Thursday, October 13, 2011

i used to have an eating disorder

i used to have an eating disorder.

that's not easy for me to say.

because most people don't know.

and i thought most people never would.

it's not that i'm embarrassed or ashamed.

because i'm not.

but i know how some people are.

i know that once they know the truth, they'll look at me different. they'll watch my steps and wonder if i'm slipping. they'll start to find ways to assume it's still me.

because some who do that to me now.

but it's not me anymore.

and it hasn't been me for awhile.

but just because i say it's not me, doesn't mean some people forget.

because some people don't. and some people never will.

and it's hard when they remind me. it's hard when they won't believe me.

because i've tried very hard to overcome my past.

so i've told very few and trusted very little. 

even now i hesitate to share the truth. i hesitate for people to know.

because i'd rather avoid the questions. i'd rather avoid the comments.

but i can't avoid the obvious.

i can't stand by when i see too many people like me. too many fighting the same fight.

and i can't let them think they're alone. because they're not.

and so i share my truth for them. i take the risk because someone once risked it for me.

food used to be a major issue for me. my weight used to be a major issue for me. 

and it took a long time to overcome the fear of both.

i experimented with weight loss pills. weight loss drinks.

i made myself throw up. i tried laxatives. i exercised continuously.

i binged. i purged. i stopped eating. i hid my food.

anything to lose weight. anything to reach a number i thought was ideal.

but it wasn't ideal.

it was ridiculous.

but i didn't see that then. i didn't know that then.

all i knew was that the world rewarded skinny and that's who i wanted to be.

skinny. thin. envied. complimented.

skinny meant popular. skinny meant victory. skinny meant i had made it.

but all i really made was a mess.

it was a secret that i kept from everyone.

oh people whispered. and people talked. usually behind my back. rarely to my face.

some assumed i was anorexic. or bulimic.

or both.

but it didn't matter what they named it. it didn't matter what they called it.

it only mattered that i was lost. and i needed help.

and though people whispered and talked about me, no one actually talked to me.

until one friend did. 

she didn't whisper. she didn't assume. she just shared the truth.

her truth.

she told me her own story. her own struggle. her own issues with food.

and she invited me to go talk to someone...with her.

and by trusting me with her truth, she allowed me to do the same with mine.

because admitting i needed help was the first step to getting better.

admitting i was broken, was the first step to finding my way again.

sharing my struggles with those who had struggled, gave me strength. gave me hope. gave me the desire to change.

it wasn't easy. and it wasn't overnight.

but it was a start. and it was a step.

and though it's not who i am anymore, it will always be a part of me. it will always be my story. it will always be my truth.

my dad used to tell me, "tell the truth and the truth will set you free." and he was right.

because i did. and it has. and i am.

and if it's your truth, i hope you will do the same.

it won't be easy. it won't be overnight. but it will be worth it.

because you are worth it. 

your life is worth it.

and you are not alone.


  1. nice job colleen. i am very proud of you. i love you very much. celina

  2. Thanks Colleen for taking the big step and taking the risk to share your story. I can relate. We are each unique and different but at the same time much the same. I too was lost and felt unloved ... I thought if I was skinny, I would be happy. Eating was the one thing that I could control. Thank God for my family --- esp my mother. She was by my side loving me and encouraging me ... I got thru that terribly lonely time in my life with her help and love. I pray for anyone that is struggling... feeling like we did ... I pray someone will reach out to them and help them. Because that's really all they want and need. Listen to this: you are not alone!! Thanks Collen! God bless you and your openness.

  3. Beautiful post Colleen. Thanks for sharing your story and putting it all out there. It's so nice knowing others have fought the same battles somewhere down the road. YOu always know just how to say things.

  4. @anonymous...thanks for your comments. i pray God uses our stories to help those who need it most. we'll keep praying and we'll keep the faith, knowing only He can overcome!!!

  5. @STUFT is so nice knowing we are not alone. thanks for taking the time to read and share your comments. it means so much to me!!!

  6. Hi Colleen,

    I just wanted to say thank you for being vulnerable and yet strong enough to post these words. Our culture in the West tends to have a very unhealthy relationship with food, and some people may not even realize that they are struggling with a disorder, they just know that they are ashamed of how they react to food. Thank you again, I hope your words bring courage to more people.

  7. thanks bekka...i appreciate your words more than you know!!!

  8. im very proud of you what you did is not easy to do.

  9. Very courageous for you to post this, Colleen!! :)

  10. thanks hasn't been easy but i knew it was necessary. i think sometimes that sharing our truth is the only way we get past our pain and help others to know it's ok to do the same. i appreciate you!!!