I didn’t know…

That is what I have heard from a lot of people.

They are surprised that I have been struggling for so long with an Eating Disorder.

Likely because I have hid it so well.  Emotionally – not physically.  Those that see me on a regular basis or haven’t seen me in a while and bump into me now can certainly tell, but I have received countless emails from friends of the past that are shocked.

Why are they shocked?

Because I am outgoing, personable, friendly, confident, funny, creative, dynamic, sensitive, compassionate and very social.

I am not the sit in my room, extrovert, listen to all of my sad stories kind of gal.  That’s not who I am, that’s not who I have ever been.  So from the outside looking in I am all of those positive things I have described.  And I am – it’s not a farce.

The eating disorder has taken over certain aspects of my life – a huge part actually.  But I have refused (even for 20 years) to let him take over completely.  I have lived, I have allowed myself to have a life in between the struggles.  That takes a lot of effort – but I am so happy I have.  Because by doing that I am able to see both sides of this.  Life and the disease.  It certainly doesn’t take a rocket scientist to recognize which is the better option.

Unfortunately that is what this disease is all about.  It grabs a hold of you, becomes your best friend and is very reluctant to let you go.

Let me share a memory with you.

It was about a year ago.  I went grocery shopping.  I had taken my usual dose of laxatives.  All of a sudden I was hit with intense and excruciating nausea.  I tried to manage as I always did, but couldn’t cope this time.  I ran to pay – leaving my list incomplete and ran home.  I didn’t even have time to bring in the groceries.  I ran to the washroom and stayed  there for an hour.  That’s not even the worse part.  I was so incredibly nauseous that I knew I was about to throw up.  But how?  I couldn’t move.  I had to grab the garbage can at the same time.  It was gross, awful, disgusting and demoralizing.

That’s not living.  That’s not a best friend.

Dropping my kids off at school yesterday.  Going to Sheena’s Place.  Picking the kids up.  Having a pizza party.  Watching the Raptors play game 6.  Making ice cream sandwiches.  Cuddling with my three boys.  Giving them a shower.  Lying with them in bed and discussing our favourite parts of the day.  Being told that they had so much fun tonight.  My 9 year old thanking me for having his friend over tonight.

That’s living.


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