Not Eating Eating Problems, That Is

Did I mention I have eating problems? Not eating eating problems, but eating problems, you know.

Two years ago I went through a long period where I could scarcely eat. There were reasons for this: an attack of the unauthorised melancholy, a series of deceptions which led to the abolition of breakfast time, and my joining clubs to demolish free time, such that I might eat only one meal a day, and never desire any more.

But were the latter two result of the former? I joined clubs to escape both my thoughts and my friends, and it worked to some extent: on the odd day when a club was cancelled, I was abandoned to the mercy of tears, locked in my favourite toilet cubicle. And that abandonment, too, was it the result of my deserting my friends, or would it simply have happened had I never joined any clubs at all?

It’s a spiral of events and moods: a downward spiral, growing exponentially worse. And I too stubborn to do anything about such states of affairs.

I never do anything to help myself. And I could. And I don’t. I’ve no excuse. Yet still I gripe how it confounds and disturbs me.

Two of the friends I’ve spent the most time with over the past three years are exceptionally interested in food. Every day, it seems, they discuss their meal of the previous night, how it was cooked, how it could be improved, what dishes featured on the latest culinary TV programmes, and so on and so forth. I don’t blame them. They don’t know that every fresh reference to food draws bile up the back of my throat, sends spasms through my muscles and fires my sweat glands into double-time production.

I’ve always been skinny. Yes, time and time again I’ve been called anorexic—even in jest, though I laugh it off, it hurts no less than ‘ginger’. Boys tell me they don’t like stick-like women; and I don’t know why they tell me.

And all the time I get slimmer and slimmer. What am I even trying to prove?

None of my trousers fit me anymore because I’ve sprouted hips. But that seems to make the flatness even flatter and less natural. My stomach has inverted itself, so my hip-bones project quite centimetres in all directions. My skirts now fall downward, and since I’m scarcely less flat at the top, I often look like some long-skirted 40s girl starving in the Occupation.

I disgust myself! I chew and I chew and I chew, but not a bite can I swallow, for the more I chew the more repulsive the food becomes. And the more I spit the less pathetic I become to the idea of feeding myself another spoonful, for surely the process would repeat without cease, and I would chew and chew and chew and spit and retch again and again.

I thought I was getting better. Despite my little-varied diet I’ve remained healthy all these years, somehow. Because I do eat. Just enough to stay healthy, though not nearly as much as anyone else. It’s not an eating disorder because I do eat it. I do force it down, because when people are watching me I can do nought else, unless I prove myself a hypocrite and boast I’m not hungry, or lie, as I hate it when other girls used to do in the changing rooms. When one becomes what one sought to destroy…

My diet consists of carbohydrates. At least one portion of potatoes, in whatever form, every day. A single bread roll, thinly buttered. Occasionally rice or pasta, without sauce or oil or butter or any other embellishment. That is my daily menu. Yes, I am deficient in many vital substances. But I take vitamins, pills and medicines every day, and I’d rather eat what I like and take drugs than eat what everyone else eats.

There are those who tease me without mercy. That doesn’t really bother me. I don’t care what they think. After all, I like pancakes, and scoffed eleven in a row on a single night a couple of weeks ago. If I like it, I eat a lot of it.

D of E will be difficult. Last time was my practice, yet by the end of the three days the teachers were baiting me about my food. No one realised the real problem was my feet. I couldn’t’ve cared less about the food. I could’ve made it on anything, if I could make it with such blisters on my feet. Yet they will fail me in my qualifying next month because I won’t eat enough protein.

I’m scared of food. Probably. I really am.

I haven’t eaten breakfast for three days, and only eaten half my lunch. It’s this little knot of stress low down in my stomach, and it won’t go away till my self-assurance comes back. When that will be, I don’t know. And when it does, it won’t last long. It never does. Not three weeks ago I received my GCSE results, but already I’m beating myself up because they weren’t perfect. We ungrateful humans, we forget too soon. We never give ourselves a break.

Will anyone in real life ever know this? I must never tell them the names under which I go on the internet. Strangers to read of my problems, and my family and friends to remain in ignorance! What am I about?! If anyone knows, it isn’t me.

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