I think my eating disorder started when I was around 10 or 11. I was convinced I was too fat and my eating was out of control so I took handfuls of codeine pills to make myself sick to my stomach so I would not eat. It worked for a while but eventually just lead to binge eating which made me feel even more out of control and added to my list of failures.
I grew up in a house of secrets. My father was an alcoholic and drug addict. He was very angry all the time. Walking on eggshells around him became second nature. My mother was your classic enabler. I never learned what feelings were or how to express them so all of my insecurities, my anger and sadness just got bottled up inside waiting to explode.
At 14 the explosion happened.
I was furious at the world and I learned to stop caring, or so I thought I did. I had built a wall that would take years to learn how to bring down. I found alcohol and drugs and a new way to cope with my anxiety, throwing up.
I dropped out if school when I was 15 and for the next 5 years did nothing but drank, did drugs, and acted like a complete idiot. My eating disorder took a backseat for a couple years, I had enough on my plate with all the partying I was doing.
And then when I turned 17 my life took a big turn. I was in a car accident. Drinking and driving,
I had only had my license for 3 months and I totaled my parents brand new car. We rolled 3 times and landed in an embankment filled with sticker bushes. I had been thrown from the car and landed face first into the sticker bushes. Both sides of My jaw were broken as well as my nose. The Surgeon had to put over 200 stitches in my face to piece it back together.
I was mortified by my appearance. It's really hard to put any other words to what I felt inside when I would look in the mirror. Some of the comments made to me over the next couple years as I was receiving surgeries to try and minimize the scarring on my face were pretty harsh. Some were from complete strangers, which still blow me away. I can’t understand how anyone could say such cruel things to someone they don’t even know, it makes no sense to me.
My hatred for myself started to turn into hatred towards food and my body.
I hated food as much as I hated myself so I took it out on my body. At that time I thought I had control over my bulimia, but I also I didn't know it was bulimia. I just thought that because I was so disgusting I needed to find a way to punish myself and this just seemed natural.
It was also a great anxiety and stress reliever and in my mind I was never thin enough to have an eating disorder anyway. When I was about 22-23 I had lost control of what I thought I had such great control over. Throwing up became an obsession. It took over my life, every second of every day was spent trying to figure out how I was going to get rid of any amount of food that entered my mouth.
It eventually got to a point where I didn't care if people figured out what was going on. Hiding it became more and more challenging especially with me continually losing weight and I honestly didn't give a shit anymore. I had also developed a pretty expensive cocaine problem at the same time. Needless to say my life was turning into shit. I began to alienate everyone around me; I was not a very nice person.
I eventually ended up at Remuda when I was 25 after almost losing my job and all of my friends. I wanted to go, I was miserable, but I had no idea that my problem was so much more than food. I honestly thought I would go there and they would teach me to eat, because I thought my problem was that I just didn't know how to eat like a normal person, and as long as I could maintain the size I was then I would be cured.
I was way off.
Remuda was a start, but definitely not a cure. I wasn't ready to deal with what I needed to in order to begin recovery. I wasn't ready to give up my eating disorder.
So for the next 4 years I half-assed working with my recovery team. Going to my nutritionist for a couple months and then flaking out for another few months. Luckily I found an amazing therapist that helped me get on the right path.
But it was a very slow process. Which was disrupted with a very toxic and disgusting relationship at 29. Thank god I had her to get me through it as I' m not quite sure if I would have. The relationship lasted for 4 miserable years. During those years my bulimia turned into restricting. I didn't have the emotional energy to continue my bulimic behaviors anymore so I became borderline anorexic.
When the relationship ended I was left broken. My anxiety had taken over my life and my sanity. I didn't see the point of continuing to live on this earth. I was 33 my career was failing, again. I had nothing, no friends, no money, no real reason to live. So I took all of my prescription pills and was hoping that would be it.
When I woke up I was in the hospital, a doctor was leaning over me and told me I was pregnant. I cried and passed out. I woke up again to two nurses in my room. I told them I had a horrible dream, that a doctor had been in my room and told me I was pregnant. They looked at each other and one of them told me it had not been a dream, I was pregnant. I passed out again and when I woke up the nurse in my room confirmed that again I was pregnant. I couldn't believe it. I was scared to death. I had no plans in my life that included a child. I convinced myself a long time ago I would be a terrible mother and children just weren't anything I was interested in doing.
After I realized and accepted this was reality, I was going to have a baby, I knew I needed to change. Grow up, stop living the self centered life I had been living for so long, because another person was going to be depending on me to get it right so I finally took the steps I needed to in order to become what I had always wanted to be, just never really had a good enough reason to figure it out.
Pregnancy was hard. My body changed in ways I wasn't prepared for but I got through it. I wasn't going to compromise the health of my baby for my eating disorder, that just wasn't an option to me.
I finally was able to be present and in the moment. Something I've never been able to do. My head was clear, which felt great. I could finally say I was in recovery, it had taken 9 years from where I started at Remuda but I had gotten there.
I had my daughter July 14, 2012. She was born healthy and so very beautiful. She saved my life, she gave me a reason to be a better person. To be the type of person I have always wanted to be. I don't know where I would be if I had not had her.
Recovery is challenging. Every day is a battle in my head. Fighting with a belief system that you have instilled in yourself for over 20 years is difficult. I still believe I am fat, I still believe I am not worth much, but the voice definitely isn’t as loud as it used to be.
It’s quieter and easier to challenge.
Right now I feel I am doing this for my baby. I am able to keep moving forward for her. I hope someday I can say I'm doing it for me. That I believe I am worthy enough to be healthy for me, but for now doing this for her is enough.
It's enough of a reason to get up everyday, eat what I need to eat so that my body and my mind are functioning the way they need to for my little girl. I think I stumbled into recovery because I'm not sure if I would have ever gotten to this place if it hadn't been for my daughter, but that's okay because I can finally say I am happy.