In My Own House

I was always thin. Too thin. Did everything I could think of not to be thin. Nothing worked. There are pictures of me as a college girl trying to stand in such a way that you cannot tell how thin I am. So later when I was married, I was a really happy pregnant girl because it was actually fun to gain all that weight - whoa! FIFTY pounds! Of course it came right off again. Three times.

Three wonderful children. But my husband lost his job and we were poor. For a long time. So poor I became insecure about whether I would be able to feed my children. So I didn't eat. I felt like a failure. I fantasized about who I could give my children to because clearly I was not fit to care for them. Then my mother was diagnosed with cancer. There was too much I could not fix. I wanted to disappear. And I almost did.

One day I went to the doctor because I wasn't feeling well. He asked "When did you lose all this weight?" I said "I've always been thin." He said, "Not this thin. You weight 82 pounds." I was hospitalized for a week while they ran all sorts of tests. Diagnosis: Anorexia & severe clinic depression. No kidding.

Long, hard road back to health. I remember the day I crawled off the bed and went to the phone to call for help - I knew I had to do that much for myself, but I also knew I needed help. Lots of love, lots of learning. I still struggle with my body not looking like it is "supposed to."

And all I can do is to remain aware of that and try to be determined never to go down like that again. I am vigilant.