Today was a day of clarity in a way. While at work I had a visual of being in front of a group of students, talking about choices we make, and how even as young children we make some of the biggest choices for our ages, even though now, whether in your teens or in your adult life you look back and think that those choices were silly. Kids as young as eight to ten are thinking of taking their lives, going on diets, etc. Those are thoughts and choices that a child of that age shouldn’t be making. In today’s day and age, society projects on to children in this age bracket and sometimes even younger.
So here is a little of my story, at the tender age of 10 I made a choice not to eat my lunch at school any more, was it a conscious decision? possibly, was it a subconscious decision, most definitely. This decision led to 30 years of only eating one meal a day, and less if I could. Which in turn with the coupling of undiagnosed Ceoliac Disease I spent nearly two years in the depths of depression and suicidal thoughts. Though during that time I was able to some how see or feel that there was more to my life, that I had dreams, but felt in such a brain fog that I didn’t think I could get out. Once I started a gluten free diet I was able to clear the depression fog and to be ‘more human’ again. Though still only eating minimal, and having an active life with two young children.
It wasn’t until I reached my 40th year that I thought something needed to change, though I still had not inkling that I was in the grips of an eating disorder, until I made contact with a dietitian who asked the right question at our first appointment. Yes I denied it straight away, but the following week at the next appointment I came to admit I had an eating disorder. Then it was on to find out why, and how and how come. Lets jump the next six years of therapy and insight for now. Just know that it took some time, a lot of writing (journal), discussions with my psychologist and a final straw with my family (parents) to hit a point of being able to say I was finally on the other side and well on the way to complete recovery.
So let’s head back to my moments today of clarity. I see a place where I could possibly make a difference in peoples lives, hence starting my degree in psychology and counseling, but for me it goes deeper than that. There is a deep seated drive to open teens to what choices we make, and how they can not be just in the moment, but be there for a life time, in positive and negative ways. I just feel that kids need to be told that in life there are many ways to get to where they want to go. There will be experiences that will change them and that to live life and not just, survive life.
It took me writing 80,000 words for a fictional novel that I will in time complete, I am sure, to see parts of my own life unfold before me, where I couldn’t see it any other way. I still know I need to write my memoir on the life experiences of my eating disorder and especially of the recovery, which is so important. I might not stand in front of a group of students this year or even next, but I know in my heart that I will one day.