This post is deeply personal, I don’t expect anyone to read it. I just felt I needed to get this out after a girl posted in my forum about being just a little overweight and sometimes wishing she had an eating disorder. I could have made this private, but I feel I have to post this.
Eating disorders are horrific things. They take a perfectly happy, healthy person (ED’s are not a problem to females, cases in men are rising) and destroy them from the inside out. Nothing matters, apart from food. Relationships crumble, work suffers and for what? No weight on the scale will satisfy you. No words anyone can say will make you see yourself any differently. It’s hell on earth. It begs the question why anyone would actually want to go through all that, sacrificing your physical and mental health and for what? Because you want to be thin but can’t commit to an attitude and lifestyle change. Please, from someone who knows better, just listen to me.
An eating disorder will destroy every facet of your life. You start hiding things from everyone: you hide food from yourself so you won’t be tempted to eat it; you hide food from other people because you want to get out of eating as much as possible (the documentaries don’t lie, sufferers will hide food under their nails and in their hair); you avoid your friends because you have days you physically can’t drag yourself out of bed because you see yourself as too fat to be seen. You and your eating disorder have a lot of alone time together, and the ED goblins will break down every molecule of what makes you, you.
Even if you think you’re getting away from it, if you’re not strong enough, your ED grabs hold of your ankles and drags you back down. It’s been almost 6 years since my own problems started, and although by the time I’m writing this, I consider myself recovered, I still have my thoroughly disordered thoughts locked up in my head. Some days, they get loose and wreak haoc with my body image. I thank my lucky stars I have Chris to reassure me that it’s just the EDNOS goblins fucking with me.
Recovery is hard, and if you’re not fully committed to the process, your ED will haul you back in. Prior to my ED, I played hockey, ran almost every day, went swimming. My social life was great. EDNOS ruined all of that. I couldn’t go out for lunch with the girls after games because the thought of choosing something from the menu made my heart race and my brain shut down. I didn’t enjoy my runs as I had no energy, yet drove myself on. I stopped going out as I couldn’t deal with my friends snacking. Even now, eating out still stresses me out, always fighting the urge to purge right afterwards.
Even now, every day is a struggle. I’m not sure my ED will ever leave me, but I’ve been fighting for so long, I feel I can’t give up. Especially now I have a reason to keep myself healthy. I don’t even have pictures of me at my most ill now, which I’m glad of. I was a walking corpse.
ED’s will leave you with lasting physical issues. In the December of my first year at university, I was sleeping in my outdoors winter coat, with at least two pairs of pyjamas underneath. My hair started falling out, my skin became even more pale so I looked almost green. I believe the problems I have with my hips stem from the years of malnourishment. I still have issues with heat and cold, I feel feint after a hot shower, and shiver in a coat whenever a medium wind blows. If you can get out, do everything you can. If I’d have continued at the rate I was going, I’d be dead by now.
Are you sure this is still the path for you?
- Eating Disorders in College: One Woman’s Perspective (uloop.com)
- Real Life: My 10-year battle with anorexia: Eating disorder sufferer speaks out (walesonline.co.uk)