I remember being 15 years old and begging my body to lose just a few more pounds. “Just a few more pounds” isn’t what it seems though when eating disorders are involved. That week I had already lost a few pounds. And compared to the month before, my jeans were now baggy and too big.
Eating disorders are serious, deadly mental illnesses. Losing weight is just a piece of it, and sometimes it’s never a piece of someone’s recovery – my eating disorder has mainly been about control. My eating disorder began as a seemingly harmless diet, until it spiraled out of control and I had to go away for treatment.
I remember being 15 and setting goals for myself. It definitely wasn’t your typical, “I want to be blah blah blah after graduating high school”. My goal at 15 years old was to be below “x” amount of weight. I didn’t care how I’d get there. Even though being tiny gave me nothing I expected – I just needed to keep losing weight. I rationalized losing friends with being too fat. But really, I lost friends because I was so preoccupied with losing weight. I isolated myself so much that my friends stopped asking me to hang out. And no one really wanted to hang out with me my senior year of high school because I had become so unreliable – focused only on my hurt and my struggles.
My goal was to be a certain weight by senior year. That didn’t happen. And it didn’t happen for lots of reasons – one being that my body wouldn’t let me and another being that my symptoms switched up from bingeing and purging to mainly bingeing.
Part of my goal was that if I didn’t lose the weight my senior year, I would kill myself. I had a suicide attempt the year I graduated. It was thankfully unrelated. And thankfully, I got help and I got better.
I no longer attribute losses with needing to control myself or my weight. I am accepting of help and have so many worthwhile and heathy goals that keep me motivated these days. And most importantly, I want to be alive and well.
I feel so sad looking back on 15 year old me. I treated her so badly. I didn’t allow her to heal or accept help because I was holding onto self destruction so tightly.
While I’m not happy sharing these things, I am happy to see I have healed and grown from so much chaos and pain. I’m not “recovered”, but I am in recovery. I vow to myself to continue reaching out for help when I need support. And I vow to myself to never give up on myself – for my future and for the sake of younger Lexie.
I’ve made it to 22 years old. I will continue pushing forward and I will never stop fighting.