Before I begin sharing my journey with you, I should tell you how I got here.
I have no fucking clue!
All I know is that it sucks and I hate it. My eating disorder entered my life 20 years ago and became such a huge part of who I am. I have just become the back seat driver to this disease.
Looking back, this is how I began my first journal:
I wish I could tell you that those numbers reflected something positive. Maybe the time I volunteered for a worthy cause, or the amount of money I have donated to a local charity. Unfortunately not. They reflect the time and money I have spent being a victim to ED – my Eating Disorder. It entered my life 10 years ago and changed the person I was and the person I was suppose to be.
I shove my face full of 60 laxatives at one sitting. It does not come easy, although you would think after all this time it would be a simple task. It is about a 30 minute process. I have to make sure not to put too many in my mouth at once otherwise I could end up gagging and that would ultimately lead to me throwing them all up. Time has become my best friend, as I depend on it so desperately. Everything about my routine is timed out to the exact minute. I can pretty much predict after taking laxatives when I will start to feel nauseous, when I will begin to get the sweats, when my stomach will start to turn in knots and when I will end up in the washroom. From that point, the rest is really up to them. The effects vary each time. Sometimes I will be in the washroom two dozen times, or I can be in there over 40 times throughout the next 24-48 hours. So what I have to do is plan my day according to the worst case scenario. Luckily I have been in jobs that have been independent so I don’t have to explain stepping away from my desk so frequently. What I have encountered as a problem is coming in late for work. On those mornings when I have spent the majority of the night in the washroom and I wake up tired and weak, it is almost impossible to drag myself out of bed. So I’ve created car troubles, doctor’s appointments, power failures and anything else that would make for a believable excuse. I’m amazed that I haven’t gotten fired from any of these jobs, because these occurrences are so common. I chalk it up to my lies being so believable and my work performance being nothing short of perfection (when I feel good), therefore my absences are almost forgotten.
At first it was easy to lie. People believed me when I said I ate something that didn’t agree with my stomach. I convinced many people that I was lactose intolerant, allergic to fish or had sensitivity to chocolate in order to explain my nausea. I was always believable and quite frankly I was amazed at how easy it was to lie. But the sad thing about all of this was that I missed out on 10 years of my life. I missed out because I wasn’t able to go out at night, hang out with my friends during the day or go to the gym because I just felt too terrible to leave the house. Many times I couldn’t get out of bed, or leave the washroom and go out and do the fun things I should have been doing.
My eating disorder progressed very slowly over 10 years, as I learned how to perfect it. The weight fell off very gradually. ED came back into my life in April of 2014 (after being on a hiatus for 10 years). I lost 30 lbs from April 2014 to May of 2015. People weren’t commenting on my fabulous looking body, or my will to loose a few pounds; people were concerned that I had become so ill. Those closest to me knew right away. They recognized the signs and were so concerned that I once again, became victim to my eating disorder. I can’t blame them.
In speaking with various doctors and therapists, they find it amazing that I was able to stop cold turkey and be symptom free for 10 years. I can’t tell you that I never commented on my weight or felt uncomfortable in my skin, but I didn’t touch one laxative in 10 years. I wanted kids more than anything and with my husband telling me that we wouldn’t start to even think about a family until I got myself better, that was motivation enough for me. It was a great way to encourage recovery, but at the same time it never dealt with the underlying issues. So I didn’t really recover – I just made the problem disappear, for a while.
And here I am. 10 years later. Sick. Again. This time I am trying to recover and recover for good. I can no longer live like this. Mentally and physically. I have three beautiful children that know mom spends an awful lot of time in the bathroom. They shouldn’t be worried about me the way they are. That is not their job. People tell me that I have to get better for my kids, for my parents, for my husband, for my friends. But I know that I have to get better for me. ME. It has to be about me. I think it’s okay to be selfish for once.