Eating Disorder

i remember when i was in 6th or 7th grade. i was a cheerleader, a cross country runner, just started doing musical theatre, and as any pre teen would be, i was emotionally unstable. i wanted an eating disorder. one of my cheerleading mates had commented on how much heavier i was than the other girl who got thrown up in the air. and it sent me over the edge. i knew i could change that. being a good friend meant making it easier on my friends to lift me. i made a pact to myself to make sure i stayed lower than 75lbs. but as i grew up, and went on to every new grade, i kept gaining 10 pounds. 75lbs in 7th grade, 85lbs in 8th grade 95lbs in 9th grade. it was just something i couldnt change, but i did everything i could to make that number stop growing. i was obsessed with the numbers. i would weigh myself every morning, and start the day off with an unhappiness. i would not eat in the morning. my parents caught on soon enough, forcing me to eat before i left to school - not taking me till i did. it was torture. i started to hate food. it meant "fat" to me. the thing is i know that i was never overweight. i was always underweight. i was a long distance runner. i dont know how i even did the exercise i did so obsessively, my body was completely depleted of nourishment...

i battled anorexia nervosa and bulimia. i was wrapped up in it for years. i had routines for myself to keep, obsessively. if i broke those promises to myself - to not eat, to run miles before school, during lunch, and after school - i would punish myself mentally. im not sure where or when i first learned of the word "perfection" but i was obsessed with embodying it - and somehow i had an image in my mind of what i "should" look like, and every day that i didnt look like it meant another day of excessive exercise and mental beratement in front of the mirror. which was everyday. 

i was never good enough. at anything. if i couldnt get myself "right" how could i be good at anything? at life? i know a lot of eating disorders stem from control issues. i wanted so bad to be in complete control of SOMETHING that it became what went in and out of my mouth. life is completely uncontrollable but i set out to prove that fact wrong. i could control me, and what i looked like 100% of the time and i was gunna die trying. one day i just didn't hide my purging well enough and my mom caught on. she heard the toilet flushing a few too many times, and from what i thought she just figured it out then and there... but she later confided that this was something she had been expressing to my teacher for a while, her fear of me having an eating disorder. (i was lucky to have a teacher who saw the signs, and helped me make the appropriate steps to make safe and conscious changes to my thought patterns.) something i thought i hid so well was completely obvious to so many. i was so ashamed. i was doing something wrong again. i wasnt hiding it good enough, i lost control, and i broke down. i hated everyone asking me what i ate today, it became everyones business, and all of this commotion of doctors and therapists, and teachers and everything just became immense. the therapy helped, but i was a mess. i was upset that my secret was exposed and i felt like i needed another... when you expose a hole, you fill it - and it led to more turmoil. i found other outlets to hurt myself. i look back at all the diagnosis' - bipolar, depression, anorexic, bulimic, cutter - i just kept tacking on as many labels as i could - i just wanted out of myself. i wanted to get away from the one person i was stuck with for the rest of my life...

no matter how many days, or years i put in front of my last anorexic decision, or bulimic choice, i am always recovering. it isn't something i get to not be. because its a disorder that is coming from an unhealthy thought pattern, i am forever going to have these thoughts. i am just getting better at witnessing them, and letting them go. they do not over take me, they do not run my everyday mental state like they once did. i battle everyday the opinion i have of my younger self - "she had so much self control" - oh wait, there i go thinking i was doing some thing "good" when i was causing so much pain on myself... these are the new struggles. i have to stop looking at my younger self as having some amazing self control that i wish i had now...

my journey is into my mind. less about how i got here, more about how i can healthfully control this vehicle im lucky to have. how can i love it more? how can i fill it up with the best there is and not deprive it of its necessary nourishment? the journey is a long one. we change because we want to. i didnt know it at the time but i truly didnt WANT to have the eating disorder. i wanted to love myself, and i mistakenly thought my mind was showing me the way to true self love. the mind isn't something to let run free without restraints. we 're all victim to it till we learn we have to tame it, that all our thoughts are not real, and certainly not all healthy or worth seeing through. its a powerful thing, and we must train it to be good to us. and even our minds wont be fully controllable, but id rather be obsessed about controlling my mind than letting it control me like it use to.