April 27, 2010

one year birthday

one year. twelve months. fifty-two weeks. three hundred sixty-five days.

that is a long time.

but i did it.

what did i do? you may be wondering. to answer you, and i will answer, i must warn you that this is a personal subject for me to share. they say "time heals all wounds" and i do not completely agree with that thought. however, i do agree that time makes it easier to share intimate struggles with others. and so, because it is a year between me and the physical aspect of my trial, i am more willing to share the details of what plagued me for over a decade.

i was a skinny child until about age eight. at that point i became quite chubby. this is most likely when there started to be a chemical imbalance in my brain, making it so all i wanted to do was numb myself out by watching tv and eat. i ate to fill a void i felt in my heart. but at such a young age, i didn't know what that meant or why it was happening. from there, i remember days in fifth and sixth grade when i managed to skip lunch without being noticed or questioned. i wanted to lose weight, and i figured not eating was the answer. seventh grade brought a culmination of events and feelings which produced a period of complete starvation. i remember waking up on a saturday morning when nobody else was home, standing up, then blacking-out in the hall. when i could finally see and move, i went to the kitchen and ate everything i could find that looked remotely edible. feeling both emotionally and physically sick, i went to the bathroom and mostly just willed my stomach to purge all its contents. that day started a ten-year journey to hell and back.

binging and purging was my survival mechanism to endure situations and circumstances in my life. i have blocked so much of those years out of my memory that the most common and frequent image is that of a porcelain bowl, like a snapshot of a close friend.

may 27, 2005 was the day after my high school graduation and the day i was forced into an eating disorder treatment facility. that was a long, hard road but it ended quickly - after two months. i would like to say that all the sacrifices made by my parents and the financial investment they made on my behalf cured me. it didn't, though, and by the saturday after being discharged i was back to my old tricks, lies, and habits.

i had finally had it - hit the bottom of the barrel - in march of 2009. i had isolated myself from everything and everyone. my body was tired and felt damaged. i was ready to change my life. after a month of up and downs, the end of april brought the end of my purging. i wouldn't allow myself to record the exact day because that had previously triggered a relapse. however, i know that the last tuesday of every month is when i celebrate another month of victory of my eating disorder. this is when i attend my community's e.d.a. {eating disorders anonymous} group. this group has helped me so much in my attempt to rid my life of eating disorder hell. as hard as it all is, it is proving easier to recover physically than it is to recover emotionally.

in e.d.a. we follow the 12 steps from alcoholics anonymous. we also receive tokens for milestones in our recovery. today i am receiving my one year token ~ something i originally thought to be impossible.

i am by no means completely cured. however, i am in recovery and that means i am constantly working to get better. as hard as it has been, i am so grateful i am here. i am so grateful that i didn't give up. i'm so grateful that i am on my way to a 'normal' life.
so, onto another year.