Food. It’s so essential to survival that it’s impossible to escape. It’s my heaven and my hell. Munches pushed around the food on his plate restlessly with his paw and couldn’t bring himself to take a bite as he caught sight of his body when he looked down at the plate. His owner would probably be so disappointed if she could hear the way Munches described himself, but his self-loathing was toxic and implacable. “You’re beautiful, baby.” She’d say but could he believe her? No, not really.
Sometimes it was easier to quiet that inner voice and hear hers, but it wasn’t often. Instead he heard the laughter behind his back quickly quieted as he turned around. Or the cruel words flung his way carelessly. Kids were cruel. They didn’t understand. Both true, but it didn’t take the sting out of their actions. They had latched into his weakness and poured acid on old wounds. Which ended with Munches glaring at his plate again.
Dinner was his favorite tonight. Munches would have to force a few bites and try not to make it the start of a binge. Just a few bites before she notic->
“Not eating, baby?” his owner’s voice asked softly. Her eyes were kind, though concerned.
Munches hated putting that worry in her eyes, he felt like even more of a failure. Munches thought about lying to ease that worry… but he wasn’t good at lying really. Instead he nodded with a frown.
“I wish I knew how to help this pain.” His owner murmured
“No, I’m fine!” The lie tumbled out of Munches’ mouth unconvincingly. A beat of silence echoed resounding with unspoken words.
His owner shook her head, “You’re not, baby. You’re struggling and I don’t know how to help.”
“Well I-“ Munches started but stopped not knowing what to say.
He was being torn in two different directions. He knew he needed help, but he didn’t want it. Yet, it’d gotten to the point that it was flat out dangerous… and he knew it. That fact lodged in his chest and refused to budge as he tried to push it away. As the two sides warred in his heart, his owner waited patiently. It was a few minutes of silence until Munches spoke again as he found words.
“You’ve been offering for me to see someone to talk about … this.” He muttered uncomfortably
His owner nodded encouragingly.
“If I considered going… would you go with me?” Munches ended in a whisper.
“Of course, whenever you wanted me to.” His owner assured
“I’ll go.” Munches grumbled without much hope but with resolve.
Munches rounded the corner at a flat out run. His body still jiggled in some places, and he didn’t think he’d ever be happy regarding his weight… but he was happy as he played. After lots of hard work, some back and forth, and more ups and downs than a roller coaster he was feeling at home in his skin. There were still bad days, and still some steps off the path, but every day of success was a hard won victory he celebrated.
If you have an Eating Disorder and you are fighting it alone? Please consider reaching out, you might be surprised how many people will offer their hand in return.