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Healing, Learning, Growing

by Arianne

Ever since I can remember, I've been an extreme perfectionist. I know now that those tendencies stem from the constant criticism I endured from my father, who has a personality disorder. The feeling of never being good enough was always present in the back of my mind. It affected every single choice I'd make as a child: I wouldn't join sports teams if I didn't already excel at the specific sport, on "sports day" in elementary school I would feign injury to avoid the possibility of failing, I pressured myself to be the best in every subject. However, I was still a playful, smiley kid overall.
Then came middle school, where I became more self-conscious. In 8th grade, thanks to braces and contact lenses, other kids started noticing and complimenting me for my looks. The attention I got only made me feel pressured to uphold my status of "hottest 9th grader". This involved a lot of working out, restricting my food intake, calorie-counting, obsessive thinking and, eventually, binging and purging. I would purge in the shower. My mother had no idea.

Throughout the 9th grade, all of my issues escalated: my relationship with my father became increasingly abusive, my self-esteem plummeted and morphed into self-hatred. I was more anorexic than bulimic, but the binge/purge episodes became more frequent throughout the year until I could no longer deal with it alone. I told my mom, and convinced her to implement Paleo way of eating into our lives. This was a huge help to me initially, but in the long run, it couldn't heal my underlying issues. I was severely for most of my tenth grade year.

I am now in 11th grade, am doing therapy, take medication, have an amazing and loving boyfriend, no longer am in contact with my father... Basically, my life has drastically improved, and so has my attitude towards it. However, I slipped in and out of the disorder all summer. I may have completely altered my attitude towards life, but I know what really has to change is my attitude towards myself. I need to love myself as much as I love the world around me, otherwise I will continue to slip. Some days I will spend hours numbing my mind with food and then puking it all up afterwards. Needless to say, I feel extreme shame on those days and cancel or refuse any social plans with lame excuses. Not only am I hurting my friends, but I'm also stunting my personal growth.

I'm sick of the shame, the apathy, the compulsions, the self-hatred, the wasted time and wasted potential.
I need to finally love myself for the person I am, rather than tell myself that I will once I've achieved my dream body. One that's impossible to attain, seeing as I will never be satisfied.

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Article by Shaye Boddington
Author of
and creator of The Bulimia Recovery Program and Community

The Bulimia Recovery Program