Sunday, August 14, 2011

How My Disorder Began

 Warning: EXTREMELY TRIGGERING

Well, I suppose it's time to stop beating around the bush and tell you how my disorder started. I'm not quite sure why I've been avoiding this for so long. I suppose it's because I'm doing so much work right now trying to recover from it that I didn't really want to revisit when it began. I feel it's only fair to you, so let's do this.

Now, obviously, it's not from just one cause. What the eating disorder was was a coping mechanism. It started when I was 14. Like a lot of people, I thought how great it was that I could eat whatever I wanted and throw it up and not gain anything. Sounded good to me. I had no problem vomiting. The way I explained it to people was....when you're sick, you've got the nausea. When it's self-induced, there's no nausea. Not for me anyway. And, so, I did that. Every meal. I was never one of the bingers and purgers that would stick to certain foods to binge on. It was whatever entered my body. I even used ipecac syrup a few times.

Two years after that fun excitement began (yah, I'm laying on the sarcasm THICK), I had an endoscopy done. Abdominal problems. They found that I had "an abnormally thin stomach lining." Hey, makes sense. I disrupted the acid in there every day. Did I stop purging? Oh no, no, no. I just switched methods. Enter the world of laxative abuse. I did that for a long, long, long time. There came a point when I felt so out of control with bulimia that I threatened to kill myself. I cut, too. A lot. I am just grateful today that you can't see the scars. Anyway, some girls from school told the principal, and I ended up in a psychiatric hospital for the typical 72-hour hold that California has. That was the end of any kind of good reputation for me.

For the next 2 1/2 years of high school, I got called "crazy" or the "crazy girl". I had, like, two friends. But, mostly I just hung out in the office where I knew the staff let me stay. I stayed in there because I knew they wouldn't call me crazy. I was safe there. And how did I cope with all this? I purged. And began starving. And popped diet pills and laxatives like crazy with  occasional ipecac use.

I did all this out of habit. I did it because it was my way to deal with other issues in my life that consumed me. I reached my lowest weight at age 19. Nope, I'm not telling you.

I'm 32 now and still deal with this crap. The hardest part is dealing with food. Eating on a schedule. Trying like hell to get 3 meals and 2 snacks in a day. I have alarms go off. I've got specialists I work with. I'm on meds to help me control the compulsions. Sometimes I want to break down and cry. I'm 32 and still dealing.

BUT......

As I literally force myself to eat, I notice things changing. I know I am doing the right thing even if it feels wrong. My recovery is progressing fairly well at this point. As I said, it's just the schedule with the food that's my hardest thing to deal with. I suffer from chronic constipation as a consequence of all the years of laxative abuse. I cannot eat in front of people very well. Only a select few.

Sound glamorous? Still wanna be stick thin? It sucks, people. I have a treatment team that I have been working with for two years. I just recently got a dietitian that specializes in these disorders. My doctors are absolutely incredible. I love them to death.

Would I change things if I could? Hell no. It's contributed to who I am today. And I really don't hate myself all that much anymore. I love people, and I want to learn all about them - - - as I continue to learn about myself.

Thank you for reading!

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