What’s the point of my story anyway?

I often wonder why I bother to blog about my journey through an eating disorder.

Who really cares

Who’s going to actual read it

What difference will it make

Will it even make any difference

But today someone reached out to me and God gently said…

“This is why I asked you to do it”

My story, are you sure?? Um, ok then God 😯 I’ll get to it!

I think I grew up with a tricky relationship with food. Food was comfort, food was forgetting, food was hiding, food was reward and it was punishment.

What it should have been was JUST FOOD!

Why couldn’t it have just been food?

Do you know what I discovered just this week? Food is neither food nor bad! REV…E…LATION!!

I have lived for so long, far too long, with a black and white view that some foods were “bad” and others were “good” and if I ate too much of the “bad” then I would need to punish myself by either restricting food or using exercise as a retribution.

Who can live like that?

I’ll tell you who…NO-ONE!! If you live with a lens of “bad” and “good” then the foods that are “good” become less and less and the foods that are “bad” become more and more so that all your left with is celery! And who really like celery? (If you really do then that’s fine., no judgement here 😆).

That isn’t living, that’s just existing, and that is no way to live! (Side note, when I typed existing it came up with exhausting, coincidence? I don’t think so!)

So why do I write my story? What is the point of going over painful, dark times? Why not just leave it in the past?

Truthfully, It still helps me in my own journey, it brings healing to the parts of me I’ve neglected, it brings me wisdom and growth and it bring moments of clarity.

But it also serves a purpose, what a waste it would be to journey through all of that and then hide it away, what good does that do? For me or anyone else.

I’ll tell you something, I’m not ashamed of the eating disorder that tried to destroy my life, I won’t give it that power. It tried to steal so much from me and for a long time it got away with it. But now it’s out in the light, it still does have a little hold on me, it’s claws still try to pull me back down into secrecy, shame and hiding but in the light I can see it for the insidious thing that it is and I won’t give it that satisfaction!

Skinny=Beautiful

This is the lie that an eating disorder and a distorted view of body image has left me with.

Well I’ve just jumped right into it haven’t I. No point beating around the bush is there!

I’ve said before that after having kiddo number 3 I became obsessed with exercise and my diet. In my life I felt out of control so I tried to find areas I could control – food and exercise, and then I went extreme! The thing about eating disorders is that while you think your in control it’s actually the eating disorder slowly taking control of you. It turns you into a secretive deceitful shell of yourself. I know this because it still whispers “go get some laxatives, but don’t tell Carl, he’ll only be disappointed in you…AGAIN!” You find yourself believing the lie, that somehow this time you will remain in control, that things won’t get out of hand, that you’ll only use them once, ok maybe twice, that you won’t risk your health like you did last time. And then your on the bottom step, covered in sweat thinking your going to throw up or pass out and you’ve fallen for the lie again.

INSANITY!!

He’s pretty smart isn’t he. How annoying!!

For the past 9 years I seem to have tried the same things over and over and over and yet I’m still surprised when the results are the same. Why do we not learn? Or is it just me?

Even now, 9 years later I still swing violently from depriving myself to splurging. Thankfully not quite to the same extremes but still with the feelings of guilt and shame attached. For me it is still all or nothing. And the message on loud repeat in my head is that being skinny = beautiful and confident and because I’m not skinny I must therefore be fat, disgusting and repulsive.

I read the statement this morning “Deprivation will never lead to lasting results”. Well that sucks doesn’t it because that’s the only tool I have and if I don’t employ that tool then I’m only left with what I had before – overeating and purging.

So where do I go from here? To be honest I’m not really sure.

I know that balance and moderation are the key but I find it hard to see how that works for me in reality. I know that laxatives are not the answer and nor is restricting my diet any further.

So you’ll see that this isn’t a post where I can share some lesson I’ve learned, because I don’t seem to have learnt anything from my past behaviour. The goal still seems to be skinny over healthy, skinny over sensible, skinny over maintainable. I wish it wasn’t like that but it is. I can’t give the scales up and just be happy in my body even though the scales torment me.

I think I need to work on honesty, both with myself and with Carl, less of the secrecy and shame behaviours and possibly some external wisdom. Trusting that I’m not alone in my mess and that some good can and will come from my struggles. The big thing for me is to try to be open about it, to remove some of the shame, hopefully both for myself and for others.