also I didn’t work out today. But it’s gonna be ok. I can always stay up a little later or walk if it off if I need to. And I’ll eat slowly! Very very slowly. Cuz I won’t be ravenous, and I can just talk to Liza. Hopefully it doesn’t cold though. That’s always my problem with soup and why I eat it fast, because it gets cold and I love the hotness. I need the hotness. But I don’t need it so much tonight.
Ok. Good. Got it. Original plan. At least I’m not restricting, even if I did just have to go through that giant ass confusing battle in my head to get back to this conclusion! I say this is a victory for healthy Bella! Honestly I don’t totally feel that but I know Cody would say it is. So I’m trying to get myself to that point, feeling like that. Here I am, ten minutes to spare! You go, Bella. Let’s go in.
Update: Great session. Ate one orange and the nuts.