I always struggled with my body image and weight. In many parts of my life, especially school, I was bullied for being fat and ugly. Also, in and outside of the home, I was constantly reminded that my body was not the ideal, and that food should be watched cautiously as if it was evil. My eating problems started in my early teens, but I usually caught the bad behaviours and stopped it in its tracks quickly.
The real problem started after I became sober from my drug addiction when I was eighteen. Drugs helped me control my sadness and the feeling that my life was a constant blur that I had no control over. (Along with my eating disorder and substance abuse, I struggle with borderline personality disorder and anxiety.) I decided to quit drugs after my most severe suicide attempt, which landed me in Intensive Care.
After I became sober, I decided to return to school to finish my high school diploma and that is when my eating problems became serious. Bulimia became my one and only thought and priority. I lost a significant amount of weight and as a result, my immune system weakened so I was constantly ill. I felt hopeless and alone because, as a bigger girl, I was congratulated by almost everyone in my life when they noticed my body shrinking. The only people who did not congratulate me were my mother and sister and they were and still are an amazing support in my recovery.
I have been sober for five years and I’ll be entering my fourth year of recovery from bulimia in the winter. Although it has been a rocky few years to get where I am, I can honestly say I am proud of my growth. I am learning to love and appreciate my body and accept the idea that my self worth is not tied to my weight or my looks. For the last year or so, I have been in and out of being completely sober from all substances and I am trying to find the best balance for myself.
Recovery is an ongoing process and I am learning to celebrate my little achievements and support myself as I would support my loved ones because self-love and self-acceptance is extremely important.