This is my life journey. I haven’t sugarcoated my story. As the title states, this deals with mental illness. Please read with caution.
Weight has been something I’ve struggled with my entire life.
I can remember being in the fourth grade and comparing weight with my friends and realizing that I weight at least ten more pounds than they did.
I remember my mom calling the plus sized clothing I wore in the kids section “half” sizes so I wouldn’t feel bad. I remember being made fun of because I “was too fat” to wear l.e.i. And mudd (the cool brands of 2000). I remember not trying out for cheerleading because I thought I was too big.
I remember being in high school and being disgusted with myself because my arms would rub against my stomach when I sat down in my desk. I remember being called fat behind my back by people in my band class.
These moments all formulated in my head to convince myself that I wasn’t worth love or acceptance until I lost weight.
The summer before my senior year in high school I lost some weight. Not enough to be noticeable, but enough for it to unconsciously click in my head how to lose weight. See, I had gotten super busy over the summer and as a result I didn’t snack early as much. I lost weight and I knew it was because I hadn’t been eating normal.
The way to lose weight was to not eat. At least, in my head it was.
It didn’t trigger right away, but in February of 2007 my nanny passed away from a heart attack. My life was thrown into chaos over night and I found myself feeling completely out of control. I couldn’t control when someone died. I couldn’t control my emotions. I could control my life.
But I could control what I put in my mouth.
From that moment on I ate just enough to get by. I would go to the gym to work off what I had eaten because I wanted to consume as few calories as possible.
I remember having to hang on to my desk when I got up because I felt so faint from lack of food. I remember keeping otc migraine pills in my car because I always had a headache at the end of the school day.
Oh, but I was losing weight. People noticed. I noticed. Who cared if I felt like death? I was losing weight.
Winter 2006 or early 2007 above and spring 2007 below
The hardest part, looking back, was that I felt so huge to begin with that no matter how little I ate, I still felt like I was failing. I wasn’t losing weight fast enough and it ripped me apart.
I’d love to say that I woke up one morning and opened my eyes to what I was doing to myself, but I didn’t. I settled into a toxic relationship with food for the next five or so years. I’d feel better and eat, only to be followed by weeks of eating every little. Sometimes I’d be so filled with anxiety that I would binge and eat whatever I could, followed by extreme guilt. I never felt like I could talk about it because the perception of someone with an eating disorder is skeletal and sickly. I still could have been considered “fat” for lack of a better word.
My first year of work led me to passing out at work twice and my mom used to sit and watch me eat breakfast. Honestly, I don’t know if she actually knew, or what, but I remember being practically forced to eat toast.
I had several bad relationships because I never felt like I deserved better, or could even get better. I’ve had ex’s that I told some things to call me fat behind my back after we broke up. I’ve been told that there are people starving and I’m so selfish that I’m upset because I did eat.
I never felt good enough, thin enough, pretty enough. I struggled with anxiety, depression, and excessive OCD. I’ve coped with alcohol and self harm. I stayed with a man who lied to me bacause I thought he was the best I would ever have.
Then I woke the eff up.
I began to live my life and gained the best friend I could ever imagine. Concerts, music, shopping, and fun became my life. Little by little I began to start loving myself.
I still had feelings of not being good enough, until August 2014.
My. Life. Changed.
I know not everyone is religious, but I tell you, the day I left my last ex I felt God. I felt him with me, guiding me. I felt him show me how special I am to Him. I’ve been moved to sobbing tears because of His presence.
Since 2014 I’ve been on a path of self discovery. I’ve been broken down and lifted up. I’ve learned to see that I am good enough.
Because isn’t that the root of my problems? I never thought I was goood enough.
I can’t say I don’t struggle with anxiety or sometimes have a bad self image. I’m human and you are too. Sometimes life with be a daily struggle. Sometimes you may feel you’ll never be good enough.
You are good enough.
Mental illness, to be honest, is a lifetime struggle. What helps me may not help you and vice versa. We need to take charge of our lives and find what helps us. It is possible to be happy. It is possible to look in the mirror and see someone you love. It is possible to wake up and be so thankful that you’re alive.
I’m rooting for you. I’m rooting for us all.
I don’t know if this made sense, or if it will help anyone, but I feel called to share my story. My past may help someone change their future, and if that’s the case then it’s all worth it. ❤️