A Skinny Girl’s Rant

7 12 2010

Trigger Warning for Eating Disorders, body image & self-hatred

This is a guest post from S.P.

“You’re so skinny. I’m jealous.”
Don’t be. I never wanted to be this skinny. And by skinny, I mean gaunt. Emaciated. Malnourished. Look closely – do you see my ribcage? My collarbone? Do you think I want to wake up every morning and see that? Because I really, really do not. But I need to.

I have been an anorexic for five years and counting. Before you label me as a shallow bimbo brainwashed by the mainstream media, hear me out. I do not give a fuck about what I actually look like. I don’t stand in the mirror sobbing, desperately clutching a photograph of a Victoria’s secret model, wishing that I looked like that. Well, maybe breast-wise, but not the rest. I’m standing there sobbing because over a span of five years, I have slowly bound myself to a set of rules to control my own life, rules that are slowly killing me.

And when I say killing, I say it in all seriousness – I am purposely living in a constant haze of malnourishment, depriving my body of what it needs to survive. My body will shut down incredibly prematurely – medical problems of that sort have already begun. I know I am hurting myself, and yet I continue.

Why? I could spend hours upon hours answering that question, telling you my entire story, boring you to tears, and you would still not understand. That is because until you have become so tethered to control of food as a means of reward and punishment, as a means of feeling in control of your life, as a means of feeling a sense of accomplishment, you will never be able to understand this mindset. I have taught myself to fear food to the point where I will physically begin shaking with fear when presented with a large amount of food at once. I recognize how wrong this is, and yet my heart still pounds as the cold sweat rises on my skin.

So, please, stop telling me you understand. Stop thinking you know what will help me, and listen to what I actually need your help with. Stop yelling at me, telling me I am not eating enough. I know I am not. I am so painfully aware of that. I don’t need you to tell me that. I need you to encourage me, even for small things, because every time I think I make an accomplishment and you shoot me down, I feel no incentive to try harder. I need you to stop talking about fat like it is a bad thing. I need you to tell me that I do not look like the fat slob that I feel like whenever I eat. I need voices to override the screaming monster that I have created in my mind – to tell me the obvious things that I can’t hear or see because I have become so distorted by this eating disorder.

I say this now because I have been slipping at my nutritionist appointments. My weight is falling back again, and I need to encourage myself to keep trying to eat more and break down the “old rules” as much as I need other people to encourage me. You will never be able to understand how hard this is for me to do if you have never had an eating disorder. Every meal is a battle, a constant re-assessment of everything I have eaten, what I may eat later, what I look like as a result. These things are always in the back of my mind, every hour of every day. You have no idea what kind of near torture it is.

I am determined to overcome this. It will take time, and it will be the absolute most difficult thing I have ever had to do in my life. I will do it, but I will not be able to do it alone. I need your help.

Don’t be jealous. Just be there for me.