There are things everyone keeps to themselves, like what kind of porn they watch, if they really believe in God, their true sexuality… me, though, I keep my eating disorder a secret. I’m sure there are times when it might cross your mind that something is off with my behavior, but I can almost guarantee you that you don’t know what’s really going on.
You hear me say more often than not “that’s okay, I’m not hungry” but you don’t know I’m actually avoiding being around food. You don’t realize that I could actually afford to go out for happy hour and get nachos, but I lied and said I couldn’t. And no, I’m not “naturally this skinny,” but thanks for believing it anyway.
See, I’m not not telling you because if the words “I have an eating disorder” escape my lips, everything will change. All you’ll see is my eating disorder, you’ll start to look for it in every moment we spend together. I think I’ll be a burden or you’ll force me to get help or any of that crap. I don’t want to draw any more attention to myself and my body than there already is.
Because the second I tell you, all of the attention you once showered me with in every way, will only be directed towards my body. You’ll be looking at me under a magnifying glass, seeing all the things I’ve been trying to hide all this time. Theorizing what I should look like, what I will look like. And let me tell you, I already do that enough for myself, I don’t need you to do it, too.
You’ll stare at my collar bones, thinking they protrude more than normal. You’ll watch me do my makeup and realize that what you once thought was contouring is actually the skin around my cheek bones sinking in. You’ll listen to me complain about being tired and immediately think it’s because I’m not eating enough. I don’t want that… I don’t want any of that. I want to remain in the world I’ve always lived in. I want to keep this my secret and continue on living life the way I want it.
I hide my eating disorder from you because right now, my need to control everything that I put in mouth is more powerful than my will to change. My life consists of planning and that gives me a sense of control that in a twisted way soothes my broken soul. Knowing what I’m going to eat, when I’m going to eat it, and its complete nutritional value is my way of coping with my demons.
If I have plans to go out to eat, I’ll need to know where it is and what’s on the menu way in advanced before I actually go. If you knew this was going on, I wouldn’t be able to manage. I can’t plan out how you’re going to react or how you’ll treat me down the line. I can’t control the fact that you could make one quick phone call and get me sent away for months.
I’m hiding my eating disorder from you because I don’t trust what this information might push you to do.
There are enough factors of my life that are spinning out of control, I don’t need our relationship to go along with it. I want to keep things as they are, frozen in this moment of blissful ignorance. This “thing” I’m going through is a battle, and it’s just between me, myself, and I and I will come out on top of this, that much I know. But as for right now, and maybe always, this is only my thing and something you’ll never know about.
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