For me, that first step was admitting I had a problem. For months, my friends, my family, and my colleagues all voiced concerns over my appearance and my condition, which of course I duly ignored. Then I was walking home from work one night and on a whim I called my GPs, and to my surprise they gave me an appointment for that evening. So I went, saw, spoke and by the end of appointment my GP had diagnosed me with an eating disorder.
So now I’m in therapy. It’s not always easy – I am fortunate to have a therapist who I feel comfortable with, and who tells me things straight. It’s not always something I want to hear, but it’s always something I need to hear.
My eating disorder makes me angry, not at myself, not at the world, but at the eating disorder itself. I hate the way it makes me feel. I used to love food, trying new things, and cooking new things. Now I fear food and how it makes me feel. I’m envious of colleagues with what they can eat. I used to enjoy exercising, now it’s a compulsion.
But having made that first step, things are improving. I have a strong support network, my colleagues at work have got me talking about food, and listen when I talk about my eating disorder. I am so very, very lucky, and I’m so grateful to them for that.
I have recently had a relapse. Now, I would normally be castigating myself for relapsing, but after reading countless of blogs off the Beat website (thank you Beat) I feel it is okay to relapse; it feels like it is normal to relapse. To use a boxing parlance, I’ve been knocked down, and now I have to get back to my feet, clear my head, and carry on. As my Line Manager would say: yes, you’ve had a knock back, but look at the work you’ve done to get to this point. You have to recover a certain distance for you to be able to relapse.
Truth be told, I’m probably still recovering from my relapse, but I am still moving forward, and with the strength given to me from my friends, family, and colleagues I know that regardless of how long it takes me I will reach the finish line to my recovery.
A message to my eating disorder: I AM STILL HERE; I AM STILL STANDING; YOU HAVE NOT AND WILL NOT BEAT ME. You may have knocked me down, but you didn’t knock me out. To use a movie quote: ‘BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID’ because NOW IT’S MY TURN.