I never felt beautiful; I was always a little chubby. I have a tricky family life and a physical disadvantage, so I believed I couldn’t do anything. I was sure I was a disappointment and a load on the people around me.
I was never popular, but I always had a few close friends, miraculous people who give me so much laughter. I was in an all-girls secondary school. There was a new girl who was so beautiful and slim, and on her first day she had so many friends! Even though I had amazing friends who would do anything for me, girls who had such huge hearts and were so nice, I looked at this new girl and all I could think was “SHE’S SKINNY”. Most of the popular girls were skinny.
One day I skipped a meal and I felt great! So I kept doing that every day until one day I was so full after eating very little. I knew something was wrong. The next day I went to the GP he told me to make all my meals myself and come back in two days – no one was to offer me food and I was just to eat when I wanted to. When I went back, my weight had dropped a big amount, and I was admitted to outpatient services. I was terrified, sitting in a room a with nurse and a psychologist telling you what you have to eat, at what time you have to eat it, how long it should take you to eat it, and how many calories were in the foods. My biggest fear was ‘people are going to leave me because they will know I’m gaining weight’. I really wanted to be thin for boys and fixated on keeping my weight down – if I was thin that would make boys interested. But when I was asked on dates I didn’t go very much; I wanted to exercise instead. So I was keeping down my weight for the boys I wanted to date, but I wouldn’t actually date them, because If I did I would lose time from exercising and I’d gain weight and they would leave me anyway.
I did lose a lot of people – but not because I gained weight. In fact, a lot of people actually supported my weight gain. I think people had to move back from our friendship because they asked me to eat and I was determined not to. People have told me they wanted to help; they just didn’t know what else to do. When we’re living with eating disorders, we can be very preoccupied with what we’re eating and what we weigh. We can be irritable and have a ‘wrong or right’ way of understanding things. It can be hard to make and keep relationships. But a LOT of tears and shouting, about 370 pages of a food diary, and three relapses later, I was discharged from the clinic.
If you're feeling lonely right now, or feel suicidal, please do not be upset with yourself! You are being so brave and working so so so hard! You will get to your happy place!
All my love! <3
You have to learn how to live again and, like with any lessons, you often have to fail to learn the best way or the right way...
In the past I’ve wanted to hide the eating disorders that are part of my history, but I want to shout from the rooftops: I'm proud of how far I had come!
What a year 2020 has been in general for everyone – it was a year no one ever could have imagined, from panic buying, toilet roll shortages, lockdowns and restrictions. Yet for so many, including me, the battle against an eating disorder continued.