by Colleen Baker, mental health blogger
I’ve been thinking of a topic for my final post of the year for a while now. An uplifting piece about how I’ve overcome all of my disorders? Nah, didn’t happen. A review of all my disorders? Nah, if you’ve been reading all year, you know. Another addition to my list of craziness? Amazingly, I actually don’t have any more. So, what to write about…well, thinking back on my year I’ve really been through a series of trial and error with my bulimia specifically.
A series of:
Okay, so if I stop eating crap food, I won’t feel the need to get rid of my food. Salad can only really do good things, so no need to fear that. Oh, but those onion rings look so great! And there goes that…
Okay, maybe if I work out every day for like 45 minute,s I’ll feel better about myself and feel the need to purge a lot less. Sort of worked, but I still ate a crapload and wound up feeling gross in the end.
Okay, maybe if I just stop myself from eating at all, I’ll feel better. But then there’s no energy to workout…or do anything at all. Oh, and I’m anorexic again.
Sadly, I would love to end my stupid bullet points with the final solution, but there really isn’t one to be found. Telling myself that “I would be healthy now” didn’t work because I really didn’t believe it. When it comes down to it, I’m an anxious person—and for me, anxiety pushes me towards self-destructive behaviors like purging. I need a little more than telling myself to do something in order to truly get it done when all I want to do is get rid of my emotion—in the form of the food I’d eaten that day.
Not taking my own advice and denying myself therapy or any real outlet, I only found myself in a whirlwind of highs and lows. I wasn’t practicing what I preached, telling others to turn towards therapy and to share your emotions while bottling my own up. I’ll admit it, I’m a big hypocrite. Of course, I know what is right for me and what is wrong for others—hell, that’s what I want to do with my life!—but in the long run, I wasn’t capable of accepting these ideas for myself.
Going on eight years of bulimia and anxiety, I have become so used to the familiar feeling that comes with the relief of purging. It’s downright scary to imagine my life without it sometimes. What if I eat the wrong thing? I just leave it there? How will I survive? But that’s just it. I will survive eating greasy fries and the regret that come after. My stomach isn’t going to explode and my anxiety will, surprisingly, not kill me. Throughout this year I have been presenting myself as a recovering bulimic, when in reality, I’m still in the heat of it. It’s fun to share my stories of past encounters with my unfriendly visitor in my head, but if I’m keeping the truth from really revealing itself, I’ll never get better.
So, I am using this last post as a promise. Whoever is reading this: I am a current bulimic, working through my stuff and getting towards recovery. While I may not be anywhere near the dangerous period of my disease years back, I am still hurting myself and shedding years from my life—which does not sound very recovered.
I feel like accepting that is largely the first step. Even though I may have been denying the real truth of my bulimia from myself, I believe every word I’ve written this year. I’m getting over it slowly but surely and moving toward a legitimately recovered me, not a fake recovery when I only purge “sometimes.” Only when it is “never” will I consider myself recovered.
Thank you for reading about my craziness and see you next year, friends.