I’m up late at night thinking just how weird life is. A lot of memories good and bad are rushing back to me. I’m remembering the girl I was in high school compared to the woman I am becoming now, I was so selfish, immature, awkward, and dramatic. In high school I thought so many of the things that I do now like making love, smoking weed, and partying were morally wrong.
Is it supposed to be this way?
Is it normal for my values to change this much? Am I shaping to become the bright woman I am capable of being, or am I letting go of who I really am?
Sometimes I feel so outside of myself. Actually, I’ve never felt so unknown to my own mind and body in my entire life. And that scares me
Some of you know me, so I’m sorry if this makes you uncomfortable, but I have to release this off my chest.
I have an eating disorder.
And I need to tell my story because I think this terrible disease is keeping me from being the woman I want to be, and I think talking through it will help.
I’ve struggled with eating since I was about 11 to 12 years old. It started off with the doctors telling my mother I needed to lose a couple pounds and eat more vegetables.. watch my portions.. etc etc. Then, my family and I went on a couple diets together. And all the while they thought this was helping, that this was making me healthy. But little did they know that this was causing the hurt I felt and now currently feel about my body. Now fast forward to freshman year of college
I purged for the first time in my dorm bathroom.
I ate way too much that day, and I felt completely sick physically and mentally. And Ed crept into my mind saying, “I think since you actually feel sick it’ll be okay to purge just this one time.”
And after I did purge I realized how stupid it was. it was an awful, terrible feeling and I didn’t want to do it again, but at the same time it felt relieving and a weight was lifted. I didn’t have to worry about that frozen yogart I had after a full dinner anymore. My anxiety about food was taken care of (or so it seemed)
And that’s how it all started
It was pretty sporadic from that point on and I thought my purging wasn’t regular enough to “qualify” myself as bulimic. I went through almost my whole sophomore year without purging, but I didn’t eat healthy either. So I gained a little weight I think.
Now fast forward to this summer. For no particular reason Ed creeped into my mind again, but this time he was stronger than he had ever been before. And I began this never-ending cycle of restricting, exercising, and purging.
Here I was, standing in front of the toilet on a beautiful June day with my tooth brush in hand fully aware of what I was thinking about doing. I knew that if I really started doing this to myself that this would really be it. This might be the point where I will not be able to shake Ed off as easily as I did before. I knew it would really affect me body, mind, and soul. And what did I decide?
And from that day forward I have been purging on a weekly basis.
My eating disorder is like my safety blanket and worst enemy all at once. And unless you have an eating disorder yourself I don’t expect you to understand this.
It has taken over my mind and it makes me see things in ways I know aren’t coming from my true self or my true thoughts. This is hard to explain, but all I want is to escape this awful trap I am in. This terrible state of mind where I will never, ever be good enough. I hate the way it has made me feel about other people and myself
But at the same time hearing, “Emma wow you look great.” or “Wow! You look skinny” did not help the situation after returning to school these past few weeks. I know people have good intentions, but did I look ugly before or something? Was my overweight body making me not live up to my full beauty potential? and of course with Ed taking over my head, he answered those questions with a strong and powerful, “Yes”.
Not just a “yes” it was more like a, “Yes you were ugly before and now throwing up is finally working for you. Keep doing it. Because if you stop you’ll be fat and ugly,”
And that mindset is what I’m currently struggling with daily.
This brings me back to how I think I’m growing as a woman. Am I really changing to become the person I am capable of being or am I losing myself?
All I can do is slowly recover. Even though I don’t think I want to and even though I am going to constantly struggle with food and my body. I will fight this. I want to be a better person and I want to open up my mind to more possibilities other than concerning half my life with what I’m eating and how much I eat.
I can do this.