Saturday, April 9, 2011

How I Got Here

Food and I are "in a relationship and it's complicated." We're polyamerous with Body Image Issues and together we are a trifecta of destruction. For over eight years I have been killing myself as a result of this relationship and I want to stop.

I remember being eight years old and looking at my blonde and skinny friends, hating myself for not looking like them. Every night before I went to bed, I used to wish that there was a way for someone to come into my bedroom in the middle of the night and shave all the extra fat on my belly off. I would have given anything to not be fat; I so desperately wanted to be beautiful. I thought if I were skinny I'd have more friends. I felt lonely.

Before everyone figured out I was diabetic I lost a lot of weight. I remember running to my P.E. teacher and excitingly telling him that I had lost 10lbs! I was so excited but still hungry. My parents would stop me from eating third helpings at dinner so I snuck food.

After my diagnosis, complete with regulated diet and injections the sneaking food continued. It never stopped. The first time I lied about my blood sugar, I was 10.

Several years later...

My parents are getting divorced, and I witnessed my mother go from Martha Stewart's clone to a woman who didn't want to get out of bed. I didn't know how to process this. So I just stopped taking care of myself. Then I started losing weight and people thought I was beautiful.

When I was 14 I had my first DKA. Two months later I had my second. Then, my third shortly after. That landed me in my first long-term psych facility… not the right place at all. It was a borderline horrifying experience. I found myself mixed in with teens that were given the option of this psycho facility or juvie, teen prostitutes whose brains were fried on meth, and kids with severe psych issues like schizophrenia. One night I was locked in my room by the staff and was informed that the staff had learned that the rest of the patients were conspiring to attack me in the shower.

There was another patient there that had diabetes, “Sam”. He would intentionally make himself sick to get out of foster homes that he didn’t like. We didn’t talk much, but we had several conversations about not taking insulin in which we both admitted that we didn’t truly believe that you could die from insulin manipulation. Then one day Sam and his roommate stole a weight from the day room, threw it at their window, and escaped. A week later Sam was dead. An autopsy confirmed cause of death: Diabetic Ketoacidosis.
After I was released from the psych ward I became more careful and secretive of my disease. I had gained a substantial amount of weight while there and coped with it the only way I knew how. Not taking insulin. Even though I knew that it could kill me it didn’t matter because being skinny was more important. It trumped everything else in my life. I threw up from high blood sugars on a daily basis. I couldn’t walk across a room without feeling winded. The DKAs kept happening and I kept slipping away.

In 2006 went into DKA again. I was sent to another treatment center, one that was better suited to fit my needs. Afterwards I was not allowed to return to my mother’s house so she sent me to live with my father and stepmother.

I’d like to think they tried their best. I’d like to think that they cared. But several events led me to a relapse. A month after I turned 18 I moved out. I was not ready for my newfound freedom and felt like my life was spiraling out of control. Before I knew it I found myself in DKA again and again and again.

I have stopped breathing before. I have hallucinated while in DKA, it was the only time in my life that has ever happened. This disease is destroying my life. I do not want to be sick anymore.

In 2009 I gave birth to a healthy baby boy. I do not want to be dead because my son deserves to have a mother who will live. It has taken me years to come to the realization that I need to find my own help and I am in the process of doing so. That is way I have started this blog.

I want to talk about the healing process. I don’t know if anyone will find this or read this but I will share this anyway. So brace yourself as we go through this journey together. 

Goodness knows I’m scared shitless.

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