The Kirkwood Call

Anonymous account of an eating disorder

KHS student

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Since early 2017, many things in my life have started fading away: my closest friend, my hobbies, my motivation. With school ramping up and nothing good coming out of it, I hit a real rough patch and started to let all these things fall by the wayside in an attempt to be a person I thought would appeal to others. I let go of the worst thing I could have ever let go of: food. I let go because I didn’t have the motivation. I didn’t care. Nothing else mattered, so why should food? Day by day, even my favorite foods, having previously left me with feelings of want and pleasure, now leave splotches of feelings telling me to not even bother eating them.

March 2017 through June 2017:

My diet went from four to five meals a day to one actual meal (a sandwich and a snack) and a couple of other things like fruit snacks or a brownie, but just enough to keep me going through a typical school day. After the school year ended, I am fully relying on my closest acquaintances (who know nothing of this) to keep me from falling off this narrow bridge. Anything at anytime could push me to not eat for long periods of time. I spend my summer trying to enjoy having a girlfriend, my 17th birthday and my family. But the distractions don’t do much good.

End of July 2017 through September 2017:

Imagine a lion breathing down your neck, but instead of blood, it wants compliance, perfection and your wellbeing. I am still eating less than two meals a day (if you can even call cereal and a single sandwich “meals”). If I wasn’t okay before, I’m sure not great now because my social life, specifically my girlfriend and I, have been having trouble. Adding this to my already tiring schedule, you could say I was now at the edge of the bridge. I’m eating once a day. On a school day, it is not until after 4 to 6 p.m. It’s become habit at this point. By that time of the day I’m irritated, quiet and on edge, all because of the constant rumbling in my body like a persisting earthquake. When this time rolls around, my typical meal is three sandwiches, but I can physically feel my body shuddering with every swallow. Attempts to keep myself busy and push away the discomfort have already began failing. My new best friend, emptiness, constantly tells me that I don’t need anything but sleep and a little to drink every now and then.

October 2017 to the present (February 2018):

“A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.”  These words have never rang more true in my head. I’m usually a strong-minded person and I’m not very self-conscious. Now a senior, I’m single, depressed and hungry. I’m so paranoid and I let all of those thoughts get to me. And then everything else just comes flooding in. The lion is winning. Surprisingly however, I am still functional. Until, one day, I wasn’t.

Dec. 28: The day I fell

To be or not to be is a tough question unless the next word is hungry or alone or hurting. The morning of this day wasn’t out of the ordinary for anyone but me. I stay in my bed the entire day. No interaction with others, no social media, just laying there talking to myself about who should know that I need help with this. Everyone should know. At this point it shouldn’t matter who. But in my mind? No one should. Not my friends, not my family, not the counselors, because my mind keeps telling me I’m perfectly fine. I’m so paranoid that I think everyone knows but doesn’t care about me enough to help. I’m fighting my own body and brain, with my own body and brain. Talk about a civil war.

Fast forward to early January:

Back in school and on day six of starving myself completely is the day before an old friend got me to open up to her, and until Feb. 24, she was the only person to know. But she’s already graduated, so I’m still alone in a losing battle. Day seven feels like an eternity when you haven’t eaten in 168 hours. I basically crawl out of my house to go to school. Things like double vision are close to being the perfect words to describe how I see things that day. I’m at the lowest I’ve ever been, but the pressure to be this extrovert who could always cheer you up, combined my reluctance to ever let people see me unhappy, forces the mask onto my face. I’m cold and emotionless, and all I could think about were my appetite and death. All my thoughts involved food. It felt like my own stomach was ready to fight me. Then my best friend comes back, only to mock me.

“You’re fine.” “You don’t need food.” “Listen to me and only me. Remember that if anyone else knows, they’ll think you’re crazy. You’ll be an outcast.”

This was the last day of my longest starvation period.

My fear of death due to not eating was and still is greater than the lack of motivation or want for food. I will probably always be worried that I’ll die at any second. Since then I’ve had what I call “false starts,” where I would go a day or two without food and not even notice until right after. I can’t shake the memories of rumbling, and even though it still happens, nothing is ever like the first.

The lion always wins in the end against a single human. If you want to win, it’ll take a tribe, teamwork and a whole lot of spears.

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