As I look in the mirror, what do I see? I do not see what you say you see. I see a description of ugly, a shade of distaste. Is this is truly me?
Body: What do I need to function?
There is a large community of people online who are recovering from eating disorders. It’s beautiful how so many different people, from so many different places, with so many vastly different lives can come together and support each other. Despite so many differences between all these people, a majority of them look up to Demi Lovato. And for good reason. Demi Lovato has been very open about her own journey and recovery from bulimia and has worked to open conversations about ending the stigma tied together with mental illness in society.
Living with an eating disorder has been one of the hardest things for me to learn to deal with. How to cope with it, live alongside it, and find ways to work with it rather than fighting against it.
I don’t look like I have an eating disorder. Like everything in the modern world, there’s a label for them. You’d better be able to see collarbones, thighs that don’t touch, arms with no fat, and a body with no curve. But unlike common opinion, eating disorders don’t have a certain look. Eating disorders could be smiling holding an ice cream cone on Instagram. Eating disorders could be dining in at an expensive steakhouse. Eating disorders could be grocery shopping in the cookie aisle. Eating disorders could look happy, but they aren’t. Eating disorders throw away that ice cream cone, eating disorders can’t finish the appetizer, eating disorders only fantasize about putting that box of cookies in its cart. Eating disorders can look one way, but come to find out, they are something else entirely.
People's favorite way to "fix" someone with an eating disorder seems to be to constantly remind the person that they are skinny, so what happens when someone who truly is not skinny struggles with disordered eating? Depending upon who you ask, you will of course receive different answers to this question, but I am here to tell you my experience.
You know that little voice inside your head that makes you feel guilty for eating too much? For some of us that voice turns on us and makes us not eat or throw up. Most people just ignore that voice but other people, well they just can’t make the voice go away. They have to do what the voice says like me. Actually I learned that voice doesn’t control me. I learned it’s okay to eat a little extra and that I don’t have to be skinny. The voice still makes me feel guilty at times and I can’t resist and then it’s back with the uphill climb.
As I write this, I am in a full-scale binge mode. At times like this, I am so distressed I feel as though I want to die, or as though I may die because the amount of food that I consume appears to be more than my body can take. It physically hurts.
On February 21, 2018 I started a program to take back my life from my eating disorder. I had my ED for about a year without even realizing. I was so down on my body and thought the only way to change that was to make myself throw up. Throughout the years, I tried to restrict more and more — not allowing myself to have certain foods, and if I did making sure that I was purging right after. My mom eventually caught on, she asked and asked if I have ever purged and I told her that I would never do that. I began lying to myself. Just one more time, I told myself. I became depressed and didn’t want to go anywhere because if I did I would be forced to eat in front of people which is something that made me feel very uncomfortable. I truly believed that I had it under control. I weighed myself multiple times throughout the day and would lie to my mom about it. I began to feel more and more dizzy and felt ashamed of the way I looked. I felt more depressed and felt like I was lying to the people I loved. I had completely shut down.
Bulimia is not proud! It doesn’t care how rich you are, how old you are, or where you live; it doesn’t even care whether you’re married or single, a Uni student, stay-at-home Mum, or in charge of a huge corporation.
I was a really happy child. I loved life and never stopped laughing... until I started high school.