WARNING: This post mentions eating disorders and self harm, if you are triggered by either I suggest you don’t read any further and just visit BEATs website here x
This week it is Eating Disorder Awareness Week and as this subject is something that has affected me for the last 13 years of my life I felt the need to share this with you all in the hope that it will help someone, somewhere.
The main eating disorders are: Anorexia Nervosa; Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder. There is also a category called EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified) or Atypical Eating Disorder. People can also suffer from other forms of eating distress.
I have suffered from various eating disorders since I was about 8 years old and this is the first time I’ve spoken out about them and I apologise in advance if this is a bit strange to read but I am still quite uncomfortable talking about it yet alone on something so public but I feel that after 13 years of this shit, it’s about time I stood up to it so I’m going to be brutally honest. I will feel uneasy about this being published, probably for a while and will have to try extremely hard not to delete this post because for me, this disease is a secret. I say what people want to hear, I lie, I sugar coat everything.(I felt a wave of disgust when writing the word sugar then but I feel as though, if I say a word associated with food, it will appear as though it came out naturally and doesn’t affect me at all and I didn’t even so much have second thoughts about saying it and therefore appear normal. But I did.)
I don’t really remember how it started but I remember it didn’t start as a classic eating disorder “normally” does. It started when I was in year 4, I got ill and from then on I refused to eat breakfast and lunch and would only eat the same thing for dinner. School used to enjoy embarrassing me by making me announce that I didn’t want my lunch to get their permission to go straight out to the playground and skip the lunch hall. This carried on until I moved schools in year 6, I actually ate when I went there and everything started looking up…and then I started High School and everything went down hill. I ended up moving schools again but that only made everything a million times worse and I ended up developing severe OCD which started off the peak in my eating disorder. I looked like a zombie. I looked vile. I hated school so intensely that my Mum finally came to the decision that I would be taught at home for the remainder of High School. She later told me she took me out because she thought I was going to die.
During this time I saw various therapists which either patronised me or came to ridiculous conclusions. I got steadily worse and then better and by the time I started college in 2007 I was a decent weight and although I never ate at college it was manageable. In 2009 anxiety hit me like a bitch for no apparent reason and everything got worse from there, I was diagnosed with Agoraphobia and Panic and Anxiety Disorders which I still suffer with now. My coping mechanism was to control my eating and self harm and so I wouldn’t eat for days on end, chew and spit anything I did eat and spiralled downwards.
My saviour was my daughter, when I fell pregnant with her there was finally something stronger than the disorders voice in my mind and I managed 8 months eating normally and was nearing content with the way I looked, being a Mum was more important to me (although I do not in any way suggest getting pregnant at all for this reason alone) I breastfed my daughter which in time helps you lose the baby weight and so I did and then some. I am now over a stone below my pre pregnancy weight and this isn’t my lowest (I won’t be mentioning any numbers in this post because I feel number are too triggering) and I am classed as dangerously underweight (although I don’t look it).
I have problems with my blood sugar now and I drink high glucose drinks because they make me lose weight even when eating a semi normal diet. It’s ridiculous and I don’t want to be like this anymore but, honestly, I’m so terrified of gaining weight and I feel I would be wasting peoples times by asking for help because there are so many people far worse than me out there who deserve the help way more than I do. I know I shouldn’t think like that and if anyone were to say that to me about themselves I would tell them not to be so silly and everyone deserves help. This is where the quote from Alice In Wonderland comes in handy:
“I give myself very good advise but I very seldom follow it”
As I have got older I understand eating disorders more and I know when they are controlling me and can recognise the traits I have, I even think how stupid and unnecessary what I’m doing really is but as anyone with an eating disorder knows, that makes little or no difference. These traits become habit and the habit becomes instilled into your very core to the extent that you become the disorder.
Anyway, enough about me…
Beat is a charity very close to my heart and they offer such a great amount of information and help for everyone affected by an eating disorder, whether you are the sufferer or a family member or friend.
Donate to Beat and help them continue to help those affected by eating disorders. Every penny counts, below is a break down of how your money can help:
£2 enables Beat to provide online support to a young person struggling with an eating disorder
£5 enables Beat to answer a question on the helpline message boards
£10 enables Beat to give a sufferer the opportunity to talk to a support worker
£25 enables Beat to run our helpline for half an hour and change the lives of people affected by an eating disorder
£50 enables 10 parents and carers to support one another in one of our Beat Carers’ Forums
£100 enables Beat to train a Young Ambassador to talk about and raise awareness of eating disorders in the national media
Don’t suffer in silence.
So this is me breaking the silence.
Sorry if some of this doesn’t make sense or isn’t written to a high standard and not very detailed but I couldn’t check it through because if I do I know I will just delete it. This has taken me over 2 hours to psyke myself up to post this.