I Was Born This Way

Sundays have to be the worst days of the week. Mondays aren’t so bad. I mean, it sucks going back to school or work or whatever it is that you do after a rest but Sundays are bad because they are the last days of the break. But I had a good weekend and I have pictures to follow in the next post. Or whenever I stop being so busy and finally upload them.

I learned something about myself this weekend. I learned several somethings. One: I have an eating disorder. Now I’m not being stupid. I know I’ve had an eating disorder since the fall of my sophomore year in high school (oh my gosh it’s been 2 years!), but what I didn’t know is when it started.  Last year I wrote a post called Based on Genetics or Media? which questioned whether or not eating disorders were based off of the media or if they were a mental illness. I was kind of stupid back then and I think I just needed something to post because it had been a while (maybe I should delete that…) because I’d said that it was a mix of both. I believe differently now. I realized something when I was reading over the first draft of my book about my recovery that I had planned to write but has been shelved. On my third birthday my dad decided it was more important to watch the football game than come out and sing his daughter “happy birthday” and watch her blow out the candles and eat the cake. My mom had sent me into the room to ask if he was coming out and he said no so I went out and my mom sang me “happy birthday” by herself and took the pictures of me blowing out the candles. There is a picture in our photo album of me in a purple velvet dress with chubby little baby arms and a bob and a fringe blowing out the candles on this chocolate cake with chocolate icing and little red flowers on it. I don’t remember that. I remember going to my dad’s room and asking if he was coming and I remember how much I hated the cake.

That was what I wrote about. I wrote about how much I hated the cake. Keep in mind that this is still in first draft: “ ‘Remember your 3rd birthday when he wouldn’t come out of the bedroom to sing you happy birthday and watch you blow out the candles and open presents?’ [Mom] asked. I didn’t, but I did remember not liking the cake. It was chocolate with airy overly sugary red icing flowers dotted on the top that made my teeth tingle and my throat dry. I remembered the colorful tubes of mini M&M’s that I rationed out to him with his morning coffee and called them his ‘Happy Pills’.”

Back then food was even something I thought about and worried about. I stopped eating meat after that and was a vegetarian until my freshman year of high school. I could be crazy and wrong but I think that choosing to write about and remember that specific incident with my birthday cake means that even back then controlling what I ate and how I felt about it was something that I turned to. At 3 years old! Now I could just be crazy (I woke up dizzy this morning and have kind of been that way all day so I might just be impaired) but I think that this is proof for myself that my eating disorder is 100% genetic. It is a mental disorder. The media only helps with the “motivation” but someone can’t “get” an eating disorder by looking at magazines of Photoshoped women. It’s something that is wrong with the wiring in the brain that causes it. I was born this way. I was born thinking that when something goes wrong to upset me I have to turn to controlling food. That’s also why I believe I will never be completely recovered. I will always turn to controlling food when something goes wrong or upsets me but what I have to learn is to turn to something healthy. You know, maybe something that won’t kill me?

So now it’s your turn to weigh in.

Genetics or is it all the media’s fault?

Am I crazy for thinking it started with that cake?

Also, I’m super crazy excited for the holidays! I already know what I giving almost everyone for Christmas and my mom bought all our Thanksgiving stuff the other day. We always go to my aunt and uncle’s so we just bring desserts. Pink pie and orange stuff! Yum…

Also, the next thing will come up later. I didn’t think this one would be so wordy.

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7 thoughts on “I Was Born This Way

  1. I completely agree with you on eating disorders being genetic. I have always been a picky eater–it never went away when I got older. There were so many things that I would never eat. And I never really ate as much as other kids, which I used to think was because I had a smaller appetite (which I do) but now I also think it was related to my eating disorder. I don’t think I actively chose to be a picky eater, but I definitely think it set me up for disordered eating.

  2. As a former therapist, I would say it is really both (nature and nurture). While what we are born with does shape us into how vulnerable we become and does set us up to certain ailments…we also need to keep in the mind about how we are raised will also affect us. Some people I know have poor coping skills, but do not develop an eating disorder. They go on to develop a different kind of ailment like depression or drug addiction or whatever.

    I don’t want to say that we are never going to recover. I do believe that we CAN recover from our eating disorders as much as a person with alcoholism can recover from alcohol abuse. But it will always be behind of our heads. An alcoholic will always be tempted to drink no matter long she has been sober for. A person with an eating disorder really can get to a place of some “normalcy” of eating, but the temptation will always be there.

    Also, it depends on how SEVERE your ED is. Those who are on a very serious side of the spectrum with an eating disorder does end up dead one way or other compared to those who are on milder side of the spectrum–they can recover completely and never relapse again. Then there are those people in the “middle” (like me) who will always have this for life, and it is something that can be managed as long as I keep on working at this.

    This is becoming a lengthy answer. Wow! Sorry!! But I find this topic so fascinating though!! I might end up writing a post about this. 🙂

  3. Interesting…I think it’s both. Get better, girl! I’m rooting for ya. 😉

    Maybe a little selfishly, too, because I bet you could be a great author (and you *know* I love reading), but you’ll need your full brain capacity, with some healthy fat, for that!

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