“I am not my bulimia”

“I remember telling a friend that I wished I could become anorexic. The irony is that I remember that now, head crouched over the toilet bowl, flushing away my dinner for the fourth night in a row.”
I wrote this in 11th grade, just as the bulimia was taking hold. I never called it bulimia before this past summer, because I never even called it an eating disorder. I always referred to it as “eating problems” because, to me, that’s all I ever thought it was.
It wasn’t until I sat in the bathroom crying – hating myself for needing to throw up, but hating myself more for not following through with it – that I recognized it as a problem. I was killing myself for a number on the scale. The eating disorder never defined me: it was always the scale.
I went into inpatient residential treatment Summer of 2013. Even after leaving, though, I continue to struggle with my eating disorder. I’ve now recognized that I will forever struggle with it. But that’s all it will be: something I will work to overcome every day. I’m no longer my “eating problems” or my number on the scale. I’m no longer the size of my jeans or the thinness of my cheeks. I never recognized my bulimia but, now that I have, I will no longer be that either.