I am taking a deep breath! I’ve shared my story about anorexia with vague details with people in my life, but never in detail and never described how it rules my life, even today. I’m going to warn you that these will be a couple of deeper posts and will take me several to get my story out because it’s not something that can be contained into a brief concise post! I’m not sharing my story to get sympathy or anything like that. I’m sharing it because it is truly part of who I am and what has made me who I am. I also think that anorexia is a topic that is shunned talking about, people tell anorexic’s it’s all in our head, which in fact it is an illness and one that you aren’t cured from..you just learn how to cope!
My freshman year of college I followed all the rules, never went out (well, out was Wal-Mart at 10PM), didn’t drink, went to class, worked, cheered, and sang. The summer after my freshman year this started to go awry. I started hanging out with some guys that weren’t my “normal” type. More rule-breakers than what I usually picked. Starting my sophomore year, I’m not quite sure what happened. I veered off the path I had been following. While I still went to class, worked, cheered, and sang I chose some extra curricular activities that I wouldn’t consider healthy and chose to continue to surround myself with guys that weren’t the best of influences. I wasn’t happy, but couldn’t seem to make better decisions and felt myself spiraling out of control. (Now, when I say spiraling out of control I know it’s minor compared to other people’s struggles, but for me I would say it was extreme. I felt out of control, unhappy, and yet disappointed in myself.
While I’ve never been horribly overweight there were a few years in my early to mid teens in which I felt heavier than I wanted to be and have never felt attractive or pretty…at all. Suddenly, in college amidst all the other chaos in my life I found something I could control. If I didn’t feel good inside, I could feel better on the outside. I started by cutting back what I ate, skipping meals, living on smoothies and salads. Then, I started working out. I found the invention of the elliptical and started working out for 30 minutes a day. I instantly started seeing results and loved that! 30 minutes a day turned into 60 minutes or more. I figured out how to elliptical and study at the same time. Not only did my grades drastically improve, but the weight kept falling off. Over the course of about 6 months, I dropped anywhere from 4-6 sizes (depending on the brand). I was on top of the world on the outside, but still unhappy on the inside and on the verge of unhealthy.
Over the next several years I leveled out on weight, but struggled with it internally. I brought my weight up a little bit just to “keep people off my back”, but was fighting an internal battle every day. I still didn’t feel happy or confident with myself.
Fast forward several years and through a long-term relationship that turned into an engagement and 2 months later I ended that engagement. It was the hardest decision I had made in my life, but I also knew that I was making the right decision. But, after 3 1/2 years of being with someone I had lost how to be alone. I gave everything I had and was to this guy. After moving home, being away from any friends I had, and learning how to be on my own again, I found myself spiraling into a deep anorexic dip again.