Wednesday, January 04, 2006

taking control

TAKING CONTROL

So today is a good day.

It's day 3 of the new healthy me. And I'm in control. Taking things one day, one step at a time.

For two complete days now I haven't starved, binged, taken diet pills or laxatives. For two complete days now I have eaten normal food, normal meals and not felt guilty.

This journey to a healthier me is a bigger journey than any of you may realise. I've kind of hinted at it before. I have an eating disorder. Sometimes I admit that and sometimes I don't. At the moment though, I'm feeling empowered and strong and I can admit it because for one of the first times in my life I am starting to deal with it.

It's something that has been with me for pretty much all of my adult life. Maybe even a a substantial part of my childhood as well.

As a child, I was a little chubby - like lots of girls can be. But I was also a little geeky; I had hideous NHS glasses and braces, I was quiet and shy and clever and I was an easy target for bullies. I was bullied in some form - usually about my chubbiness - until the day I left school at the age of 15.

I was also sexually abused. That's another post for another day. All I can say about that right now is that there were two abusers. One when I was 8. For a period of about a year. I don't recall much of this time, my mind has done a good job of locking it away and it only occasionally escapes. The other started when I was 11 and was brought to a halt when the police became involved about 4 years later.

So logically and rationally, its hardly surprising that I ended up with an eating disorder - no medals for working that one out. It could have been anything, of course. It could have been drugs or drink or any one of a number of destructive behaviours, but my mind chose food to be its weapon of choice.

During my late teens and early twenties I pretty much had a handle on it. I felt pretty good about myself emotionally, I looked good - even if I didn't always think that. In fact I look back now on pictures of myself from that time and I'm shocked at how pretty and slim I was. Because even when I was feeling good a part of me was still convinced that I was the chubby little girl.

Things went wrong again after DD2 was born. I suffered with post-natal depression, it hit me between the eyes like a sledgehammer, and all self-esteem went out of window with a used nappy sack. Thats when things really started to get tough. I used the most horrific diet pills known to man. I think they're actually legal in the US, and maybe in some other countries too. But they're not over here. Or at least they are very very very carefully controlled. But I got hold of some through a private clinic and I started taking them.

The weight fell off in enormous chunks.

The first week I used them I lost 12lbs. But I also didn't eat at all for that whole week - maybe an apple here and a raw carrot there. If I had a daily calorie intake at all, it certainly wasn't more than about 200 calories. I was surviving on vitamin tablets and water. I had the jitters, couldn't sleep at night for any longer than 2 hours because I was so damned high. I thought I was in control, but in reality I was about as far from control as I have ever been in my life.

Of course, it wasn't sustainable. Aside from the cost implications, eventually I began to crumble. Woman cannot live on vitamin tablets alone and soon my hair began to fall out, my nails started snapping and my skin started peeling. My body was, of course, rebelling. Rebelling in a big way. I stopped taking the tablets and within a frighteningly short space of time I was back to square one.

So next came my dalliance with laxatives. I'm sure I don't need to go into details on this one, it was unpleasant to say the least. But it gave me the 'freedom' to eat (or so I believed) and after a couple of months of near starvation, I ate. And I suffered because of it. Laxatives didn't last long.

Since then, I've fiddled around with various diets - I've done Atkins, South Beach, GI, Hay, Slimfast - you name it, I've done it. Some were marginally successful, some were unmitigated disasters.

But the one thing I haven't done in any of this is actually address the real issues, the self-esteem.

One day last summer I told ~S~ about the diet pills and the eating disorder. In a fit of desperation I'd managed to get hold of some more from a US website. But on day 2 I told her I was taking them and I told her pretty much everything I've said here. She told me to flush the tablets down the toilet. I considered not doing it and telling her that I had done, but I couldn't do that. So I did as she asked. I flushed every last one of them down the toilet.

So for me to even get this far and admit this much is a huge step.

As I go off to make breakfast (I haven't eaten breakfast for nearly 3 years) I have a smile on my face.

I'm feeling damned proud of myself today.

26 Comments:

Blogger Francesca said...

I relate all TOO well!

You are so right when you say the real issue is self esteem and other stuff. It's never about the food, is it? That's just the symptom, albeit one that becomes a problem itself!

I'm proud of you for staying away from the pills and for this new path. You're doing great!

Hugs!

12:30 PM  
Blogger CycleGuy said...

I'm proud of you too!

1:04 PM  
Blogger Chelle said...

Good for you for taking control of your eating disorder!! I am sure it's hard!!! Good luck with it and thanks for sharing your story :)

1:09 PM  
Blogger Angel Girl said...

You are not alone. Some people try to counteract it, while others just let the pounds pack on.. in turn getting bigger and bigger feeding that initial fire. I am proud of you for confronting the real issues at hand! If you stick with it you will see a complete new you emerge from the rubble.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Deadly Female said...

francesca, cycleguy, chelle and angel girl - Thank you all for your support, it means a great deal and I appreciate it. And just watch out for those HNT shots when I emerge!!

3:15 PM  
Blogger Wenchy said...

I am VERY proud of you!!!!!!

3:31 PM  
Blogger The Recovering Straight Girl said...

Good for you! I don't know why we convince ourselves that we need to do a lot of tricks to lose weight when the safest (although not easiest) thing to do is adjust our lifestyle.

Keep up the good work.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Spexial said...

congrats babe..keep up the good work!

5:21 PM  
Blogger writergrll said...

A lot of courage to do the flush. Keep on wi' it!

5:26 PM  
Blogger writergrll said...

good for you..took a lot of courage to do the flush.

5:27 PM  
Blogger Voodoo said...

DF I am so glad that you are at the point where you can openly face your demons. you can beat this!

7:55 PM  
Blogger Sapphire said...

Baby I remember that day all too well when you told me about those pills. I cried and was desperately begging you not to take them. I'm glad you're stronger now. I'm proud of every day that passes normally for you. I'm proud of each step you take, no matter how big or small.

I love you and every thing about you.

8:03 PM  
Blogger lecram sinun said...

Glad you're feeling good and taking control. :) It is a challenge... but one well worth the effort. :)

9:14 PM  
Blogger Miladysa said...

Well done! x

9:43 PM  
Blogger ~Deb said...

Hey sweetie,

We all have our demons to contend with; all have our own crosses to bear. The thing is, knowing that you are valued and needed. I’m so happy that you’re taking this huge step for your health.

Having self-worth and good self-esteem comes from within. No matter if you’re skinny, medium build, heavy-set, we can carry ourselves well, if we want to. Physical health is important, but remember, mentally, we have to be healthy as well, in order to obtain any goal.

I’m so sorry for what you went through as a child. I went through similar situations that left me a bit taken back. I had so many insecurities that only left me to create bad habits and almost a road towards self-destruction.

I’m glad you caught it now before it’s too late. I just recently bumped into a friend who is a ‘male’ who suffers from anorexia. When I first met him, he was this chubby kid. No one wanted to date him—because of his weight. Sad, but true. Then he started working out, and losing the weight. He got obsessed with ‘weight lifting’ and started taking protein supplements among other things to gain muscle—like steroids and ANYTHING available that would help him. He STOPPED eating completely. What happened is, his liver is failing on him, and his metabolism is so fast, that even if he eats 20,0000 calories per day, he’ll still be at a weight of 110 lbs for someone who is 5’8. That is NOT good for a man. The doctors don’t think he’ll live much longer, because his body is falling apart---literally. I just found this out and I’m really upset over this. It was all because of his low self-esteem that brought him to this level.

People can be so superficial, especially the media. Please know, that physical appearance isn’t ALL what people judge you by. This year, I wish love, happiness, a better self-esteem for yourself, and most of all, I wish you good health. You can start ‘now’, and begin anew.

Good luck, and all the best to you!!!

Thank you so much for being so open on your blog and being so honest. I admire that about you...You're an amazing woman.

{{hugs}}

11:14 PM  
Blogger JD's Rose said...

You seem to have built up your emotional stregth a lot since meeting ~S~. This is a good thing.
I'm proud of you.

xxx

1:03 AM  
Blogger Lea said...

One day at a time.
Very proud of what you are doing, sometimes it is not easy.

1:39 AM  
Blogger Bent Fabric said...

And you should feel damn proud of yourself! You're doing a wonderful thing for yourself. I'm proud of you, too, and as you can see your supporters will be here to cheer you on as you embark on this incredibe journey to self-empowerment.

Great job!!
xx

3:32 AM  
Blogger JD's Rose said...

Why did my comment not show up? Hmm, and while I'm at it, why do two of the blogs on your blogroll have little thingies ** next to them? I'm so inquisitive. I should have been a detective.

3:55 AM  
Blogger Mermaid Girl said...

Darling girl you are so strong and I am so proud of you :)

Love & Hugs
MG

4:05 AM  
Blogger jazzy said...

Good for you! You should definitely be proud!

5:06 AM  
Blogger Deadly Female said...

Thank you all for being so wonderfully supportive. And as the dawn rises on day 4 I feel differently about this battle now, stronger and ready for it.

Kylz, I put comment moderation on - just for a little while - it will be coming off again in about a week's time. That's why your comment doesn't show immediately - because it has to wait until I get out of bed for me to say 'yes, she's ok'. And regarding the little ** things next to some names on my links - thats because I use blogrolling and it puts those little things there to tell me that those blogs have been updated and I should go and visit. Which, being obedient, I always do. But sometimes it doesn't update properly - I haven't fathomed it out yet.

8:29 AM  
Blogger Evil Minx said...

I'm here -- better late than never.

I'm so proud of you, Deadly. I truly am. You are inspirational... really, you are.

Love

Minxy xxxx

11:15 AM  
Blogger No One In Particular said...

Good luck on this new journey. I hope you find happiness wihtin yourself. I know it is difficult, but it can be done. Be proud of each little step you take & that will get you through :)

3:11 PM  
Blogger kien lim said...

Sure, I understand where you are coming from. I am anoerexic/bullimic. The mental torture was horrific. No freedom from the obsession of food, the thoughts, and the obsessive thinking. Then the starvation, the high and the failure. And then the same cycle again. Yup, sick and tired of being sick and tired. I don't suffer from that anymore. The obsession to starve/overeat/binge eat has been removed. I didn't do it. I couldn't. I am now just looking at my diet. Cutting down on the sugar. I think I might be sugar sensitive too. But I'm still experimenting as I am a sugar addict and don't want to give it up. But I have been feeling the highs and lows of my blood sugar level. I used to be on a sugar free diet but decided to experiment the last 3 months. I may have to give up sugar.

1:11 AM  
Blogger kien lim said...

hey, I forgot to add, it is an illness and no one's fault. Self esteem actually comes from the natural low level of beta endorphins in the blood, which is bio chemical. I used to suffer from acute depression too, which is serotonin deficiency. It's a body chemistry I inherited. That's why I used substances to feel better. Of which food was one of. My body chemistry is not normal.

10:18 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home