Skin Inscription: Arabic – Psalm 23v4 ‘I shall fear no evil, for thou art with me’ … God has always had and will always have my back.
When I said I would take you all on my journey with me I didn’t think it would be like this, but I believe God has revealed to me the next step of His plan. I have always known that I will heal through telling my story, and in turn help others heal, but what I tell you next was completely unplanned.
My nemesis, my almost 19 year old eating disorder is by no means under control. It started in the night of my 12th birthday, after seeing a segment in a TV movie about a girl who discovered bulimia. I have had an ex-boyfriend brush this issue off saying it is “a rich persons problem and spoiled-brat issue”. But, in my opinion, pain and trials are relative to your current level (in my case childhood) of exposure, shelter and protection. And whatever you label it, it is an extremely well-traveled and versed epidemic.
I was raised in a small Church school with only 70 pupils in all 12 grades which went hand-in-hand with an extremely sheltered upbringing, but even in this close-knit “Godly” community I was teased for being overweight.
T-Junction – to say or not to say
I had never even heard of bulimia and was most definitely not consciously aware of its already huge roll in my life (more on that later), until that film. We had the feast of sweets and chocolates at my birthday sleep-over and that was the first time I put my finger down my throat and the physical manifestation of my nemesis was born.
I have also been anorexic, the lightest I have been was in 2011 at 41.4 kgs (91.3 lbs). And done the over-exercising stint also, last year having a mere 1.8% body fat percentage (a male athlete is between 6-13%) and was rollerblading 20 kilometres (12.5 miles) six to seven times per week on the Durban, South Africa, beach front promenade.
Most people in my life know about this eating disorder but not the depth and magnitude of it. They also think I have it under control which is the exact opposite of how it really is. It is all-consuming, life-wrecking and extremely dangerous. I have just realised that I need human accountability and support, and I am going to ask you to be that for me.
When I look at my old pictures, all I can see is what I used to be but am no longer. I think: what I can see is what I am not – Aleksander Hemon
Why has this lasted so long? Because I have hidden it so well. The Bulimia part of my nemesis has ranged in severity, once a month, once a day, once every time I ate. Now I call myself a pesgan (vegan plus fish occasionally) because foods in this category are my ‘safe foods’, ones I can eat and not feel guilty (enough) to remove it from my system. But even one mouthful too much will bring an onslaught on eating and then purging.
This nemesis is one of the reasons I left corporate, because I cannot use being busy as an excuse anymore. As of this morning I am 46.8 kgs (103.1 lbs) and I need to be free, NOW, and in turn I will help others find their freedom.
So, there it is. Out there. Thank you for listening, feeling, and for being You, and letting me be me.
I wasted time, now doth time waste me – William Shakespeare
Father, Lord, Best Friend, thank You for showing me how to not waste any more time and giving me the courage to reach out – Monique van der Walt