They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Sounds easy, right? Well, for me admitting I had a problem was simple. Actually referring to the problem by it’s correct name and wanting help for it, well that’s another story. A story that actually plays out for a number of years. Yesterday, September 11, 2015 was the day that a step was taken. The word was thought, typed and finally spoken. I was ready to admit it. So, here it goes……I, Kairos Brynn McCollum, have Anorexia. (I’ve now starred at this screen for 5 minutes without typing). That’s it y’all. That’s all I’ve got. It took me a while to be even able to think this word. Then….I had to admit to myself that that’s what was actually going on with me. Then, I had to type it out and send it to my Mom…and then Marty. Two of THE most important people in my life, I had to tell me. I had to say the word to them and make it real and not just some figment of my imagination.
Anorexia kills people y’all. It’s really scary. It’s a really terrifying moment when you realize something is eating you alive. Day by day, piece by piece it eats and chips away at you.
Perfectionism kills people y’all. I have this stupid, stupid need to have everything be perfect. But guess what, life isn’t perfect! I know that! But for some reason I still continue to strive for something that is literally impossible. What’s up with that?
Anxiety kills people y’all. My life is one giant anxiety ball. Every little thing can set it off. It’s been my whole life, not on purpose, but it has. I’m so ritualistic that I can’t have one thing be off during the day. I eat the same foods I need to. I do the exact same thing everyday-wake up, get dressed, eat the same breakfast, go to school, WORKOUT, eat some safe food for dinner, then, if there is time for anything else do it, and finally sleep. Anxiety is scary.
I’ve been to therapy before, my first year at ASU, at that point, I had only admitted that I had an eating disorder. I had an “ED”. I didn’t have…..anorexia. It wasn’t really real until the other day. So, here I am, typing it out, boldly attaching myself to this hideous, ugly, downright vulgar word. Think about it, what an ugly word that is!!!
So, you may be wondering, ‘How did I get to the point where I decided to admit this? What made me come to this sudden realization?’ Well, for student teaching, we have to record ourselves for 2 minutes teaching a lesson. As I watched myself teaching, I saw how truly thin I was…and how that wasn’t healthy. I knew I’d been doing some things differently lately but I didn’t realize they were actually making me thinner. I didn’t realize that I was thinner in the mirror than I was in my head. I think getting married has just escalated things, well the dress I mean. (Not that I think getting married is bad at all. I’m so so excited to marry the love of my life. I can’t wait for it to get here.) I think I’ve just been stressed. So, here I am, saying that I’m gonna have to get help. I’m gonna have to do some things differently. Am I ready to do that before I get married in 34ish days? I’m not sure. Am I going to be ready on October 18th? Yes. Am I ready to feel better? Yes! Am I ready to not hate myself? Definitely. I’ve been waiting my whole life to love myself.
So, how did I get here? How did this happen to me? Sometimes I wonder if I did something to make myself deserve this? Do I deserve to physically and mentally be in pain over eating a peanut butter sandwich or a hamburger? Or heck, even bread? I used to be mad at God, but now, I think I’m just a little upset sometimes with Him but I don’t think I’m angry anymore. I realize that I need to be able to turn to Him for prayer and comfort and that He DIDN’T do this to me.
I used to think it was just me against the world. But after talking, I’ve realized it’s really not. It’s not Kairos v. Eating Disorder v. Anorexia v. the world. It’s Kairos (well, plus God) and Dad, Mom, Keegan and Marty against all those evil things.
I’m really scared, totally terrified and completely petrified. I don’t like change. Even just saying the word right now literally means that nothing is the same. My entire mind and body changes. But for now, step 1 is saying the word. I did that. That’s pretty much all I can give right now. I’ll get to step 2, it’s just going to take a little bit. It took years to get to step 1, but it’s a positive step no matter how much time it took. I’ve never been more scared, but I know that there are at least 4 truly wonderful people who are more than willing to hold my hand through this.