I’ve written before about my struggles with weight and self image which seem to have been exacerbated by a period last year where I dropped a significant amount of my body mass very quickly. I had never in my life up to that point been one to worry about the scales and seemed to have a natural self worth and confidence that had nothing to do with the way I looked. However, my ‘skinny’ self fast became the absolute opposite of this person as I found myself agonising over any shift in my weight day after day after debilitating day.
I didn’t really know if I wanted to share the extent of my struggles within this piece, because no one really questions things when you fit into a mould on that ‘ideal body type’. But as I received compliment after compliment on my appearance, the question that should have been asked and in which I should have held myself accountable is ‘are you okay?’… interestingly enough, no one ever asked that question of me once.
The truth is, I really wasn’t okay. Instead of focusing on my health, on healing from a few recent battles in life that had knocked me off course, I attempted to feed myself on compliments and a deluded sense of self worth which entailed looking a certain way. Reflecting back on it, I struggle to fathom how I existed at all during this time. More than anything else I remember a lingering and agonising feeling of hunger each and every day as I struggled to maintain an unhealthy form of existence where I consumed the bare minimum. I lost count of the restless nights in which hunger kept me awake and the constant fog in which my mind was forced to operate as my body attempted to get through the days without the nutrients it needed to function on.
When I could no longer deal with the hunger I turned to another and equally harmful practice of binge eating. I felt as though I was trapped in a never ending cycle of binging, being consumed by guilt, succumbing to that guilt by purging and then feeling shameful about the entire episode. This would then repeat itself several times a day. It’s difficult to explain the feeling of shame that this process brought on and how much I utterly hated what I was doing to myself. I wasn’t a passive participant in all of this and yet still felt an inevitability of it all in which I was trapped in a nightmarish sequence which I could not bring myself to end.
It’s a strange thing to wake up every day and be consumed by thoughts pertaining to control leading to an unending sense of inadequacy. I’m still attempting to heal and of course it isn’t an easy process as I learn to love myself once again from within. What I have realised however is that I don’t want to live the way that I was, I have more respect for my being, for my spirit and for my soul to abuse it so badly once again. I can only explain life as making the most of a series of misfortunate events that are out of our control. But what I cannot forget is how much I value myself and all I have to offer this world. I’ve neglected my self-growth for such a long time and focused on false ideals of what equates to happiness which I refuse to do anymore. Healing is not an easy thing to do from here on out, but I commit to it as life choice towards betterment.