Have You Ever Been Anorexic?

Have you ever been anorexic?

Have you ever stared at a plate of food and felt like dying would be preferable to eating even one tiny crumb of it? Have you watched food turn into glowing red numbers right before your eyes? Felt it turn to dust in your mouth; experienced the strange detachment that comes with the single-minded focus of your brain on the mechanic sensation of moving your jaws together and apart over and over again? Open. Close. Chew. Swallow. Burn. Hate. Repeat.

Have you ever been anorexic?

Have you ever been rendered paralyzed by a nutrition facts label? Have you felt your mind go numb with the rush of disgust and fear that runs through it like icy blood through your veins as you examine what it says? Have you felt tears spring to your eyes as you calculate what you’ve consumed?

Have you held a fork in your hand that, for all its appearance as a small, nearly weightless piece of metal, suddenly seems to weigh a thousand pounds when it carries a morsel of food? Had hot tears of anger and embarrassment run train tracks down your face as you look in the mirror? Pinched and felt your skin with unforgiving fingers and even more calculating and cruel eyes; twisted and contorted yourself to examine every angle; watched as your entire worth in this world came down to a numerical value in front of your toes that is never, ever, low enough?

Have you ever been anorexic?

Have you ever run a brush through your hair and noticed just how unnaturally much leaves tangled in the bristles? Wound a hair elastic twice as many times around your ponytail due to how much thinner it’s become? Dressed in unseasonably warm layers and still shivered to the bone? Tried to infuse your hands and feet with color and sensation again, but to no avail? 

Have you ever been anorexic?

Have you ever run your fingers down the length of your spine, counting every single vertebrae, and still felt enormous? Been unable to make your thighs touch while sitting down and yet felt gigantic? Entered into treatment and watched with horror as your emaciated frame starts to fill itself in, in all the places you feared it would? Stuffed food down your throat against the clock for fear of having something else stuffed down it against your will instead?

Have you ever been anorexic?

Have you ever been anorexic?

I have.

I am.


3 thoughts on “Have You Ever Been Anorexic?

  1. Very well written. Unfortunately, it is so true. I’ve been sick for 25 years… since I was 15. I am now almost 40 and regardless of how much I know intellectually, I can never seem to get the thoughts out of my mind. You did such a good job in expressing what it can be like to be anorexic. I am really hoping that you can win this fight. Your writing is beautiful and I enjoy reading everything that you have written. Writing can also be very therapeutic. Thinking of you and wishing you the best!


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