The past two weeks I’ve been struggling again, not with food restricting but with over eating. I’ve been reaching for sugary, processed foods and my motivation to workout has been low to non existent. I’ve come so far in my battle with an eating disorder and bad body image. The fear of gaining weight is still a very real problem for me though. If I skip a few days of working out, I’m actually convinced I can feel myself gaining weight. That isn’t healthy and it isn’t normal, but it’s how I deal with things and as long as I’m not slipping backwards, I think it’s fairly alright.
The journey to where I am now was not an easy one. At times, I didn’t think I could get here but I did. I won. My life is my own now, there are no negative factors influencing me. My thoughts are my own, my brain works in a healthy manner. I don’t try to destroy myself anymore. When I was ill, I hated myself. I wanted to rip apart everything I was because I simply wasn’t good enough. But I was me and that alone is enough. I’m not as thin as I was during my eating disorder but I’m also not as sad. I see great things in myself, I know my capabilities, I know I can achieve whatever I put my mind to and strive for. Before, I didn’t see my future and that’s understandable seeing as I didn’t even know if I would have one. I was weak but I never fully gave into it. Part of me was always fighting to get better. Despite bulimia’s best efforts, I’m still breathing and I’m stronger than I’ve ever been. You didn’t weaken me, you just made me stronger.
Sia’s ‘Elastic Heart’ has some powerful lyrics that I can identify with,
“I know that I can survive
I’ll walk through fire to save my life
And I want it, I want my life so bad
I’m doing everything I can”
The music video is also very powerful so click the link and check it out if you haven’t already. To me, the little girl represents an eating disorder and she’s trying to break down the man, the cage represents the feeling of isolation and captivity that comes with an eating disorder. The first time I saw the video, I cried. The accuracy of it. I know some people said the video suggested pedophilia, in my opinion that is sheer ignorance but it can be perceived in different ways. I see a man fighting with the seemingly harmless little girl. He fights her but she pursues him. She leaves and he desperately tries to get her back, she comes back and he embraces her. She leaves him one last time and he feels lost without her. Call me crazy, but that was my eating disorder in a nutshell.
I’m urging any of you out there who are struggling to please ask for help. Talk to a family member, a friend or a specialist. There are plenty of websites out there, in Ireland I know of Bodywhys, who offer support and counselling. You don’t have to feel trapped forever. Recovery isn’t easy but it’s worth it, every painful moment is worth the joy that comes after and the life you gain.
For people in Ireland reading this, I’d ask you to please donate €2 to Bodywhys to help them continue their work by texting ‘Body’ to 50300. Stay strong lovelies and remember what all this is for.