(So I started writing this post last week during eating disorder awareness week and ended up putting it on pause and writing other posts instead, I guess I wasn’t as ready as I thought I was to have my full story out there but it is something I want to help spread awareness on and so without further ado here’s my story so far).
Some of you may already be aware of ‘Eating Disorder Awareness Week’. A week dedicated to spreading awareness about eating disorders, people who have them, what it’s like and how to help.
This one hits home a little personally as I have been suffering from an eating disorder for many years now that I haven’t really spoken up on and haven’t really sought out any help on until recently. I have only recently just accepted and become aware of my own issues, after living blissfully (or so I thought) in denial for far too long, allowing those who loved and cared for me watch me turn into something… that wasn’t me.
I had convinced myself that I was fine, I didn’t have an eating disorder, that everyone was being overly paranoid about my weight because I was just skinny, being skinny through my years I’ve heard it all about my weight. But back when I was younger I never really had a problem with eating, I had what was probably a great relationship with food but as I grew and my body grew so did my taste buds and the food went from tasting like heaven to tasting and feeling as though I had ripped off a piece of cardboard and popped it into my mouth.
I had started going days and weeks without eating when I felt too bad I would drink a lot of tea and suck on a few pieces of chocolate to get me through the day… That was only a year ago for me. It was only a year ago that I accepted that I did have a problem with food.
Because I’ve had so many people talk to me about my weight, worry over me about my weight I never paid them any attention. I’ve had so many people ask me if I suffer from anorexia or some other eating disorder, I didn’t care for it and didn’t want to hear it, it just started making me feel self conscious about myself. I went from only mildly caring about what I looked like to spending up to two – three hours getting readying and checking myself in the mirror. I started wearing more baggier clothing and avoided people I knew instantly would have something to say to me.
It always got to me the way people think they have the right to tell me what they think about my weight, It always seemed cheeky to me that they’d feel comfortable enough to let me know they had been staring at my body and decided that I was too skinny for them. I’ve had people who work with people like me treat me like I’m some delusional fool, I’ve had them think they were helping me when in reality they couldn’t have made things worse. I’ve had someone laugh in my face after telling them something someone has said to me about my weight or lack of as well as my flat-chest. This coming from someone whose job requires them to be sympathetic, understanding and no judgemental unfortunately it’s a trait people don’t know how to rid themselves of.
I guess that’s why I had spent so long in denial so determined not listen to them, telling me they were only letting me know because they were worried about me was starting to come off a lot more like that of scolding a child. It’s never a nice feeling to have everyone around you knock your character down to something small, tiny and voiceless. People started looking down on me, assuming they knew what was best, assuming I can’t handle a life of my own. People already have their thoughts on what they think I want, and they’ve never been so wrong in all their lives.
So with people making me feel as though I was on my own, that we weren’t on equal footing it made me distance myself a lot more from everyone. It made me cloak myself in the saying, “Don’t care what people think of you.” And I had, I’d really stopped caring what people have to say about me, about my life about the things they think I will or won’t accomplish in life. Or at least I thought I’d managed to stop caring.
I started to loose a lot more weight. I wasn’t necessarily that under weight when all of this started, being a small and petite female I have a really petite body frame and of course because of all that I was lighter for my age than others. But I never lost weight to the extreme of fitting into my petite 10-11 year old sisters clothing, it wasn’t to the stage that I was forever seeing every bone that my upper body owned, I had thighs, I had bum and little boobs. I wasn’t bad.
2016 was when my weight started to really drop, my boyfriend was concerned and always trying to get me to eat whenever he could. I was worrying my mother and siblings but I wasn’t paying attention to the way my health was affecting them. I’d convinced myself I was fine, and so that’s what I was, I was fine.
But I had stopped caring about what I looked like, I stopped caring about the things I wore. I stopped fitting into my clothes and settled for living in tights, leggings and my boyfriend hoodies. Sometimes I’d make an effort in what I wore but I had to borrow my 10-11 (At the time) year old sisters clothes as mine were too big and she was the only one closest to my size.
In 2017 I’d got hit with a really bad virus that had left me bed ridden for a month. I had spent days and nights throwing up whatever I could while not being able to eat anything or keep any liquids down. My family and boyfriend were really worry for me by this point but I kept telling them I was fine. I’ll get over it like I always do and get on with life as normal. Except once I had recovered from it I had taken a look at myself in the mirror and got a shock of my life.
I had found out why everyone was looking at me with worried glances, why my boyfriend wanted me to eat or drink whatever I could, why my mum (who due to her own eating disorder is very understanding with mine) was practically begging me to go to the doctors and seek out help.
I went from being skinny to being…nothing. In that month I had wasted away into nothing and to see that nothing staring at me in the mirror? it was a truly terrifying thing to experience, to realise. The week after I got myself down to the doctors and I have been in the hopes that they have been able to help. So far I have had major struggle getting help from any professionals however I have made my own steps in gaining the weight back since then.
Right now I am waiting arrangements from Talk-Liverpool and an Eating Disorder Clinic in the hopes that they can help me. I have taken my own steps in helping myself including, by keeping an eating journal and through yoga practice.
Stay tuned next week as I’ll be posting what steps I took in order to help myself once I came to terms with my eating disorder and what other eating disorders there are out there, I’m personally shocked by how many there are that I was so unaware of! I’ll also be sharing what a year of yoga has done for me and what it could do for you.