Confinement

My day? Not too good. I haven’t gotten out of bed other than to pee and feed the puppers. I’m in excruciating pain in all my joints. The soles of my feet and the front of the legs are crimson red and hot and the blankets even hurt me. Having a flare up of CRPS. Not fun.

A Late Night Breakdown

3am and I’m still awake. Sitting in the dark with tears streaming down my face, wiping my nose with the back of my hand as I swallow my sobs because I don’t want to wake my husband.

Random irrational thoughts have been intruding my mind for the past 6 hours and I feel like I’m losing control.

So I ate. Chewing and swallowing, never tasting a single bite, putting my focus on what I had in front of me. Shoveling random food items into my mouth and then gulping them down much faster than was necessary, just trying to push these horrible feelings far enough down just so that I could safely make it through the rest of this night.

But it didn’t work.

To the bathroom. With my toothbrush in hand I poke the back of my throat, over and over, harder and faster, again and again…….

Until the only thing left coming out of me is snot and tears. I’m feeling so weak and so … broken.

My husband is still comfortably sleeping, the world is completely oblivious to what I’m going through. My dogs sit on either side of me, wondering why I have interrupted their sleep and why I am so upset.

I contemplate taking something to help me relax. I have a lot of options sitting in my top drawer. My mouth waters. The answer to everything that’s wrong right now. I could make all this shit end … even for a little while.

I’m desperate and so fuckin tired ….

Please Accept My Apology

My dearest Body,

Oh, how I have treated you so unkind. Oh, how so unkindly others have treated you. Yet, you still remain intact, bearing the physical, emotional, and psychological scars of unpleasantry for so little to see. Body, you have carried my being for years. You are much younger than I am in here. For reasons not yet completely known to me, there have been times where I have pinched you until you bled, cut you until you bled, starved you, poisoned you, and exploited you. Through all of this, you still remain with me: A young, beautiful shell carrying an old, bitter being.

Depression has allowed me to do these things to you. I never meant to hurt you. Family history runs deep within the vile rivers of disparity and self-loathing. I greatly apologize for those times I lacked the emotional and psychological ability to stop forced hate upon you. I want to blame my family history for my own past.

Rightfully so, these thoughts and actions are learned at a young age and I do not believe I would have naturally turned out this way if it weren’t for everything I have witnessed since birth.

Anger, depression, addiction, lust, and selfishness: the list continues. I have always known anger. I have always seen physical anger. These learned actions and reactions have caused me to harm you in ways I would never harm another living being. I cannot even kill a cockroach without crying inside.

My dearest Body, you did not deserve any of those things. I have taught you to stay still while I transcended into deep meditation. I taught you to stretch and run. I nurtured you with medication to heal you even when my brain maliciously told me not to. You are so incredible. I don’t tell you this often enough, but I spend long moments just staring at you up close. I love the rivets in your skin and the olive hue it gives off under its paleness. I am learning to love your eye color and your toes. I am learning how to give you what you need when you need it instead of selfishly taking and keeping from you.

With all of that being said, there is nothing I would want to change about you. Your lips are beautiful. Do not listen when I tell you they’re too thin. Your nose is perfect. Do not listen when I tell you it’s too big. Your vagina is magnificent. Do not listen when I tell you it’s not. Your nails are exactly as they should be. Do not listen when I tell you they’re too brittle.

The only things I wish to change are of my spirit. I am bitter and angry, yet hopeful and happy. I’m sorry that my mind is a bit confused, Body. I’m so grateful for you! For you have not betrayed me once. It is I who has betrayed you.

Yet, you inspire me by continuing to carry me forward!

You give me so much hope!

Thank you, Body.

Submitted by Ashley Godwin

This Sickening Illness 

The times I’ve spent bingeing, and purging, are quite simply some of the filthiest moments I have had in my life; they are snapshots of time that are so violently maimed by my actions, that I hate to think about them and my repulsive behaviours. 

Bulimia nervosa as a whole is a disgusting illness in many ways for a crazy number of reasons, but my behaviour during a binge and then the purge is by far the most sickening. 

My 72 Hour Binge 

Ok so I need to be honest. This weekend has been my worst 3 days of eating in months. I completely let myself go on a 72 hour binge and I am feeling so ashamed of myself that I’m lying here in bed at my mother in laws house, it’s 2 in the morning, and I can’t sleep because I feel miserable. 

I’m bloated. My stomach hurts. My legs are restless (it gets really bad when I don’t drink enough water). And it SUCKS. I’ve seen parts of the old, unhealthy, bulimic me come back and I gotta say – she ain’t pretty.

 I haven’t had any fruit or veggies. Ive eaten things that are are heavy and rich and so full of calories that I’ve had 2 weeks worth in a short amount of time. 

Hot dogs and birthday cake and homemade chip dip made of 5 kinds of cheese, bacon, cream, onion and big bags of potato chips and pounds of wings drenched in sauce and the list goes on. 

I haven’t had any physical activity. I’ve barely stood on my own 2 feet. But I legitimately couldn’t do much about that unless I actually did it on the side of the road because we’ve been traveling a lot and have only been at the house to go to bed. 

Drove 4 1/2 hrs then stopped in Bay Roberts for 2 hours. Then drove to Cupids and stayed for 4 hours. Then to Tillton and went to bed. Got up and went to set up a birthday party at the preschool here. Had the party. I was her photographer so I was steady go. 5:30 we left and met family for supper at Wing n It. Left there and went to visit other friends to help with her wedding planning. And that’s just part of it!

All that said, I failed miserably in my journey to become a healthy person and I hate myself for not putting the effort into making this weekend WORK. I just do not do well without a schedule. Throw a new routine my way and I fall apart. 

Enough is enough though. I cannot go back to that life. I need structure and things that make my body feel good. So goodbye FOREVER to HER. These 3 days were more than enough to show me how bad things WERE and how good I can have it NOW. It’s one thing to have an unhealthy meal or some junk food and cake at a party or a few drinks of alcohol. That’s a part of life and I know I will have that. But a 72 hour binge like I have had is not necessary. This binging and purging has taken years away from me and I have done so well with recovery. 

I can’t turn back now.

This Is Just The Beginning 

here goes:

My name is Danielle and there are many things I could start off telling you about myself. 

Like how I have always been overweight my entire life, even as a child. I was always the biggest kid in my grade. I was bullied throughout my entire childhood for being fat. There has never been a point in my life where I haven’t fallen into the obesity category. 

Or I could tell you about how an eating disorder, Bulimia Nervosa, consumed me for 14 years and almost killed me in 2009, which led to a 9 month hospitalization at a treatment facility in Guelph, Ontario where, once physically stabilized and my heart was no longer in danger of stopping, I went through an intense recovery program that included a variety of different therapeutic approaches such as group therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, one on one counselling and several other targeted therapies. I am proud to say that except for a few minor relapses, I have been able to maintain my recovery from bulimia nervosa to this day. Every day I fight to stay on track. 

Or I could tell you about how I am an amputee. In 2010 I was in a very serious car accident that almost took my life. After weeks in a coma I woke to find that my entire body had been mangled beyond recognition. My face was beyond recognizable. My back had been broken and I was told I may never walk again. My knees had been crushed as well as my chest cavity. But the biggest damage was on my left side. I had lost my arm and half of my breast. Never again would I ever be the same. I had a choice to make at this point. Do I lay there on my back for the rest of my life and have other people tend to my every need? Or do I clench my teeth, cry my way through the pain, and get my life back in order? I chose the latter. Now today I am back on my feet and going strong. I spent almost 2 years in physiotherapy and I can walk just as I could before the accident. I have adjusted well with only one arm and everything is second nature to me now. 

I should be happy right? I’m alive! I can walk! But there’s one BIG problem. I am morbidly obese. Through the years I continuously gained weight and in April 2016 I tipped the scales at 369 pounds. Desperation set in. My body was constantly swollen. Every joint ached all day, every day. I never wanted to leave my house out of sheer embarrassment, for fear of being seen, judged, just like what I went through ever day as a child. I feel their stares, I hear local kids giggle behind my back and I turn my eyes away from any mirrors I may see because I can’t handle to see my reflection.

This is a horrible way to live. Enough is enough. I’m only young and I’m not ready to die, especially not this way. While browsing some different websites for some hope and inspiration, one thing led to another and I came into contact with a wonderful woman who is a personal health and fitness coach and she took me on as her client. I then joined a challenge group and signed up for a program called the 21 Day Fix thus beginning my journey to a new and better, healthier me. 

May of this year has marked to be one of the most transformational months of my life, both inside and out. I have learned what proper portion sizes look like. I now know what clean eating really means. I have also learned that I can do anything for just one minute! That burning, intense, crazy exercise move? 60 seconds! And those last 10 seconds? That’s when I found out how strong I truly am.

I am starting to understand now that I am a warrior, and that I work very hard. I am fighting for my life every day. I may not change the world, but I can walk at a steady pace for 30 minutes straight now and that is a start. I am losing weight, and I am sleeping better and feeling stronger than I have in years. My goals for each day are different now and even though these goals are not always met, the fact that I even keep going is a huge improvement. I have hope now. Hope for increasing wellness. I hope for continued weight loss. I hope for a continued improvement in my physical functioning and I hope for a long, healthier and happier life.

Also, I have proven to myself (and everyone else) that small changes can make a huge difference because … *insert drumroll* … My weight has went from a mind blowing 369lbs to 354lbs in round one of the 21 Day Fix. If I could do something so hard (yet so simple), then believe me when I say that you can too. Your life and your happiness depends on it.

Is Freedom From Bulimia Truly Possible?

Having a history of an eating disorder is making this journey to a healthier, lighter me is proving to be very difficult. I’m being very careful to avoid restricting but the only familiar voices won’t let up. I’ve done well with my recovery these past few years but I’m quickly learning that I will never truly be free from those demons. 

Ensure Is Making Me Unsure

After dealing with a rash that has now spread over every part of my body except my feet and my butt, I’ve been diagnosed with Subcorneal Pustular Dermatosis. 

Inflammation. Burning sensations that feel so extreme I cannot sit still. I’m the color of a beet. Layers of blisters cover my neck, chest, stomach …. 

I am taking a 10 day round of a med called Dapsone but it isn’t helping. The rash is just continuing to spread and increase in severity. The dr said I also need to take some protein supplements. Ensure drinks and protein shakes.  

Out of everything I am struggling most with that. The bottle of vanilla flavored Ensure with added protein has made me cry more than the rash itself. I don’t understand how someone my size can drink this stuff and not pack on the pounds. 

Funny how a rash could lead to a reoccurrence of my eating disordered thinking and behaviors (purging).