This amazing and intense recovery story was submitted by April via email.
My name is April and when I was 8 I started having serious body issues. I started my period and didn’t really know why or what it was. My mother was not a very nurturing mother always competing with me about weight and clothes and she would take over my friends so they liked her better. I hated my body. I remember praying to die at 8. I always felt awkward in my skin never comfortable. I got the message early on that being fat like my aunt Kathy was unacceptable. I was told fat people were not worthy of love and were failures in not so many words. I started my first diet at 8 eating just an apple and orange every day for a week and lost weight. I saw the pride in my parents faces when I dropped weight. The next few years were a blur until I hit junior high. I had friends and I felt like I belonged but my body was an issue. I hated my body. I hated being in it. I would throw up but it was getting out of hand. Just when I felt stressed. I just sort of hated my body and then it was time for high school. All my friends went to one school I went to another. I was shell shocked. I had no idea how to make new friends. I hated my body and myself and was in awe of all the pretty girls. I turned inward. I was sad my old friends left no room for me in their life. My home life was a little scary as my dad and brother constantly fought. I would live in my room never coming out unless I had to. I also ate the same thing every day for over a year. Then that summer I turned 15 and the binging and purging took over. I became a full-fledged bulimic. I lost weight I was like 95lbs and I loved being thin and I was 5’2” and usually 113 to 110. My parents put me in a hospital for kids with behavior issues. This only pissed me off because all they said was get to 100 and you can go home. I got to 100 in two weeks they never put me in with the eating disorder unit they just stuck me with gang members and drug addicts. I was so angry at my parents. I had no control and I felt so alone. When I got out of high school I started exercising and running. I think started on anorexia. I would eat very little like an apple and glass of milk and then throw it up. From the age of 19 to 33 I was severely anorexic and bulimic and exercise crazed. I had no life, no friends, and just was waiting to die. My life was sad and lonely. I did manage to get a college degree, a paralegal certificate cause my dad wanted me to and then a master’s in business management. I quit any job if my weight came in question. I floated between 69lbs and 84lbs for that period of time. I thought I would die and I wanted to. I somehow married and had two kids. My kids are healthy but I was starving and binging and purging all through my pregnancies. I lost one but I blame myself cause I purged and was exercising two hours a day. Therapy after therapy couldn’t help me. I was married to a man that ignored me and treated me like servant. I realize now I picked that man because I could continue practicing my behavior because it went unnoticed. I started for some reason reaching out to people through FB. I don’t know why I did it but something in me changed. I saw my daughter being left out by my parents who treated my son like the number one grandchild and I just snapped. I thought I had to get better. I read the book by Portia De Rossi and one night I believe I heard the voice of God tell me to stop. I stopped. I stopped the crazy behavior and I stopped allowing a man to dominate and ignore me. I have had to cut out my parents because they are very sick and controlling and will never get help. I have had to get better for myself for my kids. The sad part is I had to recover alone with the help of God and the support of some friends. I am getting divorced but it is the right thing to do. Even if I end up alone forever, I have my health and my mind back. I am sad I wasted all those years and all that time stuck in an eating disorder without knowing how to lift the fog. I have no idea what the future holds for me but I know I am a good mother and I love my children and nurture them and will see they group up with love and self-esteem. I had to come to terms too with the fact just cause I got sober doesn’t mean I can get everything I ever wanted. It doesn’t mean I can turn back the clock and recover lost time with people. That is probably the hardest part. Letting go of the pain and the hurt that I caused myself is really hard to do but I am trying to and it feels so good not being consumed with starving and exercising or purging. Life is hard enough and surviving an eating disorder for 22 years was hard but I did it, so I think I can pretty much do anything. I lost so much time. 22 years wasted, and I don’t want to waste another minute, another day, another hour.
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