I will try to keep this as concise and to the point as possible and spare you from all the boring details, However, if there is a section you would care for me to elaborate on, please ask!
Childhood- It was great! Great parents, amazing brother, grandparents, lots of love and support. Safe home, we took vacations, had great holidays, ate good food and loved life. No traumatic stories which in some ways makes me feel more guilty because I was so lucky to have such a great upbringing that all the shit I put myself through was really just me. I am not undermining what I have been through. I believe everyone does what they can with what they have, you use your resources to the best of your ability.
Fast forward to 14- I feel like this is the life changing age for girls. So many female friends of mine had lots of shifts, especailly around food between 13 and 15.(puberty is a bitch- so are girls in highschool) It was at this time I began my quest towards anorexia. It started slowly – as it does for most. I had always been pretty active and my dad was very active and had a gym in our basement, where he spent and hour or two most nights of the week and followed that time up with a protein shake, so I had what could have been a healthy example set in place for me but I tend to take things to extreme. I went on my first diet with my mom at 14, the cabbage soup diet. I remember going to the river with a group of friends and they stopped and got cheese stuffed crust pizza from pizza hut and my mom and I had spinach with a hard boiled egg and mustard for dressing. While the pizza smelled SO good, it didn’t feel as good as the attention I got for not eating it, or the feeling of having complete control over my food and knowing I was causing myself a little bit of pain and discomfort was so much more gratifying. I began to realize how altering my food and exercise dramatically changed my body. I lost weight and got attention- I liked it.Over the next 3 years I slowly started pulling away from all my peers. I stopped going out go lunch on school lunch breaks and instead said I was “trying to save money” so I could go home , workout in our basement then eat a very calorie controlled meal. I had to have complete control over my food so I began cooking all our dinners. If I didn’t see a barista make my latte I was certain she was using half and half instead of fat free milk and regular syrup instead of sugar free, so I typically just threw it away, I couldn’t risk those calories, despite being so thin people started staring at me in public. My life was no longer a life. I counted every calorie I consumed, I was constantly ridden with fear and anxiety, of practically everything. I would hide food, lie about what I had eaten, cound and re count my calories, spend house on the treadmill, obsessing on the calorie counter portion- I had no idea how miserable I was, until I threw up.
My transition into bulimia was also slower but not as slow as anorexia. Eventually I started eating food at night, I would not eat for as long as possible during the day, work out for hours, then when night came………..it was ON. I would usually start with eating all the raisens out of the raisen bran box, then maybe a few nuts, then turkey in mayo, then some whole wheat tortillas, then maybe some granola bars, maybe back to some turkey and maybe, then some toast with peanut butter, then maybe a pudding cup or 3, then back to salty with some wheat thins, maybe loaf of French bread, ice cream……..I just kept shoveling it into my mouth in almost a comotose state. I didn’t taste the food, I didn’t feel the food (until it hurt) but what I did get was an escape. It was like during this time of night all my anxiety went away as long as the food was going in, I finally felt ok, calm, quiet, feelings I never got to feel in normal life.
Food became my solution, my coping skill, my life. Those nightly binges were something I looked forward to. It was my “me” time. Time for me to really get grounded even though the whole reason I was doing it was to not feel or think about anything.
After weeks and weeks of late night binging , I threw up. I threw up and I felt a sense of relief and fear. Feeling like I had finally found the answer to life, that i could finally eat food and not feel guilty, but also in the back of my mind knowing I had crossed into new territory- that wasn’t safe. After that it was only a short matter of time before I lost all control over my food, how and what I ate, when I would and wouldn’t throw up, it was all gone.Nights on end I would, gorge myself to the point of wondering if my stomach was going to rupture, of literally falling into bed in the fetal position because the pain was so bad. I thought I was crazy before but that was nothing compared to the insanity I felt during binges. Times I thought I would literally kill someone if they disrupted me, my binge time. Frantically driving through town, looking for a fast food place to get more food, as many dollar burgers and milkshakes as I could without getting weird looks then frantically driving to a gas station so I could throw up. Then the cycle would continue. If I was trapped at home I would eat from the garbage can. If I couldn’t find a bathroom I tried keeping empty bottles around so I could throw up in them. I was losing my mind- then I found alcohol.
Alcohol………..I love you. You make me not want to eat, you quiet my mind. I love you.Age 18.
Just know that if you ever thing your life is terrible and it can’t get any worse…..add alcohol, and it most certainly can.
Age 22- kicked out of detox centers, dropped out of college, lost all friends, had severe DT’s, puking bile every morning, fired from all my jobs, needing at least two shots of alchol just to stand up and stop shaking in the morning. I waited at winco to get into cars with anyone buy beer, I was kicked out of every place I lived. I ripped a catheter out and left ama from one of my several stays in the hospitals. I didn’t give a shit about anyone or anything. I lied , I stole, just give me what I want- more alcohol. Every action I took, every friend I had, every decision i made was based off of getting alcohol, or recovering from a raging hangover or knowing I was going to get so drunk I needed to be sure i had several hours to be alone so no one could disturb me.
The ironic thing about addictions, and in my case with food and alcohol, was it comepletely created this wall, kept people at a certain distance from myself and yet all I wanted from age 14, when it all began, was to feel wanted, valued and accepted. I wanted friends and to be close to people, yet I was constantly putting up a wall and shutting off emotions and feelings that allow for real relationships to develop. Every day was a battle. ‘I dont want to throw up , I dont want to drink. I’m going to go to class, I am going to go to the gym, I will get a good job, if i just lose a little weight i will be ok, why can’t I look like her, I will never be good enough, i am such a fuck up….I began alsomost every day with some form of self defeating talk. I hated who I was, what I was doing, but I felt so out of control, like there was no other way.
Two treatment centers, a handful of lost relationships, debt, and wrecked cars later I got sober. 7-25-09.
My life isn’t perfect, but holy shit, it is pretty good! I have a place to live where I pay rent and have been for over two years now. I am realiable and honest. I haven’t been fired in years. I have real relationships where people trust and count on me. I pay bills, I shower, I talk about my feelings, and just feel lighter. It just takes times. It takes time to figure yourself out, how you respond, how you feel about foods, people, places. We are all in this together, all figuring it out. I have ups and downs, I am constantly learning and growing. I did not go into all this detail and ramble on to brag , for pity or for any other reason that to hopefully describe some feelings or situations that you can relate to. I feel like people are so shamed into talking about their real thoughts and struggles, like if you vocalize all the crazy thats going on upstairs you will be shunned- I want to break that. I will be as authentic and honestly with you as humanly possible. I will give to you all the knowledge and experience I can. I want to hear from you. I want to talk about real shit.
If you have any questions about anything mentioned above please ask! .. This is a sick and twisted mind game we are in. You can’t always trust your thoughts but you can learn from them.
I am alive, I am healthy, I am loved and in love. Everything is going to be ok.