A Bitter Smile, A Sore ThroatAt the age of twelve, I was hospitalized for about three months with anorexia. I was about 5' 2" and I'd whittled myself down to a sixty-seven-pound skeleton. Fortunately, I put enough weight back on to avoid welcoming any significant physical damage. Unfortunately, the smallish hospital where I stayed was woefully under-equipped to deal with a mentally-ill preteen. The experience was, in short, a nightmare. For myself as well as my improbably loving, forgiving parents. It took a good couple of years for me to get out of the anorexic mindset, and I didn't fully escape that phantom in my mind until I was sixteen or so.
Fast forward through two or three years during which I went through a lot of depression (nothing new, in my life), but managed to eat healthfully. It was in my second year at university when food somehow became a coping mechanism, only now it was a different problem. Eating too much. Sometimes just eating spoonful after spoonful from a jar of peanut butter, because it was sweet, salty, creamy, comforting. Sometimes eating nearly a whole box of cookies. Sometimes a huge chocolate bar. (Dark chocolate, but still not good for anyone in such quantities.) My metabolism is pretty good, but I wasn't exercising enough either, and in a few months I packed about twenty pounds onto my small fr
Can I just say, the rest is history?
... only it isn't history. It's still present, and as much as I try at some times, at others I just don't. I know better. Yet I give in, I make that choice to let myself fall. I give in, I binge, I purge. Then I feel better and worse at the same time. You likely know, dear reader: this is a treacherous habit. My stomach is emptier, my thoughts feel sinisterly clear, and I can tell myself, 'THAT, Amber you b****, was the last time.' Purging allows me a modicum of control, but it's not the control upon which I always prided myself. I have been an ambitious and often perfectionist student as long as I can remember. My yoga, later my running, my ethics-driven vegan lifestyle, my dedication to my studies and earning of grades that always came very early in the alphabet – these were all, in some way, my disciplines, and (balanced with a much happier social life after I was sixteen) they kept my life a healthy one in most respects. Till I let myself go where food is concerned. Now they all suffer, to a greater or lesser extent.
As I type this, I'm waiting for the start of a course by Christine Inge (http://www.christieinge.com/) that looks like basically self-directed holistic/behavioural therapy. I hope that it will help, beginning tomorrow. I have to beat this; everyone suffering from this disorder needs to find his or her own way out of it because it's no way to live. Physically or emotionally. I just don't know yet which way out is my own.
Namaste [the light in me salutes the light in you].