How It Began

TW/CW Eating Disorder/Weight Mentions

The boys in Philly called me thick as I walked by. I didn’t really know what that meant, but one sweet young man eventually explained it was a compliment. I’ve always had curves, and at 20 I was proud of them. But it’s funny how easy the seeds of self doubt can get planted in your brain and take over. While the boys in Philly might have liked my hourglass figure, to the boys on the Main Line, I was unacceptable. Or at least to the one who’d attached himself to me. At that point in my life, it didn’t occur to me that I got to choose who I dated. It was a single comment. He’d asked me to go running with him. “I bet you’ll feel so much better when you lose the weight”. I agreed with him outwardly, and within a few moments, I was agreeing inwardly. There was weight to be lost. A lot of it.

So, I stopped eating. When I did have to eat because of social pressures, I immediately threw it up. I self medicated with alcohol, and lots of it. I didnt realize how many calories were really in alcohol, and ended up actually gaining weight. I felt like a complete failure. My relationship with food was destroyed, pretty permanently. As time went on, I stopped trying to lose weight and ate “normally”. I ballooned to a size 18. Now, I actually was as fat as i’d imagined. The boy took every opportunity to berate me for it, and what little self esteem i’d had to begin with was gone. It took years, but I broke up with him. Slowly, I learned to love myself again and as that happened, I began to eat healthy. I lost weight until I was back to that starting point, back when I wasn’t actually fat. I was in a healthy relationship. It seemed like this food thing would never be an issue again. But mental health is tricky. You can find yourself back in a bad place at a moments notice. I fell for a girl. Hard. My partner fell for her too. She had all the qualities he liked that I didn’t possess. Petite, small breasts. Suddenly, it was a competition. I needed to be much, much smaller if I was going to satisfy my partner, right? Nevermind that it was the newness and variety he was attracted to; I may have majored in human sexuality but that does not mean you’re able to piece it together for your own situation.

My partner finally insisted I enter therapy. I saw a psychiatrist who diagnosed me with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and put me on medication. Eventually I allowed myself to eat again, and was back to that starting weight. The one from way back when I was 20 years old and loved myself as-is. I started to love myself again, too. But because I thought I was better, I stopped taking the medication. The mirror once again told me I was beyond fat. And again, I stopped eating. I’m back on medication now and in therapy, trying to catch this before it goes too far again. I will probably fight this battle forever, but I’m armed with more tools to help myself than ever before.

I will probably fight this battle forever. It’s a battle I just take one day at a time, that’s all I can do. sometimes I win, sometimes I lose, but I will always keep fighting.

 

Submitted by: Anon

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