I love food. I have always loved food. Pizza, cheese, pretzels, ice cream, candy…I could go on and on. My battle with food and body image and anxiety finally collided at the age of 13 when I began restricting food. This lasted for 2 years and then when my father died from brain cancer I discovered the horrible/beautiful monster called bulimia. Binging and purging gave me the chance to enjoy my beloved food and still keep thin. To make a long story short, things got so out of control I was shipped off to the desert (no, seriously the desert in Arizona) to rehab. I wish I could say-YAY that’s the end of my story-Jesus healed me and my life is awesome now. Well that was eight years ago and I am still struggling. I’m struggling not only with using food as a way of coping with my ever increasing anxiety spurred on by an extremely stressful job as a social worker. (See, us social workers don’t have it all together!) But I’m struggling with the ever present feeling of worthlessness/disgustingness that comes from binging and purging. What do I want you to know (specifically)? I want you to know that I wish everyday someone would look me in the eye and not be afraid to ask how I’m doing. I want someone to hug me and say I’m worth more than this disease. I don’t want people to tell me I’m beautiful-I don’t need that. Bulimia is far more than feeling "ugly." I want someone to say, "You are strong, you CAN be free from this." I want someone to actually CARE about me. A friend, not just my husband. I’m sick of everyone ignoring what I struggle with.Things will get better. I know they will because every year that goes by, I clock in days and weeks without purging. I go weeks without thinking about bulimia. But then BAM something comes up and I turn to food. I’m trying to have a baby and I constantly have to beg God for help because I don’t want my son or daughter harmed by my disease or worse-I don’t want to pass this on.I want you to know…I am normal…I am strong…I am NOT bulimic, but I STRUGGLE with bulimia.