Lately, I've been stressed out.
Okay, that was definitely an understatement.

Lately, I've been REALLY stressed out.

Between Type 1 Diabetes, work, career decisions, and every day life, stress has become almost second nature to me.

Which is more terrifying than it sounds.

In the context of my life, stress has a direct tie to disordered eating and depression.

When I was in high school, I was severely stressed out (and consequently depressed) to the point where I contemplated suicide on a daily basis.

Along with that, I ate food incessantly to forget about the world around me.
It was a coping mechanism which later became my second eating disorder and eventually resulted in my third.

I binged on food and too often, I eventually found my head shoved inside of a toilet in the hopes of helping my body forget the pain I had just put it through.

For the longest time, I was afraid that this is what the rest of my life would consist of.
Bingeing, purging, hating myself.

Wanting to die.

I couldn't imagine a life outside of my eating disorders--I couldn't see an end to my pain.

(As I'm typing this out, I realize that the words on this computer screen will never adequately explain or express how dark of a time that was for me.  I guess we never fully comprehend anyone's sadness like we do our own. Words can only describe the big picture of life-- they're shallow. Life is too deep and our experiences are too intricate to be defined by letters on a page.

But, hey. We can still try.)

Throughout all of the recent stress, I've found myself reverting back to small binges and urges to run to the bathroom and throw up... even on an empty stomach.

When I've looked in the mirror recently, I've started to see the darkness of four years ago watching and waiting from behind my eyes for the perfect moment to come forward again.

I think that's the terrifying thing about allowing yourself to step into the world of eating disorders, even if it's just for a moment, it's nearly impossible to leave.

I don't mean for this to sound disheartening or dismal. You can be cured from an eating disorder, I've done it--but it wasn't easy. When I get stressed out, I don't binge like I used to and I don't allow myself to go any further than kneeling next to a toilet--but the fear of having an instant of weakness and losing ground I've painfully gained is tortuous.

I once read that we fear most the things which we've already experienced.
And I know that to be true.

I've been through Hell, and I don't want to go back.

In all honesty, I have no idea where I'm going with this blog post or why I decided to take such a intense spin on my experiences.

I guess I'm worried about more than just myself.
I know what it's like to walk a path that you never wanted or intended to take.
And I don't recommend it to anyone.

If I could talk to myself in high school, I would try my hardest to stop her from starting her first "diet".
I would try to convince her to find help sooner.
I would try to tell her that she is beautiful at any weight.
I would try to persuade her that her stress would just be for a moment.
I would try to make her understand that not eating, eating too much or throwing up what you eat doesn't solve anything; it makes everything worse.

It makes every harder.

It makes everything scary.

Maybe this post is my open letter to any woman or girl who is contemplating taking on an eating disorder or already wading through one.

To all of you that this applies to:
Stop while you're ahead.

If you feel like you're in control of your disorder, you're not.
If you think bingeing while you eat, restricting what you eat, and throwing up what you eat aren't eating disorders, they are.
If you believe that your habits won't have any lasting effects, they will.


If you feel like you're alone, you're not.
If you think you're a failure, you're not.
And if you believe that you can escape, you will.

Whenever I find myself inching back into my old habits and mentalities, I have to remind myself that I am better than this--stronger than this.

I am not weak because I have a weakness, I am strong because I am constantly fighting my weakness.

Additionally, having an eating disorder doesn't mean that you're weak, but eating disorders do require strength in order to be overcome.

So please, be strong sooner rather than later.
Be strong now, so you don't have to be strong later when you can barely find the strength to lift your head out of a toilet bowl.

It can be done, but it's much harder that way.

And much more stressful.


  1. Alyson, you are so brave for sharing your experiences like this and I seriously admire your ability to do so.