Developing an eating disorder is never an active choice.
individual would willingly put themselves through the torture of this type of
mental illness, knowing beforehand the toll that it takes on your mind, body,
relationships and countless other factors.
is a common misconception that because an individual with an eating disorder is
the person who is, essentially, harming themselves and actively performing
destructive behaviours, that they are being “spiteful”. That they are
purposefully ignoring any offered help and interventions because they are “selfish”.
They want to harm those that care about them as they “do not care” back. Even
that the person struggling is going through the awful process in order to gain
could not be further from the truth.
myself certainly, a large component of my prolonged anorexia nervosa is the
concept of control. Restricting behaviours, exercising, checking and monitoring
were, and potentially still are, numerical data that I could or can “control”.
Yet these are behaviours that very quickly took over my existence. They were
very quickly very far from in my control; they consumed me day after day, my
head screaming venom at me. Spilling out into my mind as I wept on the cold,
wooden floor in my bedroom. There was no stopping the repetitive cycle. There
was no undoing the things that I had learned and developed: my core beliefs, my
disordered thought pattern.
know that I definitely did not choose my eating disorder; it crept up,
insidious and poisonous, infecting me from the inside out.
initial, niggling and distant thoughts of safety behaviours quickly became
compulsive tasks that I had to perform no matter what.
my mind races in the dark as I stare emptily at the ceiling:
“I must have made myself that way.”
other explanation is there?
was a very common thought throughout my recovery process, especially towards
the beginning. There was no denying that it was indeed me performing those
behaviours and endless rituals, throughout the day and into the night. Those
that interrupted my sleep and exhausted me more and more as I fell deeper into
the very thing that was destroying me. My parents certainly seemed to believe
that it was my choice, proving my thoughts and confirming some of my darkest
an eating disorder is a shapeless, multi-faceted figure. It looks like your
worst personal nightmare amplified. At first, it is a beautiful outlet; a
safety net you weren’t sure you needed. But this façade is soon ripped away and
you are stumbling, alone, unable to stop.
post is here, from someone who first began to struggle with anorexia at the age
of 12. Someone who is now 19, studying Applied Psychology at university and who
is well on her way to becoming a professional to mirror those that saved her
here reaching out a hand.
this was not your choice.
illness you find yourself enveloped in was not caused by something in your
control, nor did it happen because of something that you did “wrong”.
will preach this message throughout my life as it is something vitally
important to understand, as difficult as it can be for those that love you, or
even in yourself when you have a bully inside of you.
now, keep fighting. Keep breathing.
will get through this, you will break free from this: that which you do not deserve
at all. It is such a difficult journey, I know, but after seven years I am on
top. Each journey is different, each story so unique. There is no set
time-frame in which to recover. No right way to heal. You will get there.