Here we go again. Another year. Another blog. But what’s different this time around? I am no longer writing for comedic relief. I’ve thrown my arms up in the air and have given up trying to make light of situations for the sake of a few chuckles. The truth is, I am finally ready to open up and share the truth. I want to be vulnerable and raw, and it is my hope that opening up and creating this new blog will help to hold myself accountable to my own recovery.
Yes, I admit it, I have had numerous relapses into my eating disorder (let’s refer to it as Ed for the time being). Over the past year (ish), two of my loved ones have died, suddenly. Instead of allowing myself to grieve, I threw myself into work and school. I took the reigns at home, helping my family to cope with their own grief. In short, I thought I was superwoman. So how did my mind cope with all of this? Well, it’s my belief that Ed was my coping mechanism. Because I was unable to accept the loss of my loved ones, I used binging and purging as a mechanism to numb myself from the pain.
Some people rely on drugs or alcohol. My substance of choice? Food. Food was a way to sooth myself. An attempt to fill the void that I felt inside. If I could just stuff myself full of food, perhaps I could stuff those feelings deep down inside me as well. Fine. But what about after my binge, and feeling as if I’d lost control? How could I reverse the damage I’d done? I had to keep up appearances. In my attempt to regain control I would run to the washroom, plunging my head into the toilet, and my fingers into the depths of my esophagus. Forcing myself to purge, reversing the damage that had been done.
I was no stranger to this binge and purge cycle. Ed had been tormenting me, on and off for 10 years. With periods of time where I’d honestly thought I had kicked it to the curb. It wasn’t until I sat on the floor of my shower after vomiting blood that I decided enough was enough. I’ve spent the last decade of my life allowing food to control me. Ed is a very isolating disease. I can’t even count the number of times I have avoided social situations, cancelled on dates at the last minute, and retreated into myself so that I could be alone with Ed. Because at the end of the day, how could anybody truly love or understand somebody as fucked up as me, right?!? Wrong!
So what was I going to do? Clearly, I had been unable to help myself overcome Ed. I needed to gain an outside perspective. I opened up to my doctor and was referred to a specialist. Somebody who had done the leg work to understand the psychology behind Ed. As I sat in the office opening up about my fears, my eyes scanned a nearby bookshelf. The shelves were filled with medical journals and research on Ed. It was in that moment that I was able to take a step back and fully recognize the weight of the situation. I had always thought that Ed was my dirty little secret. Something that I’d battled alone for so many years, that nobody could relate to. But here I sat, looking at dozens, maybe hundreds of research papers and articles on Ed. It was then that I realized, I am not alone.
So here I am. Mere weeks into recovery. Again. Writing this blog to share my experiences with all of you. I believe that through my vulnerability and my honesty, I will truly and finally free myself from Ed. Forever. I know the journey is not going to be an easy one, but I believe in myself and I am willing to put in the effort to ensure that my health and my self love are my number one priority. And perhaps, in the process, I might be able to help you too…