Today, friends, marks 4 years of this girl being purge-free.
And, it kind of makes me feel like this...
You know. With slightly less 9-year-old-appearing arms.
The funny part about this [besides that picture of course] is that I realized this fact at the exact moment when I needed to be reminded of the fact that I haven't purged in 4 years.
Strange how life works that way.
I returned from lunch yesterday and bolted to the bathroom, passing 3 of my coworkers along the way. I had just eaten 1/2 of a veggie roll from the Italian joint across the street, and I thought to myself,
"Self, 5 years ago, you would've barfed up this lunch."
This thought inevitably lead me to start trailing off into thoughts of remedying myself of the conflict I felt after having eaten a cheesy veggie roll from the Italian restaurant. Not that I necessarily wanted to purge, but sometimes I crave the emotional release that I used to feel after purging. It's likely akin to the way that a recovered addict daydreams about the feeling that their drug of choice gave them during binges of past.
I always follow up that initial fleeting thought with reminders of how miserable life was before I sought treatment.
"Self, you've worked too damn hard to barf up this lunch."
And in the midst of this coax back to reality, I remembered what April 7th means in my world. And I re-lived the previous 3 minutes, in which I bolted past 3 of my coworkers to get to the bathroom after lunch.
Not because I wanted to barf, but because I had to pee.
Even though I have been free of binging and purging for 4 years, I still worry that other people in my life might think that I'm binging and purging. Sometimes, I take too long in the bathroom. I'm inevitably just checking myself out in mirror for too long or fixing my hair, but the fear is always there.
If I have a coughing fit while I'm in the bathroom (thank you, asthma), I worry that My Gazelle will see my post-hack-fest reddened face and eyes, then jump to incorrect conclusions.
If I come back from lunch out with my coworker and immediately high tail it to the bathroom (not because I'm purging, but because I refuse to use strange toilets unless I absolutely have to--that's another post for another day), I always worry that someone is suspecting me for a bulimic.
But I'm not.
It seems like this is another of my hurdles to jump over--getting over the idea that other people might think I'm still being self-abusive. This presents itself as a strange sort of guilt that I feel for ever having had an eating disorder. I'm not sure why I feel guilty since I'm not engaging in the behavior anymore.
This lingering guilt over giving anyone the impression that I'm still purging (or purging again), however, does not overshadow the fact that I am indeed purge free for 4 years.
FOUR YEARS. Wow! If someone had told me 5 years ago that I was going to be free of bulimia, I wouldn't have believed them. It was such an all-encompassing, time-sucking part of my life.
It's not always easy to keep my life eating-disorder-free, but I'll never quit trying.
In conclusion, and since I am out of words, I'll leave you with with the following text-versation between myself and My Gazelle. It pretty much sums up the way I feel about this momentous occasion.
And with that, I must go find a cupcake.