It’s a terrible, tangled web, an eating disorder. A love-hate relationship. You might remember from my last post, Three Reasons I Loved Ed.
There was so much love at first. I remember my sister came to visit me in university – second year – and I proudly proclaimed that I’d “lost 4 pounds.” It wasn’t much, but at 5 foot 1, it made a difference. I now weighed 107lbs. And I was proud. I felt like a million bucks, kind of.
That same night, we were getting ready to go to a party. Nothing big. Nothing special. Just at a friend’s place. It was no big deal.
Until the light in my brain switched.
I went from feeling great – happy with how I looked – to the complete opposite. In a matter of seconds while I was getting dressed.
Nothing fit. Nothing was comfortable. Nothing was right. Everything was wrong. With my clothes, with my body, with me.
I was disgusted. Horrified at my body as it somehow expanded before my eyes. With every costume change, I got bigger. More horrible. Revolting. I looked fat. But worse, I felt fat.
That would be a common theme in the days, weeks, and years to come: feeling fat.
Fat is not a feeling. It’s just not.
But it was something I felt so intensely that it would send me into panics. Freak-outs. My chest…it felt like the world was sitting on me. Trying to push out the air, and with that the life.
Sometimes, tears would roll down my cheeks – ‘sometimes’ became more and more frequent.
I’d hyperventilate. Pace. Then I couldn’t move. It was all too much. I needed to escape. Quiet my mind or else.
That is an anxiety attack. I’d later be prescribed little pills for that.
It wouldn’t take long before that victorious 107 would become a nightmare. A sign of failure, of worthlessness, of course. That’s the way it is – the pounds go down and you feel better. But it’s never good enough. Never, ever. You are never good enough. Never, ever.
And you hate yourself for that.
But eventually, I’d muster the courage to stare into the mirror. Into my eyes. And I’d wonder what on earth happened to me. To my life.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read about my experience. I realize my story is scattered – it’s because I can’t remember the events of my eating disorder in any kind of order. Everything is jumbled up in my head.
About Cynthia Alana
Cynthia has battled bulimia (and won), faced depression, and lived with anxiety throughout it all. After realizing she wanted to be a force of good in the world, she tried recovery for 6 months. It’s been years. Travel is her passion, and so is her job: writing for charities. You can follow Cynthia’s story on HMC’s Supportive Minds Blog, and additionally, you can connect with Cynthia on LinkedIn.