I am not sure how it started; however, it was around 12 years of age. I was not fat but I was not thin. I was short for a ballet dancer so I was not as long and lean as the others. I was envious of them. At first, I would just cry because my body was betraying me and changing despite the lack of food I was eating, or the latest diet I was trying so that I had the body I so desired.
The diets were not working because no matter what the number said on the scale I saw something different in the mirror. I loathed what I saw. I knew something had to be done. I started starving myself. I loved the control of starving myself. I loved the pain I felt when my stomach would hurt from not eating for days. I felt in control.
But something would always trigger a binge! I would get a grade that was not good enough, I messed up in ballet class, I was not perfect enough…then I would binge for hours on secret stashes of food. I would push down all the emotions I been holding onto with food.
Now, the guilt would set in and the loath would rush to me! I had to do something in order to make this mess go away. The answer seemed simple. I would just throw it up. There the cycle began. I would starve, binge, purge until I was at my first breaking point.
We attempted to get me help at the age of 14; however, there was not much out there in 1989. I saw a therapist. We worked through the emotional eating, the binging, the purging and so forth but I could never get a handle on it. I would do well for a while and then I would struggle.
I was good at hiding it. My husband knew I had it but he did not know when I was struggling with it because I was so good with the lies. So, 32 years later, I was still dealing with damn disease. I swore I would never allow my children to see me like this but I was getting sloppy and, they knew something was not right.
It all came to ahead in July. I was falling apart, and I really needed help in so many areas. I had one foot over the edge so I checked myself into the hospital; however, I did not do it for the eating disorder. I was not quite ready to give that up.
During my stay in the hospital, I worked on so many other demons. I got the help I needed to live the life I really wanted to live. I did well with my eating so I figured I was cured of the eating disorder….
Nope, I needed to decided once and for all to get help for that. I needed to decide it was not the life I wanted to have anymore. It will be something I will struggle with forever; however, I take it day by day. Sometimes minute by minute. I do a lot of journaling and self-reflection. I work with a therapist weekly and most of all I communicate with my loved ones about my feelings instead of pushing them inside of myself with food.
Eating Disorders suck! They suck yourself worth. They ruin your life and they can kill you. I have health problems because my eating disorder that I will have to live with for the rest of my life. I now have to gain trust where I have lost it, and I have to build myself up where I have torn myself down.
I encourage you to get the help you need if you are struggling with an eating disorder call the Eating Disorders National Hotline at 855-835-0198. Do not feel ashamed to ask for help. Also, feel free to reach out to me and we can talk but get the help you need. Don’t let 32 years of your life slip away!