So as you might have gathered from the title this blog post should be a more serious one (it might not be though, just because I usually find that joking about my mental health issues is the only way I can talk about them so I guess we have to wait and see how this thing goes). First thing I need to put out there is that I've been struggling with anorexia and bulimia for 10 years now so this is what this blog post will be about. And while anyone reading is probably wondering how come a 11-year-old got stuck in this thing let me just tell you the (not exactly whole) story.
Let's start with the basics:
The thing with eating disorders is that along with the things like wanting to be thin, that all the movies and tv shows taught people, they often start with the need to control something or dealing with stressful or overwhelming situations (and without going into my family life, I fully understand why this struck as really the only way I could take control of my life, even at 11.)
It's odd to think how did my life look, back when it first started, because let's face it I was just a child. At that point I've been dancing for years, haven't gone through puberty and was still naturally skinny kid I always was. But at the same time I was also a kid who was obsessively starving herself eating around 500 calories, and the times I wasn't, I was binge eating and trying to make myself sick (and trying to convince my parents I had food poisoning again.) That's what my life was like on and off for couple of years until I was around 16.
When I was 16 I went to therapy for the first time, but funnily enough not to treat my eating disorders but the depression that somehow developed along the way (That's a story for another blog post though, that I'll never actually write just because we don't have to do them in 3rd year). But when I described what was happening to me for the past 5 years, it was really the first time someone confirmed to me that I wasn't just 'being a dumb teenager' or doing it for attention. I was sick.
So I finally got help, and I honestly got better. But like a lot of mental health issues, eating disorders never really go away. I've supposedly recovered and then relapsed so many times in the past 10 years it's impossible to count. In my head, I'll always be anorexic and I'll always be bulimic, even though I'm actually doing much better. There are still times, especially when I'm more stressed, that I obsess over food, I start counting how many calories I've head today and whether it would be better if I maybe didn't eat dinner. There are times when I get panic attacks when looking in the mirror and over-analysing my body. Or sometimes I binge eat and then make myself sick, blaming it on a hangover or an illness.
But I should also definitely add that every case is different. Like all mental illnesses, ED comes in all shapes and sizes and forms and I couldn't be more happy for someone that fully recovered. I'm also lucky enough that even if I'm at Uni, away from my family I have amazing friends who are aware of what I'm dealing with and always support me. And I'm not writing all of this to gain sympathy. Couple of weeks ago my friend made a point, that we might know more people our age who are, or have in the past struggled with their mental health and it's genuinely something really scary to think of. So I'd rather be open about my situation, because who knows, maybe having a conversation about those issues will finally lead awarness and lead to something.
Also helpful stuff: