Chapter 3: Learning to walk…

One of the hardest parts of my healing process, was saying it out loud, admitting my problem with intent to heal.

How could I tell the amazingly loving and supportive people in my life, who care about me, and have done so much for me, all that I have been doing to myself. 

I was embarrassed. Ashamed. Guilt Ridden. I feared people would look at me differently. I feared I would disappoint and hurt those close to me.

As my counsellor/dear friend would later informed me… I was not following my own belief system… If people in my life were going through what I have been going through, I would want to be there for them, just as those in my life have been there for me.

I was manifesting a story based on preconceived expectations.

I knew deep down that my friends and family would be nothing by supportive and loving. 

Fear and shame gave my addiction power.

Telling someone meant my addiction would lose power.

I truly believe that people come in and out of my life for a reason. My dear friend Dean and I met at a BC Teacher Rally down town, just after my story began. We Shared a moment of excitement about being from the same district, and me being me, decide it was prime time to take a selife with my new friend.

For some odd, unexplainable reason, our souls connected. Dean is a kindred spirit. From then on, Dean and I have had amazingly heart felt conversations, sharing pieces of ourselves.

Not that my friends are not amazing, but I needed to tell someone that really didn’t know much of my life – I needed an OBJECTIVE PARTY. Dean being the a-social soul he is, I felt would be able to provide the objective insight I needed.

Up to this point, I had told 2 people up to this point, but masked the truth with lies that the habit was over

So 4 months after this “1 time” deal began…

I took my first step.

I told someone with a small shimmer of intent to move forward

I was learning to walk again. 

Discovering my breath

Thank you Dean.IMG_0750

 

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Chapter 2: The Facade & The Turning Point

The facade...

As I mentioned, I had become quite proficient in hiding my addiction  or so I had thought.

I later found out from my loved ones, that many had been suspicious of my change in behaviour, but bulimia is the last thing they would have ever assumed.

The truth behind the facade, my experience

I had fallen into a daily routine that began with me and my scale. The number being the ultimate influence of my day…

I remember trying on clothes and being satisfied to see them hanging off my body…

I remember looking in the mirror and being relieved that I could see the contours of my rib cage and collar bone

I remember waiting impatiently for friends and family to leave, as isolation was opportunity to binge to the point of pain, justifying the purge.

Exercise became a need, not a want. Strength was irrelevant. I was controlled by a number on my scale.

I ate to purge. Not to nourish my body and soul. Purging was a release to breathe.

Each lie I told myself, each element of this facade added to the dark veil that overcame me in moments of stress and self doubt.

I couldn’t stop.

My facade had become my REALITY

The shrinking number which was once so satisfying lost its power. I could always be smaller.

Up to this point in my journey, the veil of darkness was constant. I was fully submersed in my ‘created reality’. I was alive, but not living. Filtering through the motions and emotions of every day, but each action no matter how far “off topic” it may have appeared, linked back to that veil, feeding its grip.

The turning point…

Every time I purged I was flooded with a mix of emotion. I felt ashamed, but I felt relief.

My ritual was set in stone. The veil of darkness would cloud in. I’d binge to the point of pain. Purge to feel relief. Feel ashamed. Binge to distract from the shame. 

The Cycle Continued. Daily. Hourly. 

My rational side was very cognizant of the impact of my actions. I had googled bulimia several times, well aware of the side effects and potential risks. I think I was hoping the reality of the risks would shift my behaviour, but rationalizing wasn’t enough.

I had tried several times to stop. Lasting 2,maybe 5 days, before the cycle began again.

My emotional side was in a downward spiral, the more weight I lost, the more I felt hopeful that I would reach a weight I would be happy with.

I was in denial

I would never be happy dropping weight. My insecurities, and self doubt were deeper rooted than my surface appearance.

I remember returning home one day and eating a granola bar.

My body wasn’t used to food being in its system without also being removed. And although I ate the granola bar with no intention of purging. 

I couldn’t keep the granola bar down.

It was in this moment I realized I was in too deep.

 I couldn’t do this on my own. I needed help.

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Chapter 1: Just 1 time

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Just 1 time…

I remember it like it was yesterday – the moment I stood in the bathroom, dialoging with myself – weighing the pros and cons (pardon the pun)…

I had recently been told to take 2 weeks off from my regular workout regime to heal from an injury, and I remember being flooded with fear of weight gain. This was new to me, up to this point, I had never felt my goal was to be  ‘thin’,  I wanted to be strong… but something shifted, I felt the need to be thin.

I began to rationalize the initial purge – needing a way to balance my output with my input in order to maintain my level of fitness while I healed. I convinced myself it would be “just 1 time”

“I could stop whenever I wanted”

4 months went by, and what began as a 1 time event, had become a post food ritual I practiced multiple times a day.

It didn’t matter what I ate or how much I worked out. I had become addicted to purging in such a way that it infiltrated into every aspect of my life. It began to impact my relationships, my routines, and my decision making. I had masked my purging by significantly altering my diet, intensifying my exercise regime, and making a conscious decision to ISOLATE MYSELF.  

People I hadn’t seen in a while would comment on how my appearance had changed. I could sometimes hear the concern in their voice, but that didn’t matter. It was fuel to my fire.

I began to link my value and my worth to my new definition of beauty, BEING THIN.

Although I was ‘content’ with how I was looking, I found myself setting ‘weight goals’, but never being satisfied when I managed to reach them — I could always drop more weight, I could always be smaller.

I was ridden with shame and guilt for what I was doing to myself. Shame and guilt were the wheel house to my perpetual cycle of self harm.

Purging felt freeing. Admitting this is hard, but it is the truth – purging was my release. 

My rational side knew the harm I was doing. I knew that if any friend, student, or stranger came to me mirroring my situation, I would hug them and show them their true beauty is WHO they are. I was not following my own belief system. 

Why couldn’t I see myself in the same light? And show myself that same kindness and understanding?

Just 1 time I told myself… Just 1 time.

 

 

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Intro: 1 Year Ago.

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1 year ago I made a decision that drastically changed the course of my life. In a moment of stress and fear I stepped into a world of secrecy and self inflicted pain. I trapped myself in a web of stories that I had personally manifested… stories based purely on my perception, stories that I convinced myself to be reality.

1 Year ago, in the bathroom of my family home – my battle with bulimia began – a battle which I would soon find out has very little to do with body image, but almost entirely to do with feelings of self worth.

TRUTH set me free.

Each moment throughout my journey that I have broken down a wall, allowing myself to be vulnerable and honest about my fears,  and owning the lies I tell myself, I take a step closer to truly feeling FREE. Owning the truth, owning my fears, I move closer to understanding my authentic self.

Truth allows me to BREATHE. Truth is my FREEDOM

I have to admit, I have been scared to share my story, scared of being judged, scared that people will look at me differently. I am an educator, a strong and successful young woman, how could I have let this happen?

The fact is, it happens.

I am not the first person to feel overcome by veil of darkness brought on by shame and disgust, knowing that their actions go against their core values.

I am not the first person to look in a mirror with dissatisfaction, or finish a meal with regret.

So. I will no longer feel shame. I will no longer hide.

Positive mental health can only be a reality, if we are open to talking about it, and supporting one another.

I share my story not for sympathy, but to say You are NOT alone. I hope that me owning my lies and sharing my TRUTH, will inspire you to tell your truth, taking a step toward understanding your authentic self.

I am still, and will forever by on a journey of self discovery. I still have my struggles and low moments. But with Openness and conversation lets remove the STIGMAI will not let bulimia define me. I am moving forward. The web of lies is weakening one learning moment at a time.

Truth. Breathe.Freedom

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