Published on: January 17, 2016 at: 7:54 pm
Hello Dear you!
It has been a while since i wrote here, nothing to apologize… you see, sometimes life gives us challenges to become better persons or just learn about our mistakes.
As i said i’m not here to apoligize, i want to explain my situation. But it is harder than i thought it would be.
My story is not that different from most people with an eating disorder. My struggle with bulimia fits the textbook definition and the similarities between my story and others are uncanny. But to me, it is unique, it is different and it is extremely personal. And my recent journey into recovery has been the proudest, most difficult accomplishment of my life.
I am currently 25 years old and I have had issues with my weight and my self-esteem since junior high. I have always been social, and with a strong personality when it comes to my future and goals.
As I entered high school, the concern I had about my body grew stronger. I didn’t look like the other girls, i didn’t fit in groups and the struggle of learning a new language and culture made all these strange and overwhelming feelings stronger.
After many situations & mean words by members of my family and people said about the way i looked .. i started to hate my body.
One day i put my hair back into a ponytail, knelt over the toilet and made myself sick. I wish, with all my heart, that I could tell every young girl or boy who is contemplating that very action for the first time (or the action of skipping a meal) – not to succumb. That it may seem like a great way to control your weight, but instead it wreaks havoc on your body. That you may think you’ll only do it once in a while, but like any addiction it will become your life. I wish I could tell them to say NO to that first, not so powerful, urge. To get out while they still can.
My on again, off again relationship with bulimia and anorexia throughout high school was not something I considered serious – at the time. It was my coping mechanism something I could fall back on when I was feeling fat, stressed or upset. I would go for weeks without making myself sick or starving myself, the pattern was incredibly sporadic. I was in complete control of my bulimia. When I was 22 – bulimia gained control over me. I had just graduated. Society was expecting me to ‘go out and get a job’. Along with a job, I was supposed to get an income, a place to live and to support myself completely independently for the first time in my life. I was terrified. At this very time I was busy feeling rejected and worthless. My very first relationship was extremely bad and again living in a new country all alone wasn’t easy. It was not a great phase for me. I sank into a very depressive-like state. I didn’t eat, I didn’t sleep and I spent my time either crying or working extremely long hours to not feel pain or think too much about my situation. As a result I began to lose weight. I didn’t even realize at first that I was getting smaller. My friends and family did. Everyone kept telling me how great I looked, but I couldn’t see it. Until i actually started seeing on my clothes and the way i ate; i was extremely picky with food.
Once I realized how much weight I had lost – I also realized I could never gain it back. When I had been heavier, I had been deemed ‘unlovable’. This is when I started seriously making see how long I could go without eating. Each day I would wake up, determined to beat my record from the day before. If I succeeded I would reward myself with a bowl of cereal (which more often than not, would lead into a binge and purge because I had starved myself the entire day). This behaviour was not only a way to control my weight; it was a way to control my emotions. I had so many overwhelming feelings at this time in my life, and no idea what to do with them. Bingeing and purging was a temporary release for me, although I realize now that each bulimic episode was only intensifying my feelings.
I continued spiraling downwards, constantly finding new methods of self-torture.
I often scared myself with the intensity of my abusive actions. I consider myself a very loving, caring person and would never inflict harm on anyone. But I was certainly capable of inflicting harm on myself. I reflect back to this time as a very painful, lonely period in my life. I had no ability to look toward the future; all I knew was that this ‘behaviour’ was my life. This began to change during one very remarkable weekend. Two important things happened that weekend.
One was that my mother stumbled across my ‘secret’. She and my sisters has turned out to be my rocks. They have been so supportive and affirmative throughout my entire journey.
After several heart wrenching talks with my mom, sisters; I began a roller coaster of a journey. I explored several therapists and support groups before finding a good fit.
I’m working with an amazing dietitian who is helping me to rediscover the importance of food. I’m having intense sessions with a counselor who assisted me in confronting my issues.
I went up, I went down. I have days that I feel on top of the world. I feel in control, healthy and happy. I also have days where I hit rock bottom.
“I would scream at myself in the mirror not to succumb to the urge, and end up in a puddle of tears on the bathroom floor. ”
I’m beginning to make time for myself and understand that i’m actually sick. I learning the importance of self-care and also to let go of self-abuse.
I’m learning a lot ; my battle with bulimia has been the hardest battle i have ever got but i’m getting stronger, i’ll be better.
I have a huge personal strength, which is more phenomenal than I ever would have realized.
I have also realized that the people in my life are more supportive and understanding than I could have ever known. My family & close friends have been by my side through each phase of this journey – never once casting judgment or anger my way.
The most important thing about this journey is that i’m learning how to appreciate myself as a person, not as how I look. My mother’s catch phrase ‘beauty comes from the inside’ does not fall on deaf ears anymore.
Beauty is not a pimple-free face, or a tiny waist, or shiny hair, or any other airbrushed quality we witness daily in the media. It is who you are on the inside. And though I am proud of discovering who I am through my struggle, my greatest hope is that others will never have to work through an eating disorder to discover who they are.
I will get better, you will get better!
Thank you for reading.