The more you deprive yourself of something, the more it begins to consume you. For instance, picture being lost under the dry sun of the Sahara. Fresh water is no where in sight, an oasis millions of miles away. The longer you go without quenching this thirst, the more aware you are of the dryness of your throat. The feeling of the dehydrating sand absorbing through the pores of your stale feet. Or, I'll give you a more modern example. Your mother has taken away your phone. The longer you go without your most prized possession--a necessity of the digital age--the more you wonder who has posted what on your Instagram feed. Or if your treasured snapchat streaks have been buried under the surface, making those hundred days of drudgery sending half-faced selfies with dog filters all for naught. Soon, you begin to hear phantom vibrations. You think you are going crazy. In the absence of this necessity, your mind projects its own image of receiving text messages.
In all seriousness, I guess this is kind of how I felt during those days of malnourishment. With every added bowl of cereal skipped, peanut butter and jelly sandwich thrown away in the gym locker bathroom, and night I was too busy "studying" to eat dinner, I became more and more obsessed with food. (I know, pretty ironic). At first, this obsession only subtly invaded my mind, causing me to follow more food accounts on Instagram. But soon, it hit me at full force. I began to think of food during tests, drawing pictures of pizza and cupcakes instead of focusing on solving the equation. I began to spend hours scrolling through the food network website, bookmarking recipes I wished I could eat by the thousands. I began to dream about the smell of my grandmother's warm, oily parathas. My mind was taunting me, rubbing it in my face that it had something that I could not have. This is how the unquiet mind of an anorexic looks. An incessant swirl of hallucinations about sushi and pasta and chicken and ice cream... A deafening, chatty voice that refuses to go to sleep. And at a certain point, you can't take it anymore. The inability of your mind to shut up. The inability to have a meaningful conversation because you are preoccupied with your fantasies.
No one should have to deal with this loud buzzing. I wish I could tell you there is a simple way to pacify your fussy mind. I wish I could tell you that it was easier than the piece of cake you dreamt about last night. But I would be lying. The truth is that there is no easy way. There is only the most difficult path you will most likely face in your life. There is only recovery--the hardest, yet most rewarding mountain you will ever climb. But I can assure you that once you reach the peak, the view will be serene and breathtakingly silent for a change.