I Had to Destroy Myself Before I Could Love Myself

I Had to Destroy Myself Before I Could Love Myself
You may not see it today or tomorrow, but you will look back in a few years and be absolutely perplexed and awed by how every little thing added up and brought you somewhere wonderful– or where you always wanted to be. You will be grateful that things didn’t work out the way you once wanted them to.
— Brianna Wiest

This quote has been engraved in my mind for quite some time now. Although a few years ago I hated it because I did not believe a single word in it, today it is my mantra, my reminder that whatever happens, it is for my own good. But getting my mind in the right gear was, to say the least, very challenging. At times, it almost seemed like an impossible task.

I grew up hating my body. I hated my breasts that were way too large for my teenage figure. I hated my love handles that were always hanging over. I hated my thighs that constantly rubbed against one another. I hated it all. I hated myself.

My girlfriends felt similarly about themselves. What distinguished me from them, however, was obsession. While they would whine and complain about their little imperfections on a Friday night over a glass of red wine, I would be consumed by self-loathing every single minute of every single day. But hating myself was exhausting. It was depressing. It needed to stop. I had to make it stop. I wanted to be happy again. And I, silly me, thought that being skinny would make me happy.

What ensued was a nightmare. Instead of trying to lose weight in a healthy and steady way, I turned to purging. I was slothful to exercise and prepare meals. I wanted results fast. But bulimia causes weight-gain, the exact opposite of what I wanted. Oh, how little did I know.

This went on for ten years. For ten long years, I cried, I prayed, I fought. All by myself. I wasn’t living. I was surviving. I was punishing my body. I was scarring my body. Instead of loving it and caring for it, I silenced it. I didn’t give it a chance to bloom into something special.

Then one day I decided things were going to be different. I simply understood that no one could help me, that no one was ever going to be able to help me. The only person who could help me was me.

Today, I am proud to say I am healthy. Today, I am proud to say I love my body. It is not perfect by any means, but I have learned to appreciate it.

What I am going to say now will perhaps sound incomprehensible, but if I could turn back time and change my fate, I wouldn’t. Yes, those ten bulimic years were horrible. Yes, I suffered. But I had to destroy my body before I could learn to love it.

Bulimia made me who I am today. It turned me into a warrior and that warrior will never be defeated again.