Sunday, March 15, 2009

My ED took my youth

Just Eat It! is a 17 year-old who writes an extraordinary blog about her recovery. reading her wise, honest words about her ED taking control of her teenaged years, i think of all the time i lost.

i'll be 45 in june (how did that happen?) usually, i don't linger in the past. i'm so relieved to be where i am, after all i've been thru. i'm happier than i've ever been and so very grateful.

i always say i have no regrets -- if i didn't go thru what i did i wouldn't be the person i am nor as appreciative. but recently, i'm starting to get mad that i lost so many years to a desire to be...thin.

food was always a gigantic issue in my house. i ate and ate until i got chubby, but then i'd have a growth spurt and lose weight. i was the tallest girl in my class until seventh grade, when i hit 5'6. i weighed 123 pounds and wore a 34C bra.

once i stopped growing, the pounds PACKED on, and the cycle began. starving, binging, compulsive eating, starving, binging compulsive eating, diuretics, laxatives in college, puking after that. my weight fluctuated 60 pounds regularly. i got down to 95 and up to 180. back and forth, back and forth. binge, purge, starve, binge, purge...

junior high school sucked - i was fat and that was all that mattered to me.
high school sucked - i discovered diuretics, cigarettes, fasting and serious binging.
college sucked - i starved too hard to have any brain power. then i binged up 60 pounds.
my 20s sucked - i starved down to 95. no binging here. just misery, loneliness. anger
my thirties sucked - HUNGRY, STARVING, FAMISHED. binge, purge, binge, purge, binge, binge, purge, purge
my early 40s -- stopped binging and purging. gained 20 pounds. then my body adjusted and i lost 15. i've stayed this way for a year.

my ED took control when i was 13. i'm taking it back at 44. THIRTY-ONE years sitting alone, counting calories, staying in so i wouldn't eat, staying in so i could puke out every last bite of food, staying in, so i wouldn't be temped to eat and god forbid -- gain weight.

WHAT A FUCKING WASTE OF TIME. i won't get those 31 years back.

guess it pisses me off, huh? and makes me very sad. the next years won't be like that.


  1. Isn't it strange to see the passage of time? I'm 29 and have been dealing with my ed since I was 17-ish. When I first started treatment, I couldn't believe that I would still be having ed thoughts at my age. I bought into the myth that eds are "adolescent." No way. They are a complicated mess of genes, behaviors, habits. I think I've kind of accepted that now. But, I haven't accepted that the ed HAS to be ACTIVE. It can be dormant, like a volcano :) I feel your sadness. I've felt it too, and often used it to beat up on myself more (and there I go in an abusive circle). If anything, know that you've learned so much and you are who you are. You have so much to enjoy. The past is the past. That's all I can really tell myself, ya know?

  2. I'm very flattered. Thank you.

    It makes me sad that the eating disorder has taken so much of my life. It makes me sad that the eating disorder has taken so much of your life. The important thing is what we do with the rest of our lives. There's many years ahead to be free of an eating disorder.

  3. I developed an eating disorder around age 15 and now at 37, finally, I can say that I've made it to a very solid place in terms of recovery. Like you, I feel that I 'lost' many years, but I'm also working on forgiving myself for that.
    I think it's natural and healthy to feel angry and sad about the loss of years and what that means to you, but it sounds as though you are working on moving beyond this. And I think that everyone can.

  4. Well- make sure you don't spend the next 31 years mourning the loss of the last 31, right? Take solace in the fact that you're putting your experience to good use now and helping others who read your blog to learn from you. I know I have! You have helped me understand my beautiful and complex mom so much.
    Be in the now and look to the future. You are a courageous creature!

  5. kim; you're right. the past is the past. and i have, indeed, learned so much. i do have to remember to stay grounded and to not look back so much. thank you!

    just eat it: here's to a great future for all of us!!!!

    kristina; thank you for writing. i'm sorry it took so long to respond. i've had bloggers writing block. i'm enjoying reading your blog. i'll be responding soon. i think my fingers are ready to write again.

    danielle mari; what a touching comment. thank you. eating disorders are so very hard to understand.

    i don't know if i'm courageous, but i'm learning that i'm a survivor. now i want to be someone who really lives life. eventually, i hope, with gusto. see you soon on your blog.

  6. A friend said something similar as well: she hoped I could look at myself in the mirror one day and say, "why did I waste all these years?" It's true, in one point it is, but at the same time, it also makes us who we are as the people today. Now, it belongs to us to decide upon how we want t olive the next year of our life. Slowly, but surely we learn and accept ourselves.

  7. you are so right! i wonder, as i'm not all that thrilled with the person i am much of the time, is it STILL all worth it? (doesn't that sound terrible?)

    i am lucky and blessed and grateful for the progress i've made. i just wish i COULD look in the mirror with a little more peace.

    thanks for writing.