I am forever engaged in a silent battle in my head over whether or not to lift the fork to my mouth, and when I talk myself into doing so, I taste only shame. I have an eating disorder.
11 years now I’ve been in a off and on again battle with Anorexia, periods of recovery and then relapse. Something I never really talked about till now so here’s a long post about my battle…
All started when I was 13, started as a control thing, my parents controlled everything I did and controlling what I ate was my part of gaining some control but as things like this go it quickly spirals into a deadly cycle of restricting, binging, lying and hiding from the truth.
I quickly lost weight (I’m quite a skinny person anyhows), I gained prise from friends, cousins asked me how I did it, people I knew commented about how I looked; parents and teachers didn’t batter a eyelid, encouraged by all this I kept going. Ana took hold. The cycle I mentioned took hold.
Skipping breakfast, rushing out, cycling the 5 miles to and from the school, pacing the corridors to burn off kcals I did guiltily eat at lunch and then cycling back home and then trying to skip dinner or have very little only to binge at night, I emptied the cupboards, fruit bowls anything I could get my hands on to stop that voice. Only to be filled with disgust once I stopped. So the cycle continued
Fast forward six months I was at one of my lowest weights, somehow I started challenging ana, slowly fighting back seeking recovery, I never told anyone but I think some knew.
A year and a bit later at the age of 15, I was healthy, happy, at a safe weight only at times going into old habits.
At 17, I sunk back into the world of ana, but this time was different. I was manic, high as a kite, loving life, hardly sleeping, who needs to eat? Eating wastes time , time I need to use so I can complete my mission, I kept thinking to myself so the cycle began again. This time people started saying that I was anorexic.
The days became nights, nights became days, I was racing sinking deeper and deeper into anorexia and mania again, that voice of ana becoming stronger and stronger taking over my life and a little bit later I crashed, into a crippling depression. Not moving, guilty about eating, being repulsed by the fat on my body. After a few weeks I tried to take my own life, I failed thankfully, admitted to a mental health hospital. Told I was anorexic (formal this time, not just people saying it), bipolar (along with BPD just to make things more interesting) In there I once again recovered to a point with my anorexia. Discharged I continued my life, working, seeing people, studying and sadly the odd restriction and binge (mainly to remind my self that I have control)
Now it’s 2014, 8 years later from then; I’m 24 and relapsed back into that horrible cycle of restricting, binging, the guilt of eating, the fear of gaining, the obsession of counting everything I’ve ate. This time it was picked up on a review, I was referred to a eating disorder clinic. For the first time in my life I’m getting specialised support and treatment for my disorder. So far so good, I still have the cycle but it’s becoming more and more controlled, I’ve stopped certain behaivers and now using coping methods to control thoughts (mindfullness and ice diving are great)
Now with the right support I can beat this demon once and for all, but a small part of me knows that it will always be with me, lurking in the background, waiting for that moment.
A quote I like to use at times is ‘recovery is a choice, and everyday, every moment I have to make that choice’ will I choose recovery? Fuck yes I will