real life

'One minute, the fridge opens. I black out. The next, I'm examining the toilet bowl.'

WARNING: This personal account includes candid discussion of an eating disorder and may be distressing to some readers.

I get into bed with my YouTube ‘Binge eating cure’ hypnosis playing on my laptop.  The man’s voice is trying in great desperation to sound alluring ‘You are a powerful person’ he hums, ‘You can control your eating’. He repeats himself, sending me into a deep sleep where I dream of a stomach so flat that my friends use it as a tray table to eat on.  I, on the other hand, don’t eat. I’m a strong independent tray table who don’t need no food. I wake from the blissful illusion and start up my notes. *Monday food log*

Breakfast: 1 banana. 1 tea no sugar.

Woahhh, YouTube dude was right I am a powerful person. Getting dressed for work I turn side to side examining my reflection. I grab flab from my arm, sling it out and introduce it to the mirror hellllllooooo, do you see this ? How did you let this happen?? I shake the flab to make my point. The mirror doesn’t respond. It never does.

In the office I lull at the computer. No work being done. I read that when you’re hungry, it’s really because you are dehydrated. So, between the H20, meal replacement shakes, herbal teas, coffees and my naturally weak bladder, I’m pissing like a racehorse with a UTI. The fact that a set of keys has been lost so I have to ask my boss to borrow hers every single time I need to use the toilet embarrasses me,  but still I wouldn’t swap it for the carb loaded sandwich she hoovers. The way she consumes food thoughtlessly and doesn’t let the thought of food consume her p*sses me off while I pee. My current fling sends a text Wanna grab movie and dinner tonight? I decline. Reminding myself I am a powerful person who promised her powerful self to only eat fruit and veg today.

I could fall asleep on the bus home if it weren’t for the caffeine keeping my mind painfully awake. My finger glides through my past Insta uploads, the golden ‘skinnier times’. I fantasise being that size again although when that picture was taken I thought I was fat then too.

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I open my front door. It’s dark outside. My tired body moves toward the fridge without my consent. The fridge opens and light beams out of it in a light at the end of the tunnel kinda way. I black out. I’ve spent years drinking but this black out is different. My considerate self is abducted by a hungry alien. This alien is a prick and does not care it’s my housemate’s birthday cake they haven’t touched yet or if it’s their favourite takeaway saved for their lunch tomorrow. This alien opens any jar that hasn’t been opened yet, finishes it and throws it in the bin. And let me tell you, this alien has no culinary class. It will dip a tomato in butter then pour over soy sauce. It will drown anything in mayonnaise – chocolate, muesli bars, fruit you name it, and this b*stard has smothered mayo on it.

All of the sudden consciousness slaps me in the face. The alien has f*cked off in his spaceship leaving me at the crime scene. A tear flies down my cheek as I quickly clean. I fiddle the takeaway food around the container in hope it doesn’t look like it’s been eaten. I pile empty wrappers and tin foil on top of the jars, empty packets and foil toss in the bin (maybe they will forget about it)? And as for the birthday cake, my fingers are used to texting damage control ‘hey clumsy me, dropped the cake. SORRY! Send me the deets will pick up a new one after work tomoz! xxxx’

I shower. I make the water so hot that it stings my body in attempt of distracting myself. It doesn’t work. What the f*ck did I just eat? I spew to reveal what I have consumed. I examine the toilet bowl like an FBI agent. I dry myself on the floor of my room, among the mound of unfinished books. I wonder why I’m never productive, why I never finish anything. I had planned to go for a run but am exhausted so instead I apply a week’s salary worth of ‘Guaranteed to eliminate cellulite’ cream, climb into bed and hit play on the hypnosis video. I expect his voice to be cross with me, ‘You are a powerful person, you can control your eating’ he hums familiarly. He’s not angry, he knows I’m loyal, he knows I’ll be back tomorrow.

If you or a loved one is suffering with an eating disorder, Mamamia urges you to contact The Butterfly Foundation. You can also receive crisis support by phoning Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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