Sep 4, 2012


I have said before that no matter what, I am honest on this blog.  It has taken me almost a week to write this post.  My hope is always that someone reading this will feel less alone in their struggle.  I know this is not a fun, witty post.  I know this may be hard for some readers to process, understand or relate to.  I am also aware that there will be some people who read this who know me very well and may feel shocked, or hurt by this post.  I have never hidden things from the people I love with the intention to hurt them.  I just, have never been brave enough to expose this part of myself until now.  My hope is that someone, somewhere, at some time, can relate.  I am only doing this, exposing the most raw part of myself, so that I can reach someone else.  In my 20 year struggle with self worth, I have never felt like there was anyone I could confide in.  I never had a confidant.  I pray that by opening up, someone out there will feel like I am that person who could understand their pain, and that their burden might be lightened.

 There is one major part of my battle that I have never shared before. Part of the reason I have not done so was because I hadn't even shared it with my husband and I didn't want him to find out.  Another reason is that I have buried this part of my life so deep, and it is so ingrained into who I am.  I am afraid of digging it up. What will I find? In an effort to rid myself of this darkness and it's crushing oppression, I confessed to my husband secrets I have kept my entire life...from everyone.  I have mastered the art of looking confident and appearing to have it all together.  I have always been a person that other people came to for advice.  I am great at telling others how to solve their problems.  I have achieved great things in my life, and had a lot of people fooled.  I have had everyone fooled.  The person he thought he knew, is a fake.  I am a fake.  He was stunned, to say the least.  I am not really  sure he was able to process that the person he has known and loved for 13 years harbored such dark feelings and secrets.  We haven't really even talked about it since the night I told him.  He was frightened, and he expressed concern that I would pass this burden on to our children.  I know he would never express it to me, but I can't help but wonder if he sees me differently.  Because the truth is I am very weak, and easily intimidated, and most of all incredibly self destructive.  I promised him I would seek some help, and that I would be more open and honest in the future.  So here I am, being about as open and honest as I have ever been...on the world wide web!

I am not exactly sure when, how, or why it started but ever since I can remember I have had a very cruel inner voice. I have referred to it before on this blog as my demon, but it is much more than that. Over the years this hateful presence has become my constant companion. I don't remember a time in my life that I haven't heard it. Some times it's louder than others.  I have journals from 2nd grade that have the most self abusive writing in them.  How does a child so young hate themselves so much?  I remember at that young age believing I was worthless, believing no one could ever truly care for me (outside of my family of course!)  I came from a loving home where I was praised and encouraged, but somehow I learned to hate myself, and this merciless inner dialogue was born.  I guess this is probably where my eating disorder began as well.  I have sad memories about food from as far back as I can remember. I knew early on in my life that my body was different and I learned to despise those differences.  I felt like I had no power to control them or change them. I have no memories of being abused, or of any trauma that could cause me to have such low self worth.  I think I had a pretty normal childhood.  

 A few times in my life during periods of severe food restriction, the demon has been almost non existent, yet still whispering from the back of my brain.  However, as soon as I return to normal eating habits, it returns.  Once it returns, I am catapulted back into the addiction/rebellion/binge cycle. At that point, the voice overpowers every other desire, emotion, and memory. I have very few memories that aren't clouded by the negative voice that lives in my head.  My wedding day was a cluster of negative dialogue running through my head.  The births of both of my children are tainted by my loathing for the way I look in the pictures.  I actually had a psych evaluation after the birth of my daughter (which I kept a secret) because I freaked out big time after I saw my body in the mirror at the hospital.   These should have been some of the happiest days of my life.  But they are clouded by my self hatred...and they are not the only memories that have been ruined. I will see shows on TV, or read books, or talk to people who say positive thinking is the key. "Believe it and you can achieve it"...right??? So why can't I silence that part of me that is SCREAMING "You are worthless", "You are disgusting", "You are the fattest person in this room", "Everyone is staring at you", "who could possibly love you?" In all the years I have dieted...20 to be exact, I have never fully conquered this demon. I am not even sure that I can.  Not even medication could conquer it.  No amount of prayer could take it away. At this point it is ingrained in my life. 20 years...since I was 9 this has been part of me.  On bad days I attack myself maybe 75-100 times.  Whenever I look in the mirror, which, I have become a master at avoiding, I do it.  When I look at a magazine, I do it.  When I should be enjoying time with my family...I do it. Whenever I go into a new situation with new people, my inner voice is at its worst.  But the hardest time for me is around meal time, or when I over indulge.

 I think because I have never had the extreme outer physical appearance of a person with an eating disorder, I have never felt comfortable labeling myself that way.  I have never been 400 pounds, and I have never been 80 pounds, so I haven't felt that I was entitled to the feelings that plagued me.  I have always placed the blame on myself.  If I just had more self control, if I could just get a handle on things, if I could only wake up earlier and work out harder, and eat less, and endure hunger better, and learn to love food I despise, and to despise food that I love...if only...if only...if only...blame...blame...blame. The battle is raging and it is constant.

I have searched myself trying to find the reason that I turn to food. Again, my story lacks the usual abuse or trauma that is found amongst most woman with eating disorders.  I came from a loving home with both parents present and a father who was very kind.  The only conclusion that I can come to is that I was taught to associate eating with being fat.  I was raised in the 80's.  Whose mother wasn't on a diet in the 80's right??  My mother fought her own battles with self esteem and body image.  There weren't the tools back then and we didn't have the knowledge we have today.  I think naturally my mom feared for her daughters to struggle with their bodies as she had, and so she may have unintentionally planted that seed in me.  I do not blame her.  She did the best with what she knew. She is the only other person in my life who has seen into this part of me.  I am sure it terrified her.  I am sure she must have been so worried.  I look at my own daughter.  My beautiful baby girl...and I wonder; how, after all these years of struggle, will I teach her to love herself?  How can I possibly teach her when I lack the tools?  I don't want to damage her, but I don't want to see her suffer either.  How would I react if in the next few years she begins to plump up?  Not out of shame towards her, but out of fear that she will suffer as I have suffered?  When I put myself in that position, I can understand my own mother better.

So, before this becomes an autobiography...I will wrap it up and say this; I am on a journey.  I have been on a journey for a long long time.  I am turning 30 next month...I am too old to carry this burden any longer.  I want to be free...I want peace.  Real peace.  I have not had one day...not even one day where I have truly felt peace.  I want that to change.  I want silence up there in the ole noggin!  I have always felt like there is another woman trapped inside of me, the woman God intended for me to become.  She is strong, powerful, confident, kind, and peaceful.  I want her to emerge.  I know she is in there, she's buried pretty deep as of now, but she is in there.  Sometimes, I think she looks like that weird dying soul at the train station on the last Harry Potter movie, but at least she is holding on!

And so the next leg of this journey begins.  Self cleansing, self healing, self forgiving, self loving.  That is my new mantra, and those are words I have never before been able to learn.  But, now is my time.  I feel lighter already.  I feel like sharing has lifted some of the burden.  I hope that if you are reading this, and feel like you need someone to reach out to, you know I am here for you.  I truly believe that as women, we can lift each other up and help each other heal.

I was watching the Oprah Lifeclass with Iyanla yesterday and she said something that struck a chord with me (actually, it made me bawl like a baby!) She said, "The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are."  I don't really know who I am yet, but I know what I can become...and when I become out world!


  1. First of all thanks for sharing! I know that any of us struggling to lose weight seem to have some sort of demon to fight. I have my own and by letting them go, I have managed to lose more weight. You are strong and amazing and beautiful! Keep working because you have an amazing potential in the Lord. Love you

  2. You rock for posting this! I can relate to this more than you'll ever know. I fight that same battle on a daily basis and am terrified at the example I've set for my daughters. Even though I try to put up that front of being a strong, confident woman in my own skin they see through it. On the flip side, they are my biggest supporters and the first ones to say "Mom you are beautiful today". Reverse psychology....I don't know. :)
    I have a friend that just reached her "goal" weight after having 4 kids. She called me and said "I thought it would be different reaching my goal. But I woke up today and realized that my kids and husband love me the same as they did when I was heavier. That the world around me is the same. No fan fare or parades for me because I did this. It all comes down to loving myself they way they love me. I wish I could."
    You are not alone April. I struggle on a daily basis and it makes me feel like a failure because it can so easily take over my life and distract me away from my family.
    You are one of the most beautiful, driven, honest, onry women I know. I love everything about you. Lean on the Lord. See yourself through his eyes. It is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

  3. I don't know what to say! Other than that I love you. And you are beautiful. And I wish you the best of luck on your journey to realize what everyone else already has- that you are amazing!!

  4. April, I totally have been there. I wish I had great advice to how to get to the peace. I have no idea how I get there, but I have it more often than not now. (please don't ask about the last month, it has been bad again but the voices in my head now talk of hope and change instead of the horrible negative stuff of 10 years ago.). Apparently we need to talk!