I want to spread the message that Binge Eating Disorder is real, but recovery is possible!
It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when I first experienced symptoms. It feels like I’d been living with binge eating disorder as long as I could remember. Over the years I approached several GPs asking them to help me understand and overcome these issues, but was made to feel like I was wasting their time. When I was in the grip of BED, my weight was very high – not what most people picture when they think “eating disorder”. While seeking help, I met with a lot of unhelpful judgements about my weight and was dismissed as being lazy and weak-willed.
The thing about BED is it’s not as recognisable or well known as an eating disorder as anorexia or bulimia. I never considered that what I was battling was actually an eating disorder, although I did realise that other people around me didn’t seem to have the same problems as me.
Eating disorders completely take over. I neglected relationships and was difficult to live with. When I was bingeing, I was very depressed; I felt like I wasn’t worth the love and care of my friends and family so I hid myself away, made excuses to get out of social events and was very moody and irritable. BED really brought out the worst in me.
In 2015 I moved to a new town and changed surgery. I finally met a GP who listened. She said: ‘I’m not an expert in this, but let me refer you to someone who is.’ I was absolutely shocked to discover that I had an eating disorder, but once I knew what I was dealing with, I was finally on the path to recovery.
My road to recovery was often bumpy and I fell a few times, but I always got back up. I was discharged from the service fully recovered in July 2017. Today recovery feels peaceful and I’m enjoying being in control. It’s important to make time to take care of myself and maintain my recovery – that’s why working with Beat is so important to me; it helps me keep recovery firmly in the front of my mind while at the same time helping others who are still suffering.
If I’d known there was such a thing as BED, I know my recovery would have come a lot sooner. I want to be the role model I needed when I was suffering and spread the message that BED is real but also that recovery is possible.
Particularly with binge eating disorder, it’s so easy to get trapped in your own head and convince yourself that you are the problem and are unworthy, and this can be so, so dangerous.
I always questioned “will I be taken seriously” or “perhaps I’m a just greedy person” or “everyone gets low and comfort eats” or “how can I have a disorder when I seem to have a normal life”.
Our supporter Chloe discusses the intersection between neurodivergence and eating disorders, sharing her experiences of BED