Why I Starved Myself by Julie Greene

I tried to starve myself to death.  I know why pretty much so I’ll tell you.

I have anorexia nervosa and I have had this eating disorder with binge eating, too, for many years.

It got rather obvious to me that I was going to die.  I didn’t care.  I felt rather triumphant and I was glad to be losing weight.  I felt that in that sense, I was winning the battle.  Also, I had stopped binge eating and this was a relief to me.  So I was free of that horrible affliction.

About being the Jesus Christ of Eating Disorders.  I felt like a hero, like I was a hero to everyone and in dying, I was going to save people with eating disorders and bring awareness about eating disorders to the world at last.  I was going to be like Karen Carpenter.  Only I wasn’t famous, I was just an anonymous Jewish girl from the suburbs who ended up dumped by her family and a pawn of the mental health system.  But I figured if I died someone would take notice, wouldn’t they?  Or would my death just get covered up and lied about?

Just about every night, I’d write a note in a notebook and put it beside my bed.  Something about knowing I was going to die.  I’d make some request.  Often, I’d plead with the world to take care of my little dog, Puzzle.  I recall some nights I’d be scared and I’d go to bed with Puzzle’s dog leash attached to her and the leash around my waist, and sleep like that all night, out of fear.  I’d leave the notebook beside my bed, and when I fell asleep I made sure the notebook was open to the page where I’d been writing.  Often, I’d go out and leave the notebook in some obvious place and hope someone might pick it up if I died and read it.  Inside, it says, “I am starving myself because nobody gives a shit about me.”

My weight kept dropping.  Sometimes, I got pissed cuz it wouldn’t drop fast enough.  I’d plot and scheme ways to make it drop faster.  I felt more triumphant, like I was getting revenge on people that had been abusive to me in recent years.

I am very short, so every pound really makes a difference.  With men and taller people, they think more in terms of losing weight in “decades,” that is, tens of pounds.  But when I hit certain key points, I’d feel a lot of pressure to get under that weight.  I’d pressure myself a lot and then it felt great when I got under that point. It felt liberating, like I’d gone through locked doors and was now outside and free into the next decade of pounds.  That’s how it felt.  I told myself when I passed through the last decade locked door that I was going to die.  I told myself, “Julie, this is it, man.  You’re a done deal.”  I looked at myself in the mirror and I looked like death, like a skeleton.  Still, I felt like the Jesus Christ of Eating Disorders and that felt good at the same time.

I totally failed.  When I ended up “rescued,” the people at the hospital were abusive.  They told me I was a sinner.  Not their exact words, but everyone with anorexia ends up being called a sinner when they end up in the hospital, whether they are on a medical or psych floor.  Or your friends dump you cuz they don’t understand this disease.  Or they call you crazy.

You are told how horrible you are cuz you denied life.  Cuz you pushed life away.  How bad that was, how terribly selfish and spoiled you are.

Is this any way to treat a living, human being with real feelings?  I don’t think so, whether they are Jesus Christ or anyone else.  People still act this way.  Like I’m the most ungrateful, selfish bitch in the world.

All I was doing was trying to change the world, make a statement, and help others with eating disorders, but no one really gets that.   I know it was a really weird way to say that no one gives a shit, but if people really gave a shit in the first place and hadn’t been abusive, none of this would have happened.

So I failed, and ended up abused in the hospital.  I was weak and badly malnourished and that made me an easy target for abuse.  They got away with it.  They are rubbing their hands together as we speak, thinking they got away with being cruel and heartless to a person so weak she could not stand up and could not even lift her limbs.  They called me “dangerous.”  What baloney.

I definitely would have died, but I am alive now. I’m not sure how I feel about that.  I wish the world was a nicer place.  I wish people would not judge me.  My dog doesn’t judge me.  I’m going to go lie down and hold her right now and hope the world disappears.

Feedback and comments welcome!