Monday, April 25, 2016

Self-Hatred & Eating Disorders

Do you know what it’s like to hate yourself? To feel trapped inside a body that feels out of control?

I don’t remember exactly when I started hating myself so much. It began in childhood. The self-hatred comes and goes in unrelenting phases directly corresponding to my weight or my perceived success to a weight loss or exercise regimen.

There is never a moment when I am not painfully aware of the fat which rests on my lap when I’m sitting, that widens my hips, that balloons my arms, and makes me feel like I make the earth shake with every step.

I avoid mirrors as much as possible. I don’t like to see the reality. It makes me hate myself more.

I know that my body will never be beautiful because it will always be scarred with stretch marks from my childhood days. I’m forever conscious of them, although I try to ignore them and feign confidence.

I try to stand tall and to at least appear to love myself, but the thoughts inside my head never stop. It’s my stomach, my arms, my legs, my face, my hair, my feet—the only part of me I don’t hate are my eyes.

I feel trapped, yet I’m holding the key in my hands. It seems that freedom is just a choice away, that it should be easy—it seems so straightforward. Yet it’s elusive. Sometimes I think I have both feet planted on freedom’s shore, only to find myself lost and shipwrecked on a solitary island—no sails to catch the wind, no vessel to float—nothing but me and my self-inflicted prison of fat.

I have learned that self-hatred is at the core of eating disorders. Some hate themselves so they restrict food, others binge on food and then purge, and then there are those of us who feel unable to stop overeating but don’t purge and rather build ever-growing walls of shame around ourselves.

Hate. Shame. Guilt. Despair.

Helpless. Worthless.

I am tempted to give up—to shove it all inside and continue to pretend that I’m ok, to stop going to therapy, and to resign myself to obesity. It would be so much easier. But I would only hate myself more.

It is hard to accept what I feel. It’s hard to identify what I feel. How can I be so disconnected from myself? It’s me after all— these are my own thoughts, coming from my own brain. Yet I don’t know myself at all. There’s an enemy residing inside my brain spewing negative thoughts.

Every negative emotion has been shoved deeper into my soul with every bite until my heart is like concrete. And then I hate myself more because of it.

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