Starving–What it truly feels like

Before I got sick, I never thought about that word, starving.  I never thought how saying it around certain people could trigger something harmful, could make them nervous or angry.  It’s just a word, eight letters.  No big deal.  I am hungry so I say “I’m starving.”  Except I wasn’t, I may have been hungry but I was never literally starving.  Until now.  Now I go days without eating anything at all.  I force down one meal a week and make myself fast until the chosen day, Sunday, returns.  So when I hear people around me say they are starving, and I have seen them eat continuously day after day, it actually makes me angry.  Sometimes I look at them and laugh to myself, “oh yes you are most certainly starving, like stfu.”  Sometimes I just think to myself, “trust me, you have no idea what actual starving feels like.”  And on that note I always think about what it does feel like.  Its not a pretty feeling.  If you have never experienced it.  Its like going beyond hungry, so far beyond it that food doesn’t even sound, look, or smell appetizing anymore.  That’s the only reason I can survive working in a bakery every day.  I literally must force myself to eat anything most of the time.  The grip of the ED is so strong I can’t eat even when I know I need something.  Unless something triggers a binge, I just sit here listening to the ED tell me how ugly, how fat I am, and he is spot on, tbh.  To prevent the binges, I don’t own groceries, just bits of things here and there.  Unfortunately, my mother has taken to buying me things to snack on, though I never asked for anything.  I don’t really know when or why she started buying me snacks, she just did.  So when I binge on the snacks she has bought, I immediately think I need to purge.  The guilt from the binge is overwhelming.  It’s like every hateful thing popping into your mind all at once.  Plus the pain in my stomach from eating is terrible, feels like I’m being ripped in half.  Then once I purge it feels like the room is spinning and I feel disgusting, wrong, wasteful.  I just wasted food that I shouldn’t have eaten to begin with, food that some people would be thrilled to have, wasted.  So instead I fast, day after day, eating nothing or staying below 100 calories when I really can’t avoid eating.  Starving myself keeps the ED quiet, less hurtful.  He comes back out during the day, just popping up to remind me how disgusting I am, how ugly.

See, starving yourself is less about the hunger pains; I don’t feel those anymore, anyway.  Starving yourself is more about the mental side.  My brain, the ED, tells me I don’t deserve to eat, I haven’t earned it today.  Sometimes he reminds me that I fucked up and ate yesterday, so today is out of the question.  The pain from starving myself is far more mental than physical.  Sure there are physical effects, and they are serious.  But the actual pain comes from my mind.  For me at least…

So when someone around me says that they are starving, it reminds me of the things my brain screams and I want to cry, I want it to stop.  I don’t want to be reminded of my illness.  So the next time you are hungry, please think twice before saying you are “starving.”  There may be someone around you who is literally starving and the words you have chosen could bring out the angry ED voice, causing it to scream and curse and tell them how worthless they are.  That word might remind someone that if they deserved it, they could eat.  That word might trigger a depression or a binge in someone.  The things we say can hurt those around us who are silently suffering.  Even those who don’t LOOK like they could be battling an eating disorder could be affected.

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