Saturday, July 31, 2010

Then vs Now

Sometimes I feel like I will never recover completely. Sometimes I feel like I've recovered all I can, that I'm as "better" as I'll ever be. And then something comes along to remind me how complicated this process is.

I only know how far I've come when I consider how sick I used to be. tomorrow is August 1st, 2010. My eating disorder started to emerge in 2004 (though I would argue I had eating-disordered thoughts since I was 8 years old. I just never acted on them). Here's a look back at each August 1st of the last 6 years, starting with when it all began.

August 1st, 2004: I was at the heaviest weight of my life. My dad had been dead a little more than a year. I was depressed. I was vulnerable. I was miserable. I went on a diet because I refused to go up another pants size. I cut out bread. Then I cut out cheese, switched regular soda for diet. I started losing weight quickly. This is where things went terribly wrong. This is where I realized the voice in my head wasn't my own. I made the mistake of listening when it told me it was okay not to eat.

August 1st, 2005: Anorexia had taken over. I had lost so much weight no one recognized me. I was living on campus and going home to stay with my mother on the weekends. I would eat dinner Sunday night at my mom's house, and I wouldn't eat anything until the following Friday night when I made it back. All week at school I drank water and diet soda. If I ate anything, it was lettuce. Or an apple. Or some crackers. I was buying new clothes every week because I was losing weight so quickly. All of my hair was falling out. I stopped getting my period. I thought that I was happy. That's because I didn't want out yet, and I was still stupid enough to think that I had it all under control and could stop whenever I wanted, on my own terms.

August 1st, 2006: I was living at home with my mother and working at the hospital. This was before we lost our house. I was in college, but I was so sick I had moved off campus and back to my hometown. I took two classes online. I didn't eat at all. What I did eat, I threw up immediately. Bulimia was at its worst. I was throwing up 8 times a day everyday. Sometimes I threw up just water. I threw up until I cried. I threw up until I was hoarse. I was miserable and depressed. I wanted to die. My mother came home from work everyday expecting to find me dead. I was seeing doctors and throwing up in hospital bathrooms.

August 1st, 2007: I was still an undergrad and back in school full time, living in an apartment on campus. I was still throwing up, though probably 5 times a day instead of 8. I worked out at least twice a day. I counted calories. I lived with a roommate who didn't care or notice if or what I ate. Sometimes I still didn't eat for days. I started seeing the boyfriend I have now. He lectured me on the importance of food. We fell in love. My mom lost our house.

August 1st, 2008: I moved to Las Vegas with my boyfriend and had lived there for three months. I didn't eat much and I was throwing up at least once a day. I was going to the gym a lot. I weighed less than I weigh now. My boyfriend and I fought all the time.

August 1st, 2009: I was still living in Las Vegas. I wasn't throwing up anymore, but I wasn't eating "regularly." I was a waitress inside the Palazzo. I never ate lunch. If rarely ate breakfast. When I did, it was something simple like a banana. I ate dinner everyday, mostly because my boyfriend made me.

August 1st, 2010: I eat daily. I try to eat three meals a day, though sometimes it's only two. I don't throw up at all. It doesn't mean I don't want to. It doesn't mean I don't think about it, but my mind is strong enough to tell the truth from the lies. I know which voice to listen to, and for the most part, I choose correctly. I am not better, but I am getting there. Let's be cliche-- I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. There is a way out. I see it.


  1. Your story has touched me so much! I just want to reach out and give you a big hug!!!

    You have come so far and have done such an amazing job with recovery. Keep it up!

  2. Oh my god, you've come so far now! If we look back on our darkest days then we see eating disorders aren't worth it. There isn't any way for us to still function properly and stay sickly thin. Thank you for posting this. I can really ask myself- would i rather be healthy or bald? I always love reading your posts because you make me realize that there is hope. Thanks :)

  3. I'm scared that I am going to fall into anorexia, I was just at the edge of anorexia just a year ago. I have gained a major amount of weight and I am scared of gaining weight. I am also a 14 year old boy which just makes it even harder for me to talk about this to anyone. I desperately need help. I also have a major addiction to diet soda just like you, I was practically raised on it as a kid.