My Story: Eating Disorders
** The names have been taken out of this piece for the sake of anonymity. This story was shared with me and I agreed to post it without a name**
Peptobismal pink walls a shower curtain and a porcelain toilet bowl. Every night I would repeat the cycle of avoiding food and calories until I had family dinner at six o’clock. We’d smile and eat the meal mom prepared for us, usually some kind of pasta or chicken or veggies. She’d always say we didn’t eat enough and we’d sit at the table until we cleared our plates. After dinner, I’d casually walk upstairs to our bathroom and close the door behind me. I was alone with the scale, the mirror, and the porcelain bowl. I’d purge whatever was for dinner and sit on the tile floor for a while until I stood up and examined myself in the mirror. I was never thin enough.
My endeavors with Anorexia and Bulimia began when I was only eleven years old. I was in sixth grade.
I was never fat. I wasn’t a chubby kid. I had friends. I hung out with the popular group. I was invited to parties. I wore cute clothes. I could run and keep up with the boys in PE class. I had my first kiss young. I always hung out with older kids. I got attention. People liked me. However, no one was aware of the issues I was facing on my own. For the longest time, I had been talking to a guy who was three and half years older than me. He said that he cared about me and, as an eleven/ twelve year old, I believed that he loved me and that we would be together forever. I know, it’s completely unrealistic. But anyways, disregard my stupidity, without knowing it I still had the dreamlike, idyllic view of love and disregarded the immature and insensitive attitudes of teenage boys.
When I was eleven years old, I was told for the first time that I was not good enough. Now, I was a strong girl, but hearing I was not good enough from a guy that I considered to be “the one”, I was crushed. He was almost 15 and a freshman in high school while I was only beginning middle school. He told me I was prude and wasn’t his type. (Do 15 year old boys have types by the way?) I wanted his attention and so I told him that I’d work on it.
He was my first kiss. He was the first guy that bought my movie ticket for me. He went out for pizza with me. He asked me to hang out all the time and I lied to spend time with him. My parents had no idea that their little, naive 6th grader was actually making out with a high school guy in a PG-13 movie and wearing thongs, lacy bras, and had no original intention of telling the truth or going to the movies with that girl from math class.
When I was eleven he told me that I was, as he said, “a worthless piece of s***” when he was drunk at a party we were at. That was the first time I ran to the restroom and emptied my stomach until my throat was burning of stomach acid and my head was dizzy. And, to tell you the truth, I felt better.
To cut to the chase, our relationship over the years became sexually, mentally, emotionally, and physically abusive. I don’t say this to make you hate men or so you feel bad for me, but to explain my actions. Food was my control. Exercise was in my power to control. My body was the only thing in my life that wasn’t spinning out of control. I continued to receive the same attention from friends at schools and guys. However, the guy I “loved” made me feel horrible about living on the planet Earth and for breathing. Without drawing too much attention, I progressively became more and more obsessed with the scale, BMI, thisporation, the way clothes fit, the way I looked in the mirror, calories, when I ate and how much, and exercise.
I went from weighing 110 pounds and being 5’4 to weighing 84 pounds by the time I was thirteen. For a while, I stopped getting my period and I had fainting spells. I was emaciated and I still wasn’t thin enough, but I was gaining control. The abusiveness of the situation with my relationship intensified, but I continued to hide my relationship and my obsession with my baggy clothes and by lying.
When I was in eighth grade, my sister heard me purging my dinner in the restroom and knew that it couldn’t be the fifth day in a row that I was “sick”. She told mom. I was enrolled in group eating disorder therapy and individual therapy Spring of my eighth grade year. Since, I have spent the past six years controlling my illness. Anorexia and Bulimia are both all consuming mental illnesses that effect girls, and boys, all over the world. It is an illness that I will continue to struggle with for the rest of my life.
I was very angry and I endured immense psychological damage at an early age. I know that for the rest of my life my eating disorder will linger in my life. It is an every day struggle that I trudge through for the sake of my own health and happiness. I shared my story with you so that you can relate if you are struggling with an eating disorder or if you know someone who is going through this. It is a day by day recovery process and it is very important to receive help. I can happily say that I now weigh a healthy 107 pounds and enjoy working out on a regular basis. I frequently communicate with doctors on my nutrition and maintain work to maintain a healthy BMI. I have not purged or gone without eating since Spring of my Freshman year of high school and, I can proudly say, I graduated one year ago. I hope that you realize that you are not alone and that you can control aspects of your life, including your body, in healthy, less obsessive ways if you get help.