“Skeleton” by Jessie Paege
Trigger Warnings & Themes:
Eating disorders: anorexia/purging, mental health.
Empowerment, recovery, triumph, growth.
“I don’t know how to feed myself
A perfect body can’t fix a broken brain
This insanity keeps playing over and over and over
Throwing up my problems won’t make ’em go away
And I’m so scared when I’m feeling hungry
But am I more afraid of finally feeling okay?
But I’m not gonna let you turn me to a skeleton, skeleton
You just wanna throw me back into your head again, head again
You just wanna leave me with no body, and nobody
But I’m not gonna let you turn me to a skeleton, skeleton
I need to apologize to my body
Will you forgive me for everything I’ve done?
All the secrets that I’d hide, late nights
Triggered by truth and triggered by the lies…
And I’m so scared when I’m feeling hungry
But am I more afraid of slowly fading away?
Rest…..in…..peace, my disease
Rest…in…peace, my disease
Rest in peace, my disease
So, I didn’t actually fall in love with this song the first or second time that I heard it. It was released by the Youtuber and proud mental health advocate and LGBTQA+ community member Jessie Paege back in January this year (2020). But the more that I listened to it, the more that I saw and read the lyrics, the more I fell in love with the message about bringing awareness to a heavily misunderstood and stigmatized and even deadly mental health condition (eating disorders) as well as the story of immense and ongoing triumph over ED’s and moving forward in recovery. It’s honestly an immensely empowering, powerful and beacon of light type of song.
In it, Jessie describes her struggles with her ED and what she became aware of losing if she were to give into her ED voice and do as it says.
I’m thankful that she hasn’t and is continuously choosing not to to this day.
I, myself, have never experienced an ED. I have followed social media influencers who have struggled with them, read about them in forums and read over personal anecdotes from people who have at one point or another struggled deeply with them. I have friends from my day program who have struggled firsthand with EDs and I know that they are certainly no walk in the park. They are debilitating, serious and distressing conditions that, when unleashed recklessly by the disorders themselves, can consume an entire person’s identity and world, vastly warping their reality and so very often taking lives as they convince the owner that they don’t need help or that they can get better “on their own.”
A lot of times, for a lot of mental health conditions, we need to accept and know when to ask for help. If you are struggling with an eating disorder, I highly encourage checking out some of these awareness based websites and hotlines:
- Important calling information (pictured and highlighted below)
- NEDA’s page on ED Awareness Week (Feb. 24th-Mar 1st 2020)
- Teen Line for Youth with EDs
- ED Hope
- In particular these infographics from NEDA stood out to me: EDs and Co-Morbidity, EDs in Men, & EDs and Bullying and Weight Shaming
Contact the Helpline (USA) for support, resources and treatment options for yourself or a loved one.
Helpline phone hours are Monday-Thursday from 11AM to 9PM ET, and Friday from 11AM to 5PM ET.
Helpline chat hours are Monday-Thursday from 9AM to 9PM ET and Friday 9AM to 5PM ET.
Helpline volunteers are trained to help you find the information and support you are looking for. Reach out today! Or for crisis situations, text “NEDA” to 741741 to be connected with a trained volunteer at Crisis Text Line.
You may reach the Helpline at
Additionally, because I am also writing a mental health based fanfic story, I have done some amounts of research for that through incorporating things I’ve heard or seen others use to describe their experiences. If you are interested in reading about a Loki centered Avengers mental health fanfic, delving deeply into depression, anorexia and suicidality, you can find it here:
But besides all of that, I’d like to finish this post with a few last words. Although I’ve never struggled with the pain and suffering evoked by living with an eating disorder, I have a lot of empathy and some baseline of understanding when it comes to the struggle. I, myself, was once bullied in school for how thin I presented. I still find it too triggering to look back on photos of myself from before 2018 where I gained weight due to an increased medication dose to treat my other mental health conditions. Although I am far happier and far more stable at my current weight, it was a shift and sometimes continues to be a shift to this day.
I know and I remember that when I was “thin” it wasn’t all this glamor and loveliness that my mind paints it to be. I know that I wasn’t happy and I wasn’t actively trying to lose weight despite how underweight I was. As part of the depression I live with, I had a lack of appetite and can only recall a handful of times over four years that I’d almost feel “good” about not having to eat or not caring to because I was planning to end my life in other ways. (Which, really isn’t all that great either!)
But when I look back on old videos or photos (which I make it a point NOT to do these days, avoidance is my biggest behavioral issue) I do “miss” what I once had. Even though it was terrible and shitty. I’ve never acted on it and the medication I’m on has actually increased my appetite and I know that it’s such a vulnerability factor to go a while without eating (like with sleeping and other generalized PLEASE skills from DBT) a proper meal and I don’t really tailor my food intake to a healthy degree (which I probably should, but I feel I’d have to see a nutritionist about it because I won’t do it by myself, or who knows, maybe I’ll turn a new leaf by looking at cooking blogs or something–I basically need a higher level of accountability, to be honest) rather “healthier” options (vegetables, fruits, etc.) but when I do see myself at lower weights or others at low weights, it messes with my brain a little. I find myself wanting to “go back” to that, even though I know it wasn’t glamorous or this glorified thing that my brain likes to paint it as (as it does with other issues in my life, thanks Brain!)
That’s as far as I’m able to relate, however. While I may have wandering thoughts or emotions about the topic of eating and overall food choices, I recognize that I lack the behavioral aspects of it and thus am not claiming to have struggles with an eating disorder. I cannot imagine that level of pain and mental torture each day as eating is such an overwhelming need to face multiple times a day. Or, maybe in some ways I am able to imagine it, I just haven’t had the lived experiences to match. Which, I want to make sure I don’t ever land into that category of “needing to experience it to understand it” (again, a lot of my other mental health conditions or warped brain processes are to blame for that issue) when empathy can go a long way and education and awareness can get me the extra few miles.
I don’t want to minimize or trivialize disorders as intense and distressing as eating disorders or disordered eating in general. They are absolute hell.
And I still believe that recovery from them is possible. I think, like with other mental health conditions in general (depression, bipolar, anxiety, OCD, BPD, etc.), that recovery is not necessarily a destination rather an ongoing choice each day to maintain wellness–physically and mentally–and to choose to tackle a situation that is causing harm and pain and suffering. I don’t believe EDs are a choice, there are so many factors and no one in their right state of mind would choose to have an ED. I do believe, as I do with many other conditions, that the recovery and treatment portions of the disease are choices. And I recognize that it is so complex and multi-faceted. It’s not as easy as “just eating” or going without several layers of multiple jumping loops. And ED’s themselves have so many reasons and beginning points, while also having similar ways of treating them and they are treatable, if the person is willing and ready to embark on that recovery journey.
For me, when it comes to watching some of the content of these creators in the limelight that sometimes border on glamorizing these conditions, I’m going to try my best to stay away and avoid them. I don’t want to be triggering myself into something so much larger than my own experiences. So I’m really going to try and stop and the process of that, like anything else, will have its ups and downs. What matters is that I keep trying. Ultimately the decision to get better is up to the one suffering from the condition. I have to learn to accept that there’s little I can do as an outside supporter. It sucks, it’s hard and it’s critical. It’s okay to take breaks and to distance myself from things that threaten my own well-being. The same is true for you, too. ❤
Some other great ED related Youtube channels that I’ve watched or could recommend include:
Finally, back to the song, I can relate to the emotion behind the song if not exactly the way it is acted upon. I think the song is catchy and has an extreme importance of a message in today’s society and those out there who may be struggling and trying to find their voice. I love the idea of the “funeral” for the ED, that now it’s time for Jessie, for the Listener, to take their power and wreak havoc out of what’s left of the ED. The idea of leaving it behind and recognizing that it doesn’t bear in mind the Survivor’s best interests is hugely critical. (It actually reminds me of the process I went through with “The Line” by The Dear Hunter for my mental health conditions back in the day).
Because, no, the ED is lying to you. No, the ED will never be satisfied. No, the ED won’t ever realize when enough is “enough.” The Survivor may experience moments of “bliss” between reaching “goal weights” yet there will always be another one set up thereafter. ED’s are bitches that need to be punched in the face. Tis the best treatment for any mental health condition. 😉
And I also want to reiterate that ED’s can happen to anyone at any size, weight, struggle, SES, gender, identity, sexuality, race, ethnicity etc. Eating disorders do not discriminate. They are damaging and they are serious, serious conditions ranging from minor/mild to quite severe. If you think you or someone you know is struggling with an ED, please check out the websites above or the hotlines or Google them or call or check out videos or articles online that describe other people’s experiences and what helped them and then ask the one you care about those tough and necessary questions.
And if you are struggling, please know that you are strong enough to get through this and that you can one day be happy, genuinely happy, and that you’re going to be so proud of yourself when you’re able to reach a stabler mental state. It will be worth it. YOU are worth it. You have the power in you to get better and you’re gonna be so bright and light one day. You’ve got this. Keep fighting. xxx
Overall, thank you so much for reading this post, this song’s lyrics and the power and importance sang about it. Check out the resources and the people I’ve linked above! Thank you again. xxx
❤ ❤ ❤
PS I should mention, I’ve made it a point in my life to never count calories or exercise (which the latter is turning into more and more of a problem at work, I really need to improve this! D: Because actually having work where I need to use my muscles and strength to lift things is another factor in why I wouldn’t behaviorally act out in trying to do anything unhealthy to myself, luckily.)