One of the things that gets tossed around when talking about anorexia and eating disorders, is this notion of the “Voice of ED.” I remember when I first got to inpatient, all the girls and the staff would talk about, “ED this” and the “voice of ED, that.” To be honest, at first, I thought it was so stupid: I mean, how juvenile and foolish to talk about this abstract notion of an “ED voice.”
But I soon came to realize that they were right on the money about this “ED voice.” ED dictated the inner Lies in my head. ED ordered me to believe that I was worthless. ED commanded my self-hatred.
That’s another thing that gets gratuitously thrown around a lot: is the notion of self-hatred — That she feels an enormous sense of self-loathing and disgust.
So, okay, we hear that. She hates herself. Blah, blah, blah, next topic.
No. I don’t think people quite understand the severity of that self-contempt. Unless a person has had an eating disorder, they will never truly know the degree to which she literally abhors herself. Not just her body – but also her soul, her spirit, her heart, her persona. Who she is. And it is all dictated and decreed by the “voice of ED.” ED: a ruthless tyrant, who orders this self-hatred.
So I was looking through a journal I kept during my eating disorder and found an entry that actually captured the “voice of ED.” I didn’t realize it at the time, but looking back, these words were directly from ED. And it was particularly revealing in the level of self-hatred and the degree of control ED had.
And I’m sharing it, because the “Voice of ED” is an abstract concept for those that haven’t personally had an eating disorder. Parents often think, “What a cop-out,” or “Gimme a break…the ‘voice of ED?’ Please. What do you take me for?” Well, I’m here to tell you, it is real. And this is ED, verbalized.
This is the entry from my birthday: You can see, halfway through, where ED comes in and takes over.
The silence is throbbing inside of my ear.
My spirit, it yearns for a way out of here.
Out of this hell hole – This pit of despair,
That I’ve come to fancy, despite of its fares.
The toll takes me back to a place I despise,
Where I’m full of deceit, self-destruction and lies.
My soul was as white as the new fallen snow,
Now is black with the soot from the fires below.
And I hate who I see when I look in the mirror.
I don’t know this new girl who out-lashes in fear.
She’s deliberately hurting the ones she loves best.
Just think of the guilt when they’re laid to rest.
But this bitch doesn’t care – she looks the other way,
When her parents call her and text every day.
Cuz they’re worried and love their sweet baby dear,
But she spits and curses a mean, “don’t you dare.”
Just who is this monster, this girl cold as stone?
Are you really this fucking depressed and alone?
What’s wrong with you, girl, you pathetic fat heap?
You’re a loser, a screw up, just pass out to sleep.
That’s the one thing you’re good at: just wasting away.
And while you’re at it, stop eating – leave your fat ass away.
It’s your birthday and you’re an enormous-ass whale.
And the one thing you’ve done with your life is to fail.
You’ve got no friends and your life is a joke.
And did I mention your fat ass is completely broke?
That’s right! Your whole life’s a pathetic scam.
What a waste! – You’re not even worth a small damn.
You should’ve just hauled off and died in Chuck-town,
Now look, in the pot, just flush your life down.
No one loves you, you’re worthless, just spare us the time,
Won’t you please disappear – is that such a crime?!
Just reading this – gag me – stop wasting your ink.
Cuz if people read this, they won’t even blink.
Get it through your brain – they don’t give a damn!
No one loves you! Not even your dog is your fan.
That’s why I tell you to just fucking quit.
But that’s it! I am done. In your face I do spit.
Wow. It’s hard to believe the dark place I was in. This exemplifies how ED berated me every night. That darkness was all I knew. And it’s all your loved one knows.
People talk about the “voice of ED” as the driving force behind her eating disorder. This “ED voice” sounds so trivial, or childish, but it is actually real. And a powerful dictator at that. This poem is ED. This poem verbalizes ED’s tireless lashings, and rings true for eating disorder sufferers everywhere.
This is the “voice of ED” that she talks about. This is who is manipulating and controlling your loved one. This is who you’re up against.