I am just going to write this from the heart. So, keep in mind as you are reading this that is how it was writen and why it may seem rough around the edges.
When I was in highschool I began to force myself to vomit after eating a large amount of ice cream. Ice cream was my comfort food of choice. I didn’t do it all the time but when I was really upset about something I would head for the freezer and grab a half gallon of icecream. I would plant myself on the couch in front of the tv with a spoon eating. I ate with numbness. I hated myself. The ice cream gave me comfort in my self loathing even if it was only short lived.
Afterwards, I would look down into the ice cream carton to see that most of the half gallon was gone. Out of fear of being fat I would go into the restroom and force myself to vomit up all of that ice cream. I did this at the beginning maybe once a month or about every two months. I continued for a little over a year. At the end, I was binging at least once a week. However, it had gotten to where I couldn’t eat anything without the urge to vomit at least a little.
I usually only binged when noone was home but became more comfortable doing it with first my brother at home and later with everyone at home. I was very careful to not be caught and hid the evidence at the bottom of the trash. I thought noone suspected what I was doing. It was not uncommon for me to spend hours in the restroom. I was seventeen, you know? My brother was the first to suspect what I was doing. I would go into the restroom locking the door behind me. He would stand at the door listening without my knowing. When he was sure of what I was doing he began to beat the door telling me to stop that it would hurt me. He told me he was going to tell my parents and I told him to go ahead because I wasn’t doing anything. I knew he didn’t believe my lie that I was just fixing my hair. He asked me why the toilet was flushed and why was I gagging. I told him I didn’t feel well. He said he had suspected that I had been doing it for a long time, but on that day he was sure. I was frozen in fear and relief that my secret was no longer a secret. My parents sat me down and asked me about it. I lied my way out promising that even if I were doing it I would stop. I meant well. I wanted to stop. I couldn’t.
I don’t remember how much time passed from the conversation with my parents to the day my father caught me vomiting in the restroom. He was furious and told me if he caught me again I would have to go see a doctor. He told me I was killing myself and he wouldn’t stand by watching me. Something inside me woke up and I realized I was hurting myself. I couldn’t control the urge to vomit no matter what I ate. It was taking over my life and I was only seventeen.
I stopped that day. I no longer ate huge amounts of food running the restroom afterwards to get it all out of my body. However, I could not control the urge to vomit after eating and would only go to the restroom when it was too great for me to handle. Over time this feeling grew less strong and I was able to eat small amounts of food without gagging. Even today I can’t pig out without feeling like I will throw up.
Why in the world did I do it? I think it was because I thought I was ugly and that noone would love me. I didn’t love myself. I was a perfectionist and if I did something less than perfect I beat myself up. By eating ice cream I could experience pleasure because I was eating something I loved and at the same time deep down I knew it was to hurt myself. I really hated me.
I still love ice cream. I have to control myself whenever I am eating it. I would love to sit in front of the tv with a spoon and eat an entire half gallon by myself. I know I can’t and I haven’t since I was around 18. I am lucky that my family caught me. I am thankful that my father didn’t let me get away with my lies and turn the other way. I am saved from serious health problems that may have caused my death or at the very least made me extremely ill over time as my body became weaker and more damaged. I certainly would not have had all my children or be able to enjoy them and take care of them as I do now.
I have learned to love myself and don’t think I am a horrible person. I understand that while I am not perfect noone is. Everyone deserves love. I love me.
Most of you have someone in your family or circle of friends that has fought an eating disorder or is currently fighting one and you may never even suspect it. Watch the signs and don’t let them wiggle out.
I hope by telling my story that I will help someone out there either stop hating and hurting themselves or alert a loved one or friend to look for signs and not ignore clues.
In todays world women and men have too much pressure to look perfect. Noone is perfect. Please, learn to love yourself no matter what you look like. I have known people in my life that could turn heads even if they were not perfect in appearance. How did they do it? Confidence and self love radiated from them. The person on the inside overshadowed the image on the outside transforming it into a vision of beauty. You just wanted to be near their laughing eyes and happy spirit. You couldn’t help but fall in love with their goodness and honesty. You were drawn to their confidence and energy. None of these things had to do with how attractive their face or body was. They were simply beautiful inside and out.
Please, think about it.
Please, read a previous post called Who’s that girl??? to find out more about those picture perfect girls on magazines. They are not really that perfect in real life.
Visit the following links for more information about eating disorders:
National eating disorders association
Mirror-mirror (eating disorders) – very good website with lots of information
Eating disorders on Wikipedia – a great resource (more links found at bottom of page)