About my eating disorder
I'd like to share with you something very personal: an eating disorder that I have been struggling with for almost 20 years.
I wrote about this in my personal Facebook account and in my Japanese blog January this year. This was a big step for me as I had never told anyone about my illness; It was my big secret that no one could know about.
So why share it now?
There are a few reasons, but the biggest one is my decision to finally beat the illness. Becoming a mother gave me the courage to face my biggest fear, step out of my comfort zone, and come to terms with the denial that I had about my condition.
At one point last year, my weight plummeted to 31kg, which is about 63 lbs. The weight alone may sound scary to some, but what's even more frightening is that almost no one noticed. Having had this illness for 20 years, I had become an expert at hiding the symptoms. I would stock up healthy-looking photos of myself to post when I am looking too thin. I would eat when I am with friends then starve myself for weeks following. I would stay home and avoid meeting friends for months if I had to.
However, this lifestyle became more and more difficult after my son came into my life. There is no way I could deprive my son of experiences he should be having outside of the house. I knew he deserves the best, and that includes having a mother who is willing to confront difficulties for him.
As many mothers feel about their child, to me, my son is perfect. There is absolutely nothing wrong with him, and I will love him no matter what he looks like or how much he weighs. I will always think he is beautiful, and I want to make sure he knows that.
And that's where the contradiction kicks in: How can I make my son believe that when I don't feel the same about myself? Why does it apply to everyone except me? Why do I need to be stick thin to feel "OK"?
For most people, the solutions to these questions probably come naturally. But for me, it seems to be a lifetime challenge. I can not say that I have found the answers or that I am cured as I still have a great fear of eating and gaining weight. But I am now able to acknowledge the confusion within me.
True confidence is beautiful, but so is the journey leading to it. One day, when I am freed from my fears, I will thank my son for letting me realize what truly matters.