I am Victoria Paige. I have many stories. We all do. Don't give up on yours.
Classy kids don't plageurize. If it's on my blog and not mine, you'll know.
These are the secrets I’ve wanted to share with all of you for some time now, but I’ve held back. Now I think it’s time to let it go.
For about two and a half years, I self-harmed.
I have been clean since May of 2010. I can’t put my finger on it now, the reason I originally started. But I know that every time I did, the reasons multiplied. The more I cut, the more reasons I had to cut. The reasons got smaller and smaller. I remember burning myself just to stay awake. Cutting because I had to finish a task. Because I hated my homework. Because I didn’t get the grade I wanted. Because that person didn’t talk to me. Because I was fat. Because I hated myself. It got to be this huge, depressing cycle and before I knew it I was at the very bottom of this long list of reasons why and there were no remaining reasons why not. A couple times, I scared myself pretty badly - the first, although years old now, still hurts from time to time; the second gave me a limp for a week or two.
In the summer of 2010, I found my freedom. I left that crutch behind. I realized that the addiction to hurting myself didn’t own me. I was free all along; it was there for me to take hold of.
The next secret is harder for me to tell. I don’t know why; it just is.
I struggle with an eating disorder. I know there were rumors whispering about, and yes, they were true. I can’t even remember the first time I thought of myself as fat. I think I was five or six. It was a lifetime of those thoughts that finally peaked and crumbled on me. During the time I was self-harming, I went through a period of about four months where I starved myself whenever I could. I didn’t lose any weight though, because I’m around my family enough that I have to eat a little. Also, as a general rule, starving wrecks your metabolism and makes you a huge mess. Just fyi from experience. The real damage done in this time was psychologically. I would literally lie in bed making lists of reasons why I was fat or ugly or disgusting or any such adjective you can come up with. My mind still goes back to them. Clear as day.
Everything was alright by summer, or so I thought. Through the spring of 2010 into the winter and early spring of 2011, gradually I started restricting what I ate more and more. At first it felt fine, just a simple compromise to get me through the day. To sate the intense, burning fear of gaining weight. To quench the need for pain. But then, I started tracking everything and I became a slave to the little notebook with every recorded calorie, each day taking up no more than five lines. It felt so good, so clean, so orderly. Unless it was a bad day. The days I ate more than I’d allotted myself, I’d freak out. Panic attacks, anger, lying in bed crying. What I didn’t realize were the changes in me. People started commenting more and more, but I saw no change. One good friend actually confronted me and wanted to know if I was okay. I’ve found out later that more people were talking about it than I knew.
Still I saw nothing really wrong. Until summer of 2011, when my eyes were opened. I hadn’t realized how much the compromise was hollowing me out and how blind I had been.
I still deal with it, yes. Every day. But every day I’m closer to the end of it than I was the day before, and that’s one thing to be darn proud of. Several people in my life know, including my youth pastor’s wife, my best friend and a few other friends, and now you.
I’m relating all of this so you know I’m trying my best to be real. I’m relating all this to shove myself from the cushy comfort zone I’ve grown attached to. I’m relating all this to you as my past. My aim in speaking it out is to leave it behind all the better.
I also want you to know this so you know I understand a bit of these struggles, and if you’re dealing with things like this, you’re not alone. If you have any questions or prayer requests or you want to talk, I’m always available. Also if you’d like more detail than was previously given, I’m willing. But please, dears, don’t give up. You can live to see the light.
My third reason for telling this story, albeit without a shred of eloquence, is to sing God’s praises. He’s the only reason I’m still here, without a doubt. This story isn’t mine, it’s His. I know that, even though it’s a crazy, dark mess sometimes, He can use it for His glory. That’s my greatest hope, and that’s what I’m banking on.
Peace to you tonight.