Monday, July 14, 2014

Addressing a demon

As you know, I am struggling with an eating disorder that I plan on putting an end to ASAP. As you probably also know, ending an eating disorder is just as easy as understanding rocket science. It is one thing to know you have a problem and accepting it, but it's another thing to want to end it. Most people tend to get "comfortable" in the holes they dig themselves into and find getting out of it just as hard or even harder than getting in. Eating disorders may seem like petty phases some teenage girls go through because they want attention, but statistics show that up to 24 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the United States A L O N E. There are many programs and clinics out there aimed at providing help to people who suffer with an eating disorder, but the sad fact is they have touched only a handful.

When my parents found out I was bulimic they couldn't even look at me. It was hard to talk to them and I think a lot of it had to do with them feeling like this was all their fault. I'm not saying it wasn't, but to put you into perspective, I come from a highly critical Mexican/ Filipino family whose form of motivation has a lot to do with putting the person down. I mean who thought telling a 5 year old girl that she can't sit somewhere because her thunder thighs won't fit WOULDN'T motivate her to eat a salad. And when I would cry they would tell me to suck it up because they didn't mean it. That's actually hilarious. Did they really think that wouldn't affect me? Maybe it works for some people, but not me. What's worse is that in the apex of my ED days, I would get a lot of compliments from them and asking me what my secret was. Sure my waist slimmed down, but my eyes were always dark and my hair was falling out (being bulimic was actually one of the main reasons I cut all my hair off). For a long time I couldn't look at myself in the mirror. I remember this one time, one of my aunts was complimenting me and asked what my secret was and my mom blurted "Well she's bulimic. Honey don't deny it, I can hear you sometimes." It was mortifying. On top of that was this unrealistic goal for myself that had to do with being the best and for me, part of that meant that I couldn't look the way I did. Getting that perfect hourglass figure was a goal of mine and I was willing to do anything to attain it. It's seems so still to me now that I'm actually writing it all down and processing what led me to this temporary demise of mine.

It wasn't until 4 months into it, in March, that my guidance counselor stepped in. She was very adamant about me getting my life together. My ED wasn't just affecting my health, but also my school work and relationships. After many meetings with my parents, things were beginning to change. I began to run everyday with my dog and drinking a lot of water. I would eat small portions, but 5 times a day. I never ended up seeing the therapist she recommended, but for once I was feeling hopeful. Although the thought of relapsing was always there. And it happened last month. Things were getting out of hand for me and the next thing I know I'm leaning over a toilet. I like to say it's different this time because I feel like I have a better grasp on it. I feel more in control. I have seen myself go months with out purging so I know that I don't have to rely on this to feel good about myself. There is hope.

I'm currently using this nifty little app called Recovery Record (RR) as recommended by my friend Hayden. On it, I can log meals, look at my progress, and I have access to meal plans and clinicians. It's free at the App Store if you're an iPhone user and in the Google Play store if you're an Android user.
I can't say whether or not this is actually helping me yet, but the app does help put into perspective what you're putting into/taking out of your body and however you're feeling.

I found this article on concerning recovery, help, treatment options, coping skills, improving self-image, healthy eating, and relapse prevention for all those reading this who are interested.

This is the part where I bombard you with cliches... Enjoy!
I'm not a certified physician or anything, but if you have any questions, feel free to contact me. I'm always here to listen. I for one know what it's like to feel completely alone. It's a feeling that no one should have to encounter ever. You're purpose has nothing to do with impressing anyone, but yourself. Don't compare yourself to others and embrace who you are. You don't deserve any of the crap you feel ever. You're not selfish for wanting to seek help. Remember, life is about progression, not completion.

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