I see a therapist regularly–between the weight of Callie’s medical journey, James’s uber stressful job, and my own chronic health condition, simply talking to someone who helps me unpack things & organize my thoughts is key to my emotional well-being. I can not recommend it enough if you are the parent of a child with a disability, suffer from your own chronic condition, or simply need help talking through life’s challenges.
So my therapist and I have been diving into my relationship with food (spoiler alert, it’s not good), diabetes, and my body image a lot lately. Tough conversations, harsh realizations, and now I’m at a point where I can accept the diagnosis of an eating disorder like “diabulimia” to explain how I used to behave and still struggle to navigate and overcome daily.
Honestly, it’s not something I never thought I would be brave enough to do. Much less publicly share.
But it’s the truth. I used to restrict or stop taking my insulin completely because it made me lose weight.
Even though I was TINY!
I have diabulimia.
I have a disordered and distorted view of eating–stemming from a hyper focus on food for my entire life with Type One Diabetes.
Food can save my life or it can kill me. I was taught that some foods were good and others were bad. I think about food ALL day long…..because I am FORCED to. I panic if I think that I’m going to be somewhere without access to food. I am afraid of some foods (hello pasta) for fear of what it will do to my blood sugars or simply how much insulin I’ll have to take to cover them. I can’t look at food as just “food”–I look at it as a roller coaster, off limits, restrictive, or in some cases life saving. I can’t look at a piece of my birthday cake and see celebration, a party, or enjoyment. I only see off limits, not worth the bolus, and a food a diabetic can’t eat.
So today, I’m sharing this really personal diagnosis with everyone in hopes that others will feel more comfortable sharing their raw, uncut, “messy” parts too. I’ve always prided myself on being as transparent as I can with my diabetes care so I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about this aspect of my journey. I will always lean into hard things if it helps even one person but keep in mind–I’m learning a lot and digging into things that are super uncomfortable for me to admit to and acknowledge. The level of vulnerability, transparency, and grace that I will have to give myself is something that I’m learning to navigate daily.
I will have to keep reminding myself….recovery is a verb, not a destination.
But I’m also focused on celebrating the small wins in my relationship with food on a daily basis–today I ate a bagel (with cream cheese) and didn’t think twice about it.
Years ago, that small simple act would have wrecked me.
Today, it was just breakfast.