My name is not important, but my anorexia story is. For almost 10 years, I’ve been dealing with a serious eating disorder and it’s been depressing to say the least.
It all started when I was struggling with other aspects of life. I felt overwhelmed, undervalued, helpless and unable to cope with the stress of everyday life. Like so many people who develop an eating disorder, food became a way to have control over something in my life—or at least feel like I had control over something in my life.
I’m sure you can imagine how frustrated and scared I felt when I started losing weight from skipping meals or restricting the amounts of food that I was eating. It soon escalated from mild restriction to complete deprivation as if excluded all foods except for certain fruits or vegetables and some high-protein foods occasionally.
My family noticed my rapid weight loss but were reluctant to bring it up due to fear of further isolating me and making me feel judged or shamed. It took a while before they finally addressed my condition and tried their best to get me help. Even though they never said it once out loud, I knew that they were worried about me—which made me struggle with even more guilt than usual because it wasn’t easy for them either.
When treatment finally kicked in, I could no longer ignore the consequences of my behavior on both my mental and physical health until one day I eventually realized how dangerous it can be if left untreated. Recovery was slow and certainly not an overnight success but each day got easier as I slowly start gaining confidence back in myself with new healthy coping skills that replaced disordered behaviors. Looking back now after 4 years of recovery, there wasn’t ever anything quite as gratifying as having control over the only thing that was daunting me—my own thoughts!