‘You are fat and disgusting. You don’t deserve to eat anything today.’
I stare into the mirror, shoulders slumped in defeat. Pinching my stomach, appalled by all the “extra.” I turn to the side, inhale and hold it.
‘Remember when you were skinny? When your stomach was flat and your boobs looked bigger? Guys looked at you then. They turn away from you now. You’re ugly. You’re worse than ugly; you’re nothing.’
I frown at my reflection as the voice in my head continues. We call him “Ed,” and he talks to me constantly. I’m either eating too much or not enough, I’m too full or I’m empty. Today, Ed is convincing me that I’m too much. So much, in fact, that I’m nothing.
Sometimes, Ed takes it a step farther. Once I’m deflated, he starts in again: ‘You’ll never be skinny again. You’ll never make it. You might as well just kill yourself.’ Ed laughs as I cry.
Today, he doesn’t go that far. At least, he hasn’t yet. ‘Don’t you dare eat that breakfast,’ he tells me. ‘I don’t care that it’s protein and vegetables and whole grains. It’s going to make you fatter, and then there’s no turning back. Skip the meal; you’ll feel better.’
I pour my carefully made meal into the trash can and sit in front of the TV, waiting for Ed to rouse me into over-exercising. Or maybe he’ll persuade me that I’m worthless and lying on the couch is all I’m good for.
I never know with Ed. I just have to wait and listen.
Debbie is an addiction counselor and yoga teacher in Indiana. She is an avid reader of any genre, and has published fantasy short stories; she is still working on the elusive novel. Recently, Debbie has ventured into non-fiction writing, in hopes that discussing her life with an eating disorder will help someone in need. Debbie’s loves include her niece Lillie and her girl-cat, Emilio Estevez. She is passionate about mental health awareness, especially related to addiction and eating disorders.