Who is ED, many people might ask? Well, ED is an eating disorder, which I have and many other people have too. If you were to just look at me, you would not see it, but it’s there. Eating disorders come in many different shapes and sizes. Some people have it their entire life, some people limit themselves so much that their bodies starve, some people have binge eating disorder – there are lots of different eating disorders in the world and so many people struggle with them.
My experience with ED became more prominent when I decided that I would like to shed some weight and just start eating healthier, because I never used to worry about what to eat or how much to eat, so I figured starting with that would be a good goal. When I started my diet, I got obsessed with it. I felt the only way to get my body how I wanted it was to work out constantly.
Eventually when I started back at school I didn’t have time to work out as much, but that led to other issues. I felt that, since I wasn’t burning as many calories, I could not eat as many calories. I had no energy, I did not want to hang out with anyone, I wanted to be by myself constantly and I would not eat any sweets or anything I viewed as a “bad” food. I had anxiety about eating in front of other people, I would hate going to any restaurant, and if I did I would only eat half of what I ordered. I got so disconnected from my friends, I had become a completely different person without even realising it myself.
Why did ED make me feel like I was in control of my life and I was doing the right things? He fooled me completely. I was not in control at all – ED was. After restricting myself severely, being cold everywhere, so cold that any time I would drink a protein shake I would have to sit on my bathroom floor with the shower on all the way hot and multiple blankets on me until I wasn’t shivering anymore, after counting every calorie I consumed, after trying to make myself throw up (even though it never happened I tried), I started a new journey with ED. That journey was bingeing. It seemed like ED wanted me to just feel worse and worse about myself. Bingeing lasted a few months. When I binged I felt such guilt afterwards that I would just sit there ashamed and cry. This led me to exclude myself from my friends even more than I had before. Bingeing was my body telling me that I should not have restricted myself that much and that my body needed more fuel, but it made me feel like I had lost all the control that I had before. I needed help, but I also did not want it.
I went to my boyfriend and best friend for my support. They both are extremely supportive in helping and making me feel better, but they could not change what was happening inside of my brain. I tried therapy for a little but that just made me angrier at life and made me feel judged. It seemed like nothing would help me; it seemed like everyone’s recovery stories that I had read would never actually happen for me. It seemed like ED had started to slowly move away from me but in a new form now – ED had become a strong force of depression. My problems still involved eating but now it felt mixed with everything and I lost my want to live. I felt like the best thing for me was to leave this earth; I felt like there was nothing left here for me.
My boyfriend became my full-blown support system and I can most definitely say that if it wasn’t for him I probably would not have made it through. He made me realise that God gives his hardest battles to those who are the strongest. That saying might not have helped me in my moments of weakness and extreme breakdowns, but it slowly started to shine through those dark clouds above me. Time can heal a lot of things, and it is important to remember that things get better. It might take longer for some things to get better, but life’s a journey and sometimes the roads can be extremely bumpy.
I am still today not completely over ED, but I try every day to move further and further from him. Some days he tends to be there more than others. I have hope that one day I will be free of him and that is why I have the word “hope” tattooed on my arm. I also still have days where I get very depressed, but those good days make up for it, because it makes me realise I have things to look forward to, I have people that care, and God believes in me.
Through a lack of intervention, I have moved from one eating disorder to another over the last 11 years. This is why it is imperative to seek help for yourself, or for someone you care about, because it isn't going to end on its own.
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