Mental Health

I Have an Eating Disorder

*Content Warning: This piece contains a reference to an eating disorder, which may be triggering to some.*

I have an eating disorder. 

It’s been in the works for over six years now. Longer then it took me to get my college degree. My depression almost killed me, but my disorder continues to ruin my body— my mind. I have recovered from so much, but I crumple at the moment someone asks me what size I wear or at the mention of gaining relationship weight. Before I was depressed, I refused to eat unless I was told to. Can you believe I didn’t realize my diagnose until a year later? How I thought it was normal to starve. 

The year of my recovery for my depression my therapist found out about my ED, but we weren’t sure what it was from. The breakup? Depression? Was this self-control? I’ve done a lot of dumb things to get control… to have control. But not eating I could have gotten a gold metal for. I lived off of Reese’s sticks and Starbucks’s strawberry lemonade for a year. I could have been their poster child.

I’m writing this because I went to the gym for the first time today in years. Walking into the same gym I did five years ago was overwhelming to say the least. The amount of memories and fear that went through my body as I started walking on the treadmill.

But it got easier, my body knew what to do. Like riding a bike after a long time. My body knew all the movements, how could it not? I ran track religiously all throughout high school and into college. But it was the music that pushed me to stay, that took my mind from the past to the present.

I was healing in places I didn’t even know needed it. Scars that were hidden were showing and it was scary, but also knowing that I was doing it. I was at the gym, running for me. Not my eating disorder. I was healthy enough to know the difference between needed to be 110 and wanting to be in shape. Healthy enough to know its okay to not look like the girl who only lived off of Reese’s sticks and lemonade.

I may not look like her with my high cheekbones and my collarbone popping out. But there was a sadness in her eyes, that I don’t have anymore. I have an eating disorder, but it’s not controlling me anymore. 

by nsburtonn

Hello, my name's Nicole, I'm 24 years old, graduated from California State University of Long Beach with my major in English: Creative Writing, and a minor in Sociology. I love reading and writing, it's my passion to write whether it is fictional or personal. I started writing fiction 4 years ago, but last year started moving to poetry and non-fiction. I believe that there is a rawness in writing about yourself and your experiences, I chose to write to let others know that whatever they are suffering with that they are not alone, I have and still suffer/ struggle. Its okay to be vulnerable, to be heard.

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