Tuesday, June 19, 2012
It is fascinating to write about beginnings. I've been pondering quite a bit lately about the beginning of my eating disorder. I remember clearly the exact moment that it became a conscious choice to allow the eating disorder a sacred place in my heart. One of the prettiest, friendliest, most loved girls in my high school said she wished she could be as thin as me. I had been extremely ill. I had lost a lot of weight in a very short amount of time. I couldn't eat, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't concentrate. I was SICK. I never found out what was wrong. It was after losing 12 pounds on a frame that couldn't afford to lose 1 that she complimented me. I wanted her to like me more, I wanted her to envy me, I wanted to have the body that the most perfect girl in our high school wanted. It was so easy to continue to not eat, no one expected me to because I had been ill.
That was the moment I consciously thought, "I'm not going to eat." But in reality it began long before that. I used to drink my mom's Slim Fast and then say I had had lunch already. I couldn't have been more than 7 or 8. The can said to replace two meals with shakes and then eat a reasonable dinner. It made sense to me to think it was a meal to have a Slim Fast shake and I truly thought my thighs were fat. Really. Really. Fat.
When I was 9 years old there was a worship concert at our church, a husband and wife team. I remember admiring the woman so much. I remember longing for her petite figure and her naturally curly and long hair. I remember her less than supple chest and thinking that is what I wanted my boobs to look like when I got older as opposed to looking like my mom. I actually prayed really hard that night that God would let me grow up to be a very tiny, skinny, woman with small boobs, pretty hair and kind eyes.
There are other things, but not necessary to my point. I was flirting with and engaging in disordered eating years before I actually had an eating disorder. It felt like it had a specific beginning but the reality of it was that it was a coping mechanism, a crutch, a fall back long before the acknowledged beginning. I really don't remember life before food troubles.
A much more fun beginning though, is now. I'm beginning to live. I'm beginning to feel. I'm beginning to love. I'm beginning to get my life back. Maybe saying getting it back is not quite true, I don't feel like I ever had this life before. Sure the eating disorder stole a lot from me, but I feel like by the time it stole from me I was already mostly a shell anyway. Abuse stole so much from me. Depression stole so much from me. Not being allowed to have a voice had cleared out my soul. I was empty, it was easy for Orange to move in.
When I told her to move out, I had nothing to fill that space with. I didn't have a "me" that I wanted to return to. I have gotten to have a true beginning. I have gotten to decide what I want to fill the spaces inside of me. I've begun to learn who I am, what I like and create the me that I want to be. Now this is a beginning!