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My journey to fill that hole..

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I have always thought of myself as just an eater. Just someone who eats to fill up and to make it so my body works. I have noticed something, something big that has taken me a long time to figure out, to put the pieces together. I eat to fill a hole that I think is in my body. I eat to deal stuff emotions or forget them. I didnt always eat to do this, in fact overeating was probably the healthiest of my coping skills.

Growing up I didnt witness a lot of healthy you say coping skills to deal with stress. I saw my mom and dad smoke, drink, and fight as their ways of coping with life. They didnt take the time to teach us kids how to handle our emotions effectively. I am in no way blaming my parents for my weight gain as they had their own problems to deal with. They were never there for me so I fended for myself growing up. As I dont remember much of how I coped as a young child except I do remember throwing huge temper tantrums that were all out on the floor yelling and banging my body until I grew tired. As I grew into puberty I turned to other things.

First I immersed myself in school and books. For the first two years in middle school I didnt talk to one single classmate unless they prompted me. I instead read. I read on the bus, I read in class, at lunch, then in my room until it was time to go to bed and get up and do it all over again. Two full years I did this. Even during summers and school breaks if I wasnt doing homework I was somewhere reading, trying to forget everything. This is when I started journaling too. My journal and my books were my best friends for a long time. I felt they were the only two things in the world that understood me and wouldnt ever leave me. I could go to them at any time. I withdrew into myself so much that teachers didnt even know my name at school. No one noticed I was there or even around.

After awhile reading and journaling just wasnt cutting it anymore. I started to feel overwhelmed with everything and felt every emotion all the time. It was like I was standing on the edge 24 hours a day wondering if I was going to fall and never return. I was constantly on the edge. Then I was introduced to self mutilation.

Its weird how it starts, something like self mutilation. I had heard about it and seen other girls with scars but was always afraid to do it. One day something just clicked in my head, said "do it". So I did and it relieved those emotions, I didnt have to feel anything but physical pain anymore. It was grand. It was like I had a friend again. Something I could count on that didnt fail me. I could turn to it and control it. So I did it. Little at first but over time it gradually got to be more and more. I had to cut myself more and more each time to make the emotions just go down further and further. To make it so I didnt feel anything but the physical pain. I was smart and careful so no one caught on to my secret for a very long time. In fact I went through college and graduated before anyone found out. During college I found my friend alcohol when I couldnt cut on myself or cutting wasnt enough. There are many days I dont remember what I did or where I was. Somehow I made it through because I was one of those good students. I would study during the week, immersed myself in classes so I didnt have to think about anything else. Come Friday classes stopped for the weekend and I had to face reality again. So alcohol and cutting were my two best friends Friday-Monday morning.

I gained a lot of weight during college mostly due to alcohol consumption and the loads of fatty foods avaliable. I believe this is where my actual addiction to food started. If I felt anything and I didnt have alcohol or a razor avaliable I would get food because that was everywhere and I didnt have to hide it.

I graduated college and started a new job. I literally was working this job 70-80 hours a week so I just didnt have to feel, think or be alone. Whenever I wasnt working, I was drinking, eating, and cutting. Sleep was usually alcohol induced. This cycle of working so much lasted nearly 2 years. One day it all came to ahead. There were layoffs and I lost my job. I lost the last piece that was holding me to somewhat of a reality to this world. When I lost my job I lost all hope. I couldnt run away from my problems anymore by working so much. So I drank, ate, and cut more than ever before. One day those three things didnt work anymore. Thats when I decided I was going to end it all.

So I tried to end my life and failed. I ended up in a coma for nearly two weeks. When I awoke I was mad at myself, telling myself that damn you cant even get your own suicide right? what is the matter with you, why are you such a screw up? My parents now sober and divorced now had found out my secrets. I had not seen them in over 2 years or even talked to them on the phone in a year so no one knew. They finally knew about the cutting as my body was covered in scars. They knew about the alcohol and the eating as I had gained so much weight. I moved in with my mom after about a month and a half hospital stay. Nothing had changed though I still wasnt dealing with my feelings. They kept me on a short lease and did such things as checking my body for new cuts everyday, having no alcohol in the house, taking away my car in an effort to keep me from hurting myself. I was so angry with mmyself for not dying, for screwing up my own death. That I tried it again, and again, and again. No matter how many doctors or hospitals stays I had I wanted my life to be over. It almost was several times. I could not deal with life as I even tried to end it while staying in the hospital.

Finally I was put into a long term mental institution for my own good. I was there for close to a year. At first I was resistant and still tried to kill myself. I lost all hope that I would ever leave that place, that I would ever have a normal life again. One day another patient was talking and just rambling stuff as I was just sitting there thinking again how again I could try to hurt myself. This patient looked at me and said "You deserve to be happy". It was very random but something clicked in my head and said yeah I do. I regained my hope and my light that I had lost for a very long time. I started to work with the doctors and fight for my own life instead of giving up and giving in. I spent the rest of my time in this hospital working on regaining my life back

So over the last year I have made incredible leaps and bounds in my recovery from depression. Recovery from the alcohol and self harming. Its been a long, argeous journey filled with lots of despair but finally lots of hope. My hole is starting to be filled by other things instead of the food, cutting, and alcohol my friends that I relied on for so long. I see the light..its a pinhole right now, but its there now.

Thanks for reading! God bless and god speed!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • VENGE7

    Your story is so similar to mine. It's almost like I could have written the whole thing by myself. I am currently starting to fill my life with other things as well. While my "light" at the end of the tunnel is currently bigger than a pinhole, I remember when that's all I had. As long as you can hold on to that light and take things ONE DAY AT A TIME, that is the key to your recovery. Just focus on today and what you can do to make yourself safe and healthy, today.

    I am currently reading and blogging about a book called "The Bounce Back book." You can stop by my page, if you want, and read some of the tips the bok offers, they are really great, and not long or complicated at all. If you have any questions, please send me a messaage via Sparkmail, or my Sparkpage or a blog entry! I would love to encourage you on your journey!

    3813 days ago
    What a wonderful blog! Thank you for sharing. Keep up updated on your journey.
    3814 days ago
    Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly.
    I can relate to a lot of what you said and was in similar circumstanses and situations growing up.
    It goes to show we are never alone in this life and jouney.
    I look forward to hearing more from you and getting to know you.
    I am here for you.

    3817 days ago
    I am glad that you are starting to find your self worth rather than continuing the self destructive path you were on. One thing that some with mental illness have is a childlike quality that sees things in us that others don't. That one person showed you that. I am grateful that they did and that you were brave enough to put your story here.
    3817 days ago
    I am glad you are finding your light again and filling the whole in your life with the good things life has to offer. I cannot say that I have been through nearly as much as you have, but I can relate to growing up in a family that didn't have healthy ways to express emotions. We taught to just not express them at all, thew myself into my school work, food, and career. One of my docs has me going to Overeaters Anonymous (OA), based on the same principals of AA, a group for people with compulsive eating habits.

    I also can relate to the a fact of the first time a person self injures there is just something that happens so that we choose that action. In my mind it was like someone else in my body was hurting me. I came back to reality when I felt the blood on my neck. It wasn't a lot of blood, but enough that I, a registered nurse, drove myself to the hospital, as I was too scared to let anyone else know what I had done. I while I was waiting to be admitted, I did call my parents.I was so scared & ashamed to tell them what was happening. Later on I told some good friends at work, but never told my best girl friend.

    Even though I have been through some rough spots in life since with only minimal self injury. I am hoping that this round of job interviews will lead to a job I love enough that I won't feel like hurting myself. I am glad that you discovered the fact that you deserve to be loved, as otherwise I would not have been able to share my story with you.

    Got to go, as I have too many things to do today. Keep looking for your light to get bigger, as your hole is filled with only the best that this life has to offer. I will continue to try the same thing.

    3817 days ago
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