“I’m beginning to measure myself in strength not pounds, sometimes even smiles”

When you starve yourself you feed your demons.

In February I weighed a mere 95 pounds. In April I finally started making gains toward a healthy weight and weighed 105. In may 115. In July 125. In august 135…. This is my story. This is my struggle with an eating disorder and how I recovered. How I went from being “severely underweight” to healthy, and the 4 year struggle I took to get me here.

I’ve been debating on whether or not to post this for a while and I’ve finally come to the conclusion that maybe if I share my story I could help someone else. From a young age I always had people commenting on my weight. First it was that maybe I was gaining too much weight and that I ate too much and then it was that I was too thin and I needed to eat more. This is where my struggle with bulimia began. Somewhere around 8th grade I became very depressed and has very low self esteem which led to my body dysmorphic disorder. For those of you who don’t know what that is it’s a mental illness where you’re obsessed with a flaw in your appearance for me it was my weight among other things. Also for those of you who don’t know, I’ve been struggling with bipolar disorder my whole life which also of a factor in my body dysmorphic disorder. Just a quick run down on bipolar disorder, it’s basically when you experience extreme, manic highs and extreme depressive lows. When I would experience the lowest of the lows I would binge eat. until physically could not fit anymore food in my stomach, but then I would feel so guilty about eating so much that I would starve myself for a day or two and occasionally make myself throw up.

Especially when I was in a manic phase I would feel invincible and I would never be hungry, never be tired I would basically never feel anything. But then I would be struck by the unavoidable depression and I would binge eat again. I would even eat frozen French fries because I was too tired and lethargic to start the oven because of how depressed I was. This lasted for about 4 years.

For those of you who have never had an experience with an eating disorder, it’s addicting. You can’t stop yourself. As twisted as it seems the pain you get from being hungry is oddly satisfying. And the thrill you get from binge eating is also a weirdly great feeling. But it’s also hard because of the guilt you feel afterwards. There’s no easy was to explain an eating disorder. For me it was a coping mechanism. If I was mad at myself because I felt fat or because I felt ugly I would starve myself. If I was sad because I felt fat or ugly I would binge eat. There was no winning. You never win with an eating disorder.

Recently I was called fat. I do not see myself as fat, I see myself as having made huge strides in getting to a healthy weight. So for those of you who want to judge me, please take it somewhere else.

Last year I was diagnosed and started receiving treatment for bipolar disorder, oppositional defiance disorder and body dysmorphic disorder. With the help for my therapist and several other doctors I have gotten better, and for anyone else struggling with anything whether it be an eating disorder or depression or anxiety or whatever, there is hope, you can get better and things will get better. Progress is important and I’ve recognized how much I’ve made. Recovery doesn’t happen over night. For me it took 4 years and when I finally started to recover it took me 7 months to get to a healthy weight. Recovery is a slow uphill batter but it is possible.

For more on my battle with bipolar disorder checkout the link below :-)

https://medium.com/@TiernyYaw/three-they-say-the-third-times-a-charm-6387b15e9bb4?source=linkShare-e56aa33f4168-1474425290