My Eating Disorder Story
Imagine this. You were once a food-loving, young girl who aspired to cook for her family, indulging herself in every bite, excelling in cakes and sweet treats.
Well, that’s what I once was.
It’s quite tough for me to cast my mind back to that unbearable joy of food. I would almost scream with enthusiasm when presented with a large chunk of chocolate cake, whereas now I’d cower away.
In April 2016, I decided to take action. I despised the way my body looked- the legs that carried me on the streets, the chest that kept me breathing and the arms that allowed me to carry the weight of the world.
It was not an unusual thing for me; I had no inner confidence. For years I had hidden myself from the sun and 30C-weather using black jeans and slouchy jumpers.
Undoubtedly, I thought I had made the right decision. So I began to diet.
I know- the big “D” word.
I significantly cut down on foods in my diet, excluding dairy and high-fat products completely. I exercised a lot too, biking vigorously every day in an attempt to grasp the perfect image I had created in my mind.
By October, I was at a smaller weight, but I wasn’t happy with my body. So, I continued on my diet.
One of the things I always reminisce about not-so-fondly is Christmas. I stood, peering over the table at my grandma’s Christmas Eve party- analysing every item on that table, guessing it’s contents and what I’d have to do to remove it from my “clean” body. I ran upstairs and cried.
And the one aspect of this breakdown which sticks in my mind like a moth to a lightbulb was when my mum comforted me, saying that “if you carry on like this, you’ll be anorexic or something.”
To which I replied, “I couldn’t be anorexic, I love food too much.”
It wasn’t until New Year’s Day when I faced my demons. Mum, dad and I sat and came to the conclusion that I must have had an eating disorder, but none of us understood.
Luckily, I was able to seek help from my school’s nurse, gaining a pound or two. But as I was tossed between services saying I was “severe” or “not severe” it resulted into me bringing myself closer to death’s door.
By the time I was admitted to CAMHS, I didn’t have any hope left. I ended up being almost fatally underweight- unable to even pick up a spoon, fork or knife, never mind eat properly. I was an ice cube; my nails were tinted blue and my hair would collapse into my hands.
On March the 30th, I was admitted onto a medical ward, where I was fitted with an NG tube to keep me alive.
That place was like mental torture. Everyday I’d be presented with a new, frightening plate of food, forced to try and eat even when it was too much. If not? Fortisip dribbled down that god damn tube.
Fortunately for me, I was able to find a bed in an inpatient unit. It was a heart-breaking thing for me, separated from my family and home (even though they did visit me everyday) as well as my average life.
Although I knew that this couldn’t be the end. I fought with all of my will to chew, swallow and digest the food I was given. On the second day, determined to get better, I had my tube removed. And as I progressed, I grew stronger and stronger, and was discharged on the 12th of June.
Weight restored by July, I began finding my feet. Going back on my bike for enjoyment. Eating intuitively. All was good.
However, as of today (10/11/17) everything has changed. I am suffering heavily with severe depression, which has crippled me and plagued my mind with suicidal thoughts and even pushed me to self-harm. I am currently seeing CAMHS everyday, but barely eating. And it’s tough. I feel lost in this world, everyone tells me that “they’re here and fighting with me” yet I feel so damn alone- trapped in my own thoughts.
As a result of this, as well as poor physical heath due to a lack of oral intake, my team are looking for a bed in an inpatient’s unit once again. I have also been prescribed with my first ever kind of medication to fight my depressive thoughts.
What I’m currently telling myself is that things are going to get better. Hope is still within me, no matter how deep it has manifested itself into my soul.
All I can do is try- and it’s the same for you. No matter what you’ve tried today, whether that’s getting out of bed, brushing your teeth or going out with friends- I am so proud of you. And you, my darling, should be proud of yourself. It may seem small, but these steps only lead to the biggest of successes.
So keep going, no matter what. Have faith in your abilities. You can do this.