Lately many kids I graduated high school with have been having babies. It blows my mind that I’m at the age now where friends are having children. With the recent little baby boom going on in my social groups I’ve been thinking a lot about my life, specifically the last few years of it.
I think about how much time was stolen by disordered thoughts. I think about the fact that the chance to have my own children someday (FAR FAR in the future) could have been stolen from me. I think about how many wasted opportunities for seizing life by the horns I’ve squandered.
We usually talk about Eating Disorders, in terms of what they take from people, as weight, strength, health, etc.
But the truth is Eating Disorders steal more than that.
It stole my first year of college from me.
All those moments of coming together with fellow students and making connections as we ventured out into the world as independent individuals were clouded by thoughts of food and meals. The fear of being presented with a food that I didn’t want or wouldn’t eat kept me from social interactions, opting to stay home with my computer in the safety of my apartment.
I couldn’t even finish out the year because I was forced to take a medical leave from school and was admitted to the hospital for 3 weeks.
It stole my dreams for the future, because the farthest in the future I could think was my next meal. I wasn’t thinking of career options or jobs or college events. My brain was clouded with computing nutritional facts and figuring out what would be the healthiest thing I could eat and when I would eat it.
It stole my personality. I was no longer happy. It was a fight to put a smile on my face. I couldn’t think about what I loved or get excited about anything, because all my energy was spent on endless thoughts about food.
It stole my energy. When I first decided to go to UC Santa Cruz I was excited by the prospect of hikes around campus and trips to the beach with all the new college friends I was going to make. But subsisting on a diet of bare minimum doesn’t leave much energy for other things. Forcing myself to exercise or go to the gym stole all the energy I had and the rest was spent mindlessly sitting in front of a computer pinning recipes and foods on Pinterest that I knew I’d never make/eat.
I was sad. I was lonely. That’s what an ED does. It steals moments. It steals life.
The last month or so I’ve been working incredibly hard to climb out of the hole that I’ve been digging for years now. I’m working on building human connections with people and taking chances. I’m working on building a big picture of life and how I want to lead it.
Not tired, not hungry, not stressed out.
I want a life of happiness and adventure with friends and family. A life of smiles and laughs and some damn good vegan food. That’s the life I want.
Now enjoy this beautiful song by The Civil Wars: