I have a boyfriend…well, sort of. I mean, I don’t ACTUALLY have a boyfriend boyfriend. As in a guy or a significant other or someone I’m dating. But, I’m kind of dating…oh, it’s complicated! Let me try to explain. You see, I was in the bathroom at work a few minutes ago trying to throw up. I felt kind of sick this morning so I started eating my cracker allowance an hour earlier than usual. I have a schedule. I get 4 small multi-grain crackers at 9:30, 4 to 5 crackers at 10:30 and 5 crackers at 11:30. That’s 140 calories. But today, as I said, I wasn’t feeling very well, so I ate a couple of crackers at 8:30. And I had a cup of coffee with powered creamer. Scary! So I was in the bathroom because I had eaten my first and second cracker allotment early, added a cup of coffee and I was feeling fat. I needed to throw up. Or not eat any more crackers, which wasn’t going to happen because I still wasn’t feeling very well. So I’m in the bathroom and I can’t get anything to come up and I’m kind of panicking. Telling myself it will be okay. Just to calm down. All is not lost just yet because I can still make up for it. And that’s when the thought kind of hit me. I am so totally controlled by ED. My “boyfriend.” You know, my eating disorder. After my 11:30 crackers, I don’t eat anything until I get home. Some days, I tell myself I will just have a nice low-cal salad with no dressing and I’ll keep it down (yeah, right!). I tell myself I’ll be like a “normal” person. Other days, I’m so hungry, I let myself have a good binge. My favorite? I love cheese. Lots of thick melted cheese. So I’ll take some flat bread and several kinds of cheese all heaped up on top of the bread, add some mushrooms, maybe some pieces of chicken, melt it all in the microwave and go after it. Of course, I throw it all up (or I throw up as much as I can get out, which is darned near all of it). I get the joy of eating, but not that of keeping. Which is good. It’s the way it should be. Keeping would make me so FAT. FAT is SO BAD SO HORRIBLY BAD SO AWFULLY INCREDIBLY TERRIBLE IT’S THE WORST POSSIBLE THING EVER! Trust me on this. It’s Freddie Kruger on steroids. It’s atomic warfare and total annihilation. It’s the end of the earth. It’s shame and rejection and disgrace. Last night, I was laying in bed trying to go to sleep, which is often a challenge, and I was feeling my ribs and chest bones. It made me happy…well, not exactly happy, but it felt good. I like to feel my bones. I feel safe when I can feel my bones. ED likes my bones too. He doesn’t like the fact that I still have some meat on them. I’m working on that. Nix that. I’m not WORKING on that, but I’m kind of toying around with the idea, wanting to lose more, trying to balance that with having enough energy to stand up and go to work every day. If I can get it all to balance out, I’ll be making ED happier shortly. I don’t need to lose too much more. Just a little bit. Really, just a tad. Like maybe 10 lbs. Then the world would be perfect. Okay, that’s not exactly true. Not perfect. But I would be able to face the day feeling a little bit better about myself. I like it that my butt bones are sharp and poke through my skin and that I don’t have any padding. I like that I don’t have any boobs. I like my bony wrists, protruding knee bones and scrawny legs. But I do want to lose more. Just a little more. Just to be safe. I’m allowed only so much food by ED. If I go over my allotment, I have to give it up, Chuck. That’s the price I pay. For being safe. I’m pretty much okay with that. Sometimes, I wish I could be normal. Eat like a “normal” person eats…but still be thin; still be bony. I wish food wasn’t so complicated. Kind of like I wish life wasn’t so complicated and hard and hurtful. I wish food could be fun and simple and, I don’t know, maybe something you get to keep sometimes? But ED rules in my world. I can’t break free, at least not right now. And honestly, I’m not sure how badly I want to escape. I like what ED does for me. I hate what ED does for me. I hate what ED does to me. I love what ED does to me. I’m thankful for my dear ED. I’m a slave to ED. I’m…conflicted. Like I said, it’s complicated. ED’s a tough boyfriend in a lot of ways. But he loves me. He’s the only one who does love me. And I love what he has made me in so many ways. Guess I’ll keep hanging around with him as long as he will have me. At least for now. This could even be a “till death do us part” kind of thing. Know what I mean?