I can’t tell you my age, or where I live, but I can tell you who I am.
I am a girl, going through the struggle of life. Actually, I wouldn’t call what I’ve been doing the last four years even living. You see, I have been fiercely battling both anorexia and bulimia.
It all started the summer before grade nine. I was told by my family I was getting fat and was only going to get bigger. A boy I liked started making fun of me for my thighs, my friends were experimenting with bulimia and my self esteem was low. I didn’t know how to deal with all this. Then the big change happened.
I told my mom I wanted to get a tattoo and she said: “big girls can’t have tattoos, you’re going to get fat and it’ll look bad on you”. That set me over the edge. I started on a rigid diet and exercised for hours on end. I started to lose weight, and at first, it felt great.
I showed all the signs of anorexia, but my family couldn’t tell. It went unnoticed for months, almost a year. Then I stopped losing weight. But I wasn’t ready to gain weight. So I resorted to bulimia.
For a week I ate and then forcefully vomited immediately afterwards. I felt so good about myself; I could eat anything I wanted, and didn’t gain anything!
But I was hurting my body. A lot more than I realized. I was admitted for the first time at the end of grade nine and spent my birthday in the hospital. In fact, I spent two months in the hospital trying to correct my weight and improve my potassium levels.
A lot happened during those two months. You see, I am a victim of child abuse: verbal, physical and sexual. I couldn’t keep quiet any longer and came forward during my stay. I was immediately put into foster care and CAS looked for a home for me to stay.
I thought things were going better, but not so deep down I knew I just wanted to lose weight again.
I did everything to lose weight.
And then started the wave of admissions.
My worst was when I was 16 and weighed 65 pounds. I was about to die.
I was in the hospital for a month, then transferred to McMaster children’s Hospital for another two months. I must say, of all the hospitals I’ve been to, they have the best program.
But I wasn’t ready to get better then. I secretly binged and purged on my passes and hid it from everyone. I was discharged at a weight of 92 pounds and went home knowing I would do anything to get back down.
Things went horribly. I started losing again and my body was shutting down. Within eight months I was down to 75 pounds again. But this time was different. I had an extra heart beat and they told me if I went home I would probably die of heart failure. I thought, this is the end, and was ready to accept it.
Then a miracle happened. A spot opened at McMaster for me to be transferred there. Things have been going great ever since.
I have almost fully restored my weight and have a lot less urges to binge, purge or restrict. I really feel different this time, I actually want to get better and survive this.
When I get to go home I will be moving out and finding my own place, escaping the abuse and anxiety. I am excited for my new life.
If anyone you know has an eating disorder, or is starting to feel uncomfortable with how they look, please talk to them. Even if they don’t want it, try and find them help. Catch it as soon as possible before things get as bad as they did for me.
I support vegetarianism, but I don’t support restricting. Do not take anything out of your diet (other than meat) unless you have an allergy. Everything is good, in moderation. Yes, that includes fats and sugars. So go ahead, eat that candy bar, just not everyday.
Love yourself, you are all beautiful.