Sitting next to my bed is a mini-journal. This mini-journal is turned to a particular entry from the latter part of 2009. Every night, I see it. And that is precisely why it's there. It is there so I can be silently reminded of what used to be. I have left this particular journal entry next to my bed for a few reasons:
1. it keeps me in check. I never have to actually read the entry because I know exactly what it says. Just a mere glancing at the lines of ink on this mini paper is enough to remind me of the horrors that used to be me... of the horrors that used to be her.
2. it is my motivation. This '09 entry motivates me in more ways than one. As mentioned in reason 1, it motivates me to keep a check mark over that recovery box. It also motivates me to do anything I can so that less people in the world end up here.
3. it brings thankful tears and a calm smile, every single time; pride. The entry, as dark and raw as it is, serves up humble, thankful pride. I once was the writer of this journal entry. I once was a very different, shattered and shamed soul. I once was her but, I am no longer. Pride. Utterly humble, deeply-rooted pride.
Recovery is possible.
People have asked me what it is like to be a bulimic. I believe if you have not lived it and experienced it, it's near impossible to understand. Even having gone through the below, I don't completely understand; I don't know that I ever truly will. But, here it is. The below is real, I assure you. It was written through tears of the devastation that surrounded my disordered eating lifestyle. Sadly, it is the same devastation that surrounds many other's...
Below is a real look inside the bulimic mind. I will leave you with the entry as the end of your reading. This is a real look, a real experience, a real journal entry by a real former bulimic. Make sure you grab that grain of salt 'cause you may need it to swallow the below:
I have only one provider of complete control. When I lose control in life and with food, I know I can get it back in just one act. This act is far from attractive and no one would know I do it unless I told them. No one would know that I force myself into feeling in control when control is spiraling down all around me. It is the only way I can control the guilt and rid myself of the consequences that my loss of control will incur.
My mind obsesses at the thought of expelling my guilt until I give in to it. Until I do it, I will be in an anxious whorl of compulsive thought. Nothing else can rid my mind of these compulsive ideas. Nothing else can rid myself of the compulsive binge I just trance-like endured.
I have to do it.
I don't want to do it. I'll be mad at myself if I do it. I'll be so disappointed if I do it. I swore I wouldn't do it anymore. I swore I would never do it again.
But, I have to!
"Just do it." Thats what the devil on my left shoulder says.
"It'll be okay, you don't have to do it. It's bad for you. It's not the only way. Don't do it." Thats what the angel on my right shoulder says.
"Just fucking do it." Thats what the devil on my left shoulder aggressively and obsessively repeats.
Almost always, the devil wins. And, I do it. I just do it. I throw up. I throw up until I think I've rid myself of enough to feel relief. I throw up enough to lessen my guilt and enough to get rid of at least a part of what I have done.
When I feel like I've lessened the impact and consequence of my binge, I feel incomparable control. I feel relief. Finally, I am at ease. I take a deep breath. And then, reality sets in.
Guilt, shame, disgust... I did it again. I am such a coward. I am such an idiot. I am such a failure. I will never ever do that again... (yeah, until the next time...)