So, I have been in this abusive relationship for far too long. Throughout this long term affair I was controlled and had my personal perception totally distorted. Oddly enough, this relationship was with myself.
It started out so simple, with the desire to tone up and eat healthy. Unfortunately, it manifested into this self-loathing battle with my inner demons. I began to skip meals. I then began going entire days without food. I went through months of restricting to a handful of calories per day. Then I started to encounter certain stressors in my life and these triggers made my disorder worse. This is where my story takes a more evil turn.
I ate to numb out my feelings. I ate to take my mind of stress. I ate to do something. My disorder had spiraled into this mountain that I couldn’t even attempt to climb!
I repulsed myself. I wouldn’t even wear shorts around my house due to the fear I may get a glimpse of myself in a mirror. I got to this dark place where I didn’t want to leave the house. I wanted to lounge in bed self-loathing all day, every day.
I was drowning in this plethora of perfectionism. I became a slave to this disorder, My thought pattern became so distorted that I thought if I gained a pound I couldn’t go anywhere. This included catching up with friends, daily chores, everything!
Nobody ever suspected that I was suffering. I was never a sickly thin frame with protruding bones. Nor did I have fat rolls bulging through my clothes. This conveys that eating disorders come in all shapes and sizes. The only thing they have in common is misery.
I either ate everything or ate nothing. The fear of having no control terrified me. When I think of my bulimia tricks they were absolutely absurd!!! The worst was when I would consume diuretics like a normal person would eat a packet of sweets. It felt like I was being consumed by an outer body experience.
Binge, cry, exercise, binge, cry, exercise! This was the vicious cycle I couldn’t escape.
My personality changed. I was no longer this bubbling ray of sunshine; I was a horrid, anxious mess. I lost interest in family, friends, hobbies and dreams. I became infatuated with food. I was so infatuated with losing weight I would spend my recreational time researching ‘diets’ or working out. My mind was fixated on my weight and nothing else. I despised any activity or hobby I previously adored.
Throughout these months of gloom I was experiencing anxiety attacks regularly. It was something I battled with since developing the disorder. This cloud of gloom had consumed me. I was lifeless, lonely and low. There was no escape and I felt totally worthless. I felt that I didn’t deserve happiness. So I shut out all potential joy – family-time, friendships, relationships, outings, everything!
I always had perfectionist tendencies. If I wasn’t the best, I must have been worthless. Any personal mistake or criticism from other people exacerbated my eating problems. I was drowning in my fear of failure.
I battled through this eating disorder by myself and finally managed to retrieve my zest for life. When you battle with this you truly figure out your genuine friends. The isolation was terrifying and some people didn’t even try to understand what I was experiencing.
I would urge anyone not to fight alone. It’s a dark, somber place. There is help available – avail of it.
The fear of failure is always something I will battle with. But by removing my mask and exposing my problems I am walking into freedom. You are only as sick as your secrets!
Recovery is like two steps froward and one step back. I don’t care as long as I am going forward in some way and being able to reclaim my happiness. Being able to sit down with my loved ones and thoroughly enjoy a family meal or go to lunch with friends without being anxious is something I really appreciate now.
A life with an eating disorder is not a life!