In the early hours of Monday morning—1230am-330am to be exact—I was so awake it triggered the thoughts I used to have at the same time of night, starving, and avoiding hunger by connecting with others on MPA. If that is not familiar, than you probably have never found yourself in such a desperate situation in the trenches of an eating disorder, not wanting to give it up, but wanting to be heard or feel less alone. Or inside the panic of breaking a self-imposed calorie rule or exercise rule or purging rule and needing to know you haven’t ruined everything. At least, that’s how I found it a dozen years ago and how I found it again several years ago.

When I’m in a healthy spot, I don’t seek it out. I ban it from myself. When I’m feeling disconnected, I’ve noticed, I start to think about opening it back up. I use it when something is missing.

I use it to trigger myself. I use it to tell myself it’s normal—look at all these people doing what I’m doing. I use it to be competitive. I use it to receive support. I use it to receive and give understanding, validation, and empathy.

I went there at 2 in the morning. Stomach hurting and hungry. Thoughts spinning with hateful body image chatter. And it felt relieving. It was distracting and comforting.

I’ve gone before in recovery and felt absolutely terrible and swore I’d never open it up again.

I think that’s adult me. Shocked that all of it even exists. But teen me feels better in that rebellious space. Teen me feels better inside the eating disorder. Teen me doesn’t even want help. Or hugs. Or love. Just…. fuck off.

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