My Eating Disorder's Been Going to University Instead of Me
How do I say this lightly?
I’ve been crazy.
I’ve been given the opportunity to go to the nicest school in Canada, surrounded by some of the most creative and intelligent people in the world. Instead of going out and embracing those people though I’ve let my eating disorder (I hate even naming it because it seems to give it unnecessary power) isolate me. I’ve finally realized the biggest thing that my eating disorder has taken away from me at university: the true university experience. Sure, there’s an ideal university experience that everyone expects to have, but in the end all those experiences end up being drastically different. But at least they are all authentic. The thing is, I’ve been so isolated because I’m scared of being normal (ie. Healthy) that it has taken away the possible authentic version of my university experience so far.
I’m all in.
I see my friends on my floor, all bonding late night getting pizza while I’m in my room with my properly portioned night snack. I can’t explain the frustration I’m having realizing this half way through my first year but instead of being mad, I’m going to take this as inspiration. If this crazy bitch of a disorder can rob me of a university experience in the first half of year, you better believe that I can decide to start doing what I want to do. I’m going to define my own university experience not based on what my eating disorder is telling me, but what I truly want.
I’m all in.
I’m in to the late nights with friends, no matter if that messes up my rigid workout schedule. I’m in to sitting around in the cafe for hours on end, not worrying that I could be moving around. I’m in to being fully present in every conversation I have with someone, not worrying about the things I could be eating or doing to stay “healthy”. My perceived lifestyle to attain the perfect, happy, healthy life has just led me to have one where I’m anxious daily about if people like me or not. Anxious about if that extra almond I ate will make my legs blow up. Terrified that an extra hour of class means an extra hour where I can’t be working out or moving around.
I’ve been blessed to be able to attend this university. That means I have access to an absurd amount of knowledge, workshops, internships, exchanges, clubs and experiences. They are all out there and minus a select few, the ones that have been shaping my year have been influenced by my eating disorder.
I’m all in.
Starting right now I’m making this commitment. All in means doing something that terrifies me everyday. I want to run this disorder straight out of my dorm, my university and my life; and I can. I have all the support around me, but most important it’s in myself. I was healthy before, and I have the strength to be healthy again.
This may be starting to sound like a cheesy motivational poster so let me finish with this.
I’ve let my fears and insecurities fuck me over the first semester, but guess what? This time, it’s not holding me back. I’m making the commitment right now to be happy, cause I deserve it. It’s going to be hard, I know curing a mental illness isn’t just an attitude change. There’s an imbalance of chemicals in my brain and my thought patterns have been hard wired to think in this destructive way. I know it’s going to be hard, but I know even more it’s worth it.
I’m all in.