I came face to face with an addiction I could not overcome when I was in my teenage years; I got swallowed down the hole of self hatred, self denial and self terror. I don’t revisit that time in my life because it feels like a distant land that I can’t even relate to now. But I did struggle with anorexia for ten years, I put my family through hell, and it was oddly a life line and a death wish to me at the same time. The last time I had thoughts that were injurious to me in terms of anorexia I was 20 years old. I am now 52 so I can claim that I am healed of anorexia. I have not had a relapse since I was in second year university. At that time, I was a member of the University of Victoria field hockey team. I was feeling insecure about my contribution and my anxiety was threatening to derail me. I played center defender. Our team was often ranked in the top three in Canada. We won the national championships three times when I was a player at the University of Victoria. That time of my life was so fun. I had so much passion for sports. I loved to play sports at a highly competitive level. However, the pressure I felt to compete and be perfect were hard when I did not have a healthy sense of self esteem. My love and commitment for sports saved my life and got me on a better path of self confidence at that time. I remember feelings of not wanting to eat at that time. I was struggling. I was a highly sensitive person and knowing that now it makes a lot of sense to me. I have spent many years learning to love myself since then and uncovering my true self so those memories feel distant; it feels like it is a foreign land to revisit, to be honest. I always tell people now that if I could take a 20 pound pill to put some weight on my body I would take it. I eat huge volumes of food to maintain my weight now. It would be easier to take a pill to gain weight. I would feel better if I was 20 pounds heavier. Those thoughts feel comforting to me now in my life. I would feel more nourished if my body could anchor into some more weight. We have super high metabolisms in my family so it is a genetic issue that I have to live with. When I was in my teenage years, 11, 12, 13, 14 I was really locked into that addiction. It was a way to manage my anxiety and my extreme sensitivity to life. I was sensitive to my environment and my ‘impressions’. I imagine that I could sense the mood and the emotions of any room I entered; because of that sensitivity, I became a mind reader of sorts to feel more in control. If I could read how I should act in that moment to be the least intrusive person I can imagine to be, then I would feel safe and in control.
I had this book mailed to me and I found the writings on anorexia to be so accurate to the way I felt at that time. I wanted to incorporate the writer’s thoughts on anorexia and expand on them to help other people overcome anorexia in their own life. Hopefully you will derive benefit from my book. As I write I will share pieces of it with you. The book that was mailed to me is ‘The Complete Dictionary of Ailments and Diseases’ by Jacques Martel/Lucie Bernier as a collaborator. (My words now)-
I am a mix of different temperaments. In one breath I have no trouble speaking in front of hundreds of people. I have been speaking for twenty years. When I first started speaking, I did get nervous. I am very confident now in talking about a variety of health and wellness topics because that is my field. I am a naturopathic doctor and I study a lot. But on the other hand, I have always been a fearful person (in other ways). I was terrified of flying when I was younger. I have one memory of being in my teens expecting to die on a fligh tbecause we had missed our boarding call and I thought that was divine protection from our family getting on an ill- fated flight. Newsflash- the plane did not crash. My family and I made it to Arizona and back that time. I was fearful for a long time when flying. When I made the British Columbia field hockey team when I was in high school, I had to fly every weekend to practice with the team. I had to white knuckle it for many flights but I did love sports so I coped with my fear as best as I could and prayed like crazy when there was turbulence. Music always helped me. I would blast music that I loved. It made me feel safe. (It was Steve Winwood Chronicles at that time- shows you how much time has past!). I have overcome my fear of flying since then although I still feel some anxiety when I fly if it is really turbulent. Since my Dad died almost two years ago, I miss him so much that I know that if a plane ever crashed with me on it, he would be there to greet me in heaven so I am not afraid anymore. This is from some writing of my next book on Anorexia. I want to look at some of the spiritual beliefs underlying the disorder in hope of helping those suffering from its grip. James Greenblatt’s book ‘Answers to Anorexia’ is definitely worth reading. He offers important insights and is very thorough in talking about the contributing factors like nutritional deficiencies that compound the disorder. Message me on Facebook if you have comments on my blog. My Facebook page is under my name. I have an EFT/counseling special on right now if you want to try a session. If you book 4 sessions, the cost is only $80 for the hour. Call 4032321283 to book with me. Much love, Dr. Robin