I was up until five AM last night because I was sick. I'd go into details about that but it's pretty gross and requires some backstory, so I won't go into that yet. So I woke up at two in the afternoon today, which I hate.
I rolled off of my couch (I always sleep there when I'm not feeling good), and opened my MacBook to find an intimidating amount of Facebook notifications. Most of them had to do with that "25 Facts" meme that's going around. Amy and I got invited to a "Beach Day!" with a bunch of people from JJ's party, and I'd really like to go. I barely know these people, but they were so much fun that night so I'd really like to go. I'll go if Amy goes. Because I'd need a ride anyway.
Well, after sifting through all of my internet junk, I took a shower and made my FTFK video, sans makeup and without even drying my hair. And now I'm writing this blog and on the recliner in my living room while my sister watches the Tinker Bell movie. I'm not really paying attention, but from what I can tell, it looks extremely weird.
Today I need to mail Michelle's letter. I wrote it when I said I would, I've just been so distracted I haven't actually gotten around to mailing it. And now I'm not even sure of it's exact location.
Okay so, since I'm not going to be doing anything fun until later tonight (it's currently 6:18 PM) I guess I'll take this moment to discuss my aforemetioned health issues. I've kind of touched on them before, but I've never really discussed any of it at great length anywhere on the internet.
This is a really touchy subject for me, but it doesn't bother me as much anymore seeing as I've grown out of it, for the most part.
I have always had issues with food and/or my weight/body image. Always. And I don't think that's very strange or unusual for girls my age. From what I've seen, I think it's a lot more common than people think and I don't think there's any one set cause.
Starting when I was eleven, I began this cycle of bingeing and purging. I would basically eat a ton of food as fast as I could, and then throw it all up. The common misconception with bulimia is that it's always done by insecure white girls to lose weight. While that's definitely true in some of the cases, it doesn't apply to all of them, including mine. My issue with throwing up was more of a coping mechanism. When something upset me- issues with my mother mainly, but sometimes even something as small as a bad grade would trigger it- it was my way of releasing that. It made me feel better. I didn't understand why I did it, I just knew that nobody could know about it, and that while I hated that I had this secret, I still loved doing it. Not only did I get emotional satisfaction from throwing up, I also got literally high off of it. It would leave me feeling dizzy and in a dream-like state for up to an hour after I actually vomited.
I kept this up for around four years. I would go through phases where I would try to stop, but that never lasted. The effects it had on my health were impossible to ignore, and my mom nearly always had me in the doctor's office, trying to figure out what was wrong with me. My symptoms included constipation, constant abdominal and chest pain, irregular heartbeat, problems with my skin and hair, swelling in my cheeks and face, gross fingernails, and indigestion. I was diagnosed with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), and took medicine for it for a year.
When high school rolled around, I started to make friends. I was still very shy and awkward, but it was right around the time I entered my "scene" phase, so the way I dressed and the odd colors I put in my hair made friends for me. I was able to open up more than I had before. It got hard to hide it from my friends, especially when they started noticing the weirdness. Eventually, I told one girl who I was very close to. She swore up and down she wouldn't say anything. And she kept her promise, for a while. But, as it so often happens in tenth grade, I made her mad and she told. Which led to the information getting to one of my teachers, and then to one of the guidance counselors, and then to my mom...
It was really easy to convince my mom that it was just a stupid rumor, and she was definitely not willing to believe that her little girl would do such a thing, but she still kept a closer eye on my eating habits and remained suspicious, just in case.
And then one day my little sister told my mother that she had seen me throwing up, and all hell broke loose, pretty much. I got in big trouble. She yelled at me and threatened to take the locks off the bathroom doors and kept me under total surveillance for a few days, and I suppose she thought that that'd be enough to sort of scare me out of it, like it was just some stupid phase or something I was doing for attention or to be skinny. And I can't blame her. She didn't know that I had been doing it for four years, she didn't know why I was doing it, and I didn't try and tell her, because I didn't know how. I didn't know what was wrong with me either.
So, it all died down for a while. I returned to my old ways. And I was more careful than ever to hide it. It became a little game I played. I pushed my limits, seeing just how much food I could eat and how quickly, challenging myself. I even taught myself to do it with no hands. I loved the feeling it gave me. Throwing up made me feel clean and happy.
Meanwhile, while this was all going on, I was dealing with other issues at home that were contributing to this problem that I had, and I'm not going to go into that (my family drama can be another blog for another day...) which, ultimately resulted in my moving out of my mom's house and moving in with my dad who I barely knew. Taking control of my life like that empowered me in a way I'd never even thought possible. And it was at that moment, I decided that once I moved in with my father, I would start a completely new life and never make myself throw up again.
I decided I'd have one last ceremonial binge, just for old times sake. I wanted to make it count. I remember that night like it just happened. I had three pieces of cold pizza, a bag of mini powdered donuts, two bags of Doritos, Apple Jacks, strawberry ice cream, bread and peanut butter, and at least a dozen Oreos. I followed it all up with a can and a half of Dr. Pepper, and got rid of it right there in the kitchen sink. All in under thirty minutes. I felt like such a champ.
After moving in with my dad, I had to fight very hard to keep up with my vow. I slipped up pretty frequently the first few months. But I did break the habit. I started writing my feelings out more. It also helped that I was out of the poisonous environment I was in before, and I was finally allowed to live life as a normal teenager.
I still get the urge to purge sometimes. The craving is still there. The only way I can really describe it to you is that, I feel like all the evil inside of me lives in my stomach. And I just want to clean it out. All the bad feelings and hurt, I want it gone. I have this fascination with pumpkin scrapers, I've always wanted to use one on the inside of my stomach. It's disgusting, I know. And I don't understand it either. But I've come to accept it. And I've learned other ways of dealing with those bad emotions, you know?
Anyway. Backtracking some to when I first moved in with my father, when I stopped (for the most part) throwing up and started eating normally, my weight skyrocketed. Now, while I hadn't been exactly happy with my body when I was throwing up, the throwing up was never directly related to my weight. But the sudden weight gain at the beginning of eleventh grade really threw me off. I was at 140 at my highest point, which isn't bad, but it wasn't what I was used to and it had a terrible effect on my confidence. My weight eventually evened itself back out to 130, which is actually a very healthy weight, but I wasn't happy. I stayed at that 130 mark until my senior year, when I started dating Posh Spice.
Now, Posh Spice and I had had some issues prior to us dating that I won't go into, involving some other girls and that sort of thing, and they carried over into our relationship and had a pretty devastating effect on both my self-esteem and our relationship.
Then one day, in January, five months into our relationship, I decided I was going to go on a diet, to fix myself and to be thin and "good enough" for him, because, my mind was that warped and messed up. So, I went on a crash diet. I ate under 800 calories a day, and lost 20+ pounds in less than three months. And even though I am now more happy and confident with my body size and shape than I ever have been, it has really taken it's toll on my health, which was the original point of this post.
The bad side effects started while I was dieting. I constantly had a headache. I always had hunger pains, always. I was always fatigued. I never felt good and never had energy to do any of the things I wanted to. I lost my period. It also affected on me emotionally. I was constantly irritable. It was like PMS-ing all of the time. The smallest things would set me off, I would start crying at the drop of a hat or get really mad at everyone around me for no reason. I pushed a lot of people away, and it caused a lot of friction between me and Posh Spice. The time period where I was dieting, from January to March, is what I consider our "rough patch". We still fought less than most couples, and the fights never lasted very long, but it was always over the smallest, most insignificant things. And I knew I was doing it, but I couldn't help it. I didn't know what was wrong with me, and that freaked me out even more and made things even worse. I know for a fact that this contributed a lot to our breakup, even though this "rough patch" had been over for a month when we split.
Now, while the emotional side effects have long since subsided, the physical ones have gotten worse. I am now back to the severe constipation I used to have when I threw up, only somehow it's worse. I only "go" once a week, at most (sorry if that's too much information, haha). I suffer from telogen effluvium, which is the fancy medical name for what's causing my hair to fall out (I started taking prenatal vitamins about a week ago, by the way, hopefully I will start seeing an improvement soon) and I have to drown my skin in lotion to keep it from drying out. My nails are brittle, my stomach always hurts, and my metabolism is completely messed up.
Back in April, May and early June, I used to have really violent reactions to stress or too much physical activity. Like if I had a really busy day or did something really strenuous (like spending six hours outside in the sun or doing too much on too little sleep or food) I would get really sick and start throwing up. But I pushed through that and I've gotten better, through eating healthier and getting more sleep.
So. That's why I was up until four last night. I had to poop. It's something that should be so simple, yet for me, it causes pain for hours beforehand.
This whole journey I've been on, while it's played a big part in who I am, is not something I'm proud of. I don't want people to feel sorry for me, because it's something I feel personally responsible for. I didn't know how to control my emotions or my life and I paid for it with my health. So if anyone out there is going through something similar, do what you can to get out now. I promise you it's worth it. If you have an eating disorder and you don't know how to find your way out, get some professional help. I wish, more than anything, my mother had thrown me in therapy the minute she found out about my issues. I feel like I would have gotten out a lot quicker and cleaner if I had gotten professional help. And if you're on a crazy crash diet like I was, stop it. It's not worth it.
So yeah. This blog entry was probably the hardest I've ever had to write, but I'm glad I wrote it. It's information that I feel needs to get out there. It's also extremely long, and I doubt most of you will read the whole thing. But I got it out of my system, and that's all I really wanted.
Now I'm off to go do something fun. I love you guys, a lot.
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Why today is awesome: Eloise is on Disney Channel! Yeeeeauhhh.