1. It's a very long answer, but the short version is: I was tired.
  2. Being bulimic is just... so fucking exhausting.
  3. During my entire 6-year struggle (I was disordered from age 13 to 19), I was spending so much time worrying about food and my weight... while everyone else was off just living their lives.
  4. And I was jealous of that.
  5. I went to Africa to volunteer and realized holy shit, I have a family, I have the opportunity to earn a secondary education that many people would KILL for, my house HAS INDOOR PLUMBING.
  6. And I should be off enjoying those things instead of focusing all my energy on a number on a scale.
  7. Because even when I hit that number, it didn't make me feel any better! All it did was instill a crippling fear of ever losing that number. I just wanted to HOLD ONTO IT AS TIGHTLY AS I COULD.
  8. When I inevitably moved away from that number, all I could focus on was how I could get it back. It was all just a big game. Something stealing me from the life I should have been busy living.
  9. I think the best thing anyone ever taught me was: none of the reasons why anyone in my life loved me had ANYTHING to do with the way I looked.
  10. One of my friends asked me, "If I had different colored eyes, would you still want to be my friend?"
  11. And I was like, "Duh, you idiot. Yes."
  12. And then she was like, "If my face was disfigured in a horrible accident, are you sure you would still want to be my friend?"
  13. And I was like, "Yes. Of course."
  14. And THEN she asked, "If I gained a hundred pounds, are you SURE would you would still want to be my friend?"
  15. And I was like, "Are you insane? Of course I would still be your friend!"
  16. And she was like, "And that's how everyone feels about you."
  17. That's when it finally sunk in.
  18. My friends and family love me because I am smart.
  19. My friends and family love me because I am funny.
  20. My friends and family love me because I am caring and thoughtful.
  21. My friends and family love me because I always say what's on my mind and make life interesting.
    To say the least.
  22. My friends and family love me because I am creative.
  23. So now, instead of tiring myself out with incessant thoughts about my appearance, I instead think, "How can I be smarter and learn more about the world around me?"
  24. "How can I be more inspired and keep my creative spark?"
  25. "How can I be a better friend/daughter/partner (when I'm in a relationship)?"
  26. And those thoughts are much more manageable. Those thoughts don't weigh me down. They actually make me feel hopeful and more confident.
  27. They're what keep me in recovery, honestly. ✌🏻️