When I was around ten-years-old, I vaguely remember refraining from eating often and purging after I did eat. I grew up in a controlling environment where I could not properly manage to come to terms with my stress and find ways to relieve it. Those of you that understand what an eating disorder entails, knows that it is not just about your stress load. I kept my eating disorder a secret, but I did not realize exactly what I was doing to myself. I started purging in the shower, because I was able to hide it and do it quickly, which made me want to do it even more. I started skipping lunches and giving my lunches away to my friends, if only any of them knew what was going on. Around this time my body started slimming up rapidly, but most people thought it was due to early puberty and physical activity.
One day, I was out eating with a few family members when I decided to take a trip to the bathroom. I actually felt ill because of what I had ate, but one of my family members heard me purging and caught me in the act. She asked, “How long have you been doing that?” and I was so delirious that at first I had no idea what she was asking about. I told her that I felt sick, but ironically that is around the time I started such filthy habits. This occurrence is one of the first moments I realized what I was doing might be detrimental to my health.
Throughout the years, people asked me if I was eating and would follow me to the bathroom. I denied these accusations every single time, without any consideration that they were right. My family and friends have told me, after I came out with my illness, that they had known the entire time. My first thought to this statement was how come no one tried to stop me. The climax of my eating disorder occurred over the years when I worked in the fast food business. It was such a horrible environment, where I purged up to six times a day and restricted when I was in school. During these times, I also had severe anxiety and depression, but I never took the time to properly care for myself and decide what I actually needed.
While I was growing up, I also had a habit of choosing abusive lovers, which was detrimental to the way I viewed myself and my life. I do not blame my abusers for the pain I have carried, solely because it was my decision to let them into my life and give them the power to abuse me in the first place. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing to myself — and I did not believe anyone who did try to warn me. My eating disorder was ruining my life and was acting as a coping mechanism — which was actually killing me. I used to do many things that my E.D. took away from me. Singing in a school group was one of my favorite things to do at the time, but eventually I lost the power my voice used to bring. I also love running, but I can only go so long without stopping. My hair fell out, my skin flaked off, and acid reflux was a common visitor — all because I never got help. I still have problems that are long-lasting, which all could have been avoided.
I plan on writing more with a series, because this story's extent reaches eleven years and a few paragraphs will not tell you the whole truth. Eating disorders cripple you of hope, love, confidence, and any feeling that you are good enough. If you suffer with an E.D. or know someone that does, please call the NEDA helpline at (800)-931-2237. There are other measures and resources available, please look into them, they can save a life.