I guess there comes a point in most people’s lives when you truly hit rock bottom. For me, this was 9th May, 2014.
It took two words…
One doctor, two words and three agonising seconds of harsh reality to burst my recently acquired happy-go-lucky bubble. Hospital admission.
I’d moved to Thailand after graduating to teach English. I developed a bit of anxiety and unhappiness due to loneliness, which I controlled through eating. Unfortunately, I took it too far, and upon my return, was admitted straight to hospital.
This admission to hospital was the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my life, but instead of hiding behind the tears and washed-out curtains, I decided to stop with the denial, stop with the self-pity and start my path to recovery.
It hadn’t gone unnoticed that I’d lost a significant amount of weight on my Thai adventure and unfortunately, as time progressed, things just kept taking turns for the worse. It didn’t happen overnight; it was not a choice, nor was it a phase, but an onslaught of tough social events, such as the loss of my treasured grandma and anxiously moving half way across the world (solo), combined with feelings of stress and isolation when placed in a tiny Thai province for placement caused this nasty spiral of decline.
Looking back, I suppose I found myself behaving in ways that were not my usual self; they were self-destructive behaviours which were not me, nor what I’d always stood for.
This next chapter of my life was hard, but facing up to fears I’d somehow developed, determination and most importantly, focusing every single ounce of everything on making a full, healthy and bountiful recovery was singlehandedly my biggest accomplishment to date.
It was a tough couple of months in hospital, hell on earth, and it was a huge shame that it took hospital admission for me to realise quite how critical this all was, but with pure determination and a wonderful support network, I am now thriving in the city I grew to love, the city where memories were literally made on a foundation of endless amounts of food, alcohol and laughs.
I did a complete 360 on my eating disordered life within a year; had I admitted to the denial earlier, I would not have ended up in hospital, I would not have put my family through tears, I would not have broken friendships; so for me, the most important thing to do is just speak to someone, admit something’s not quite right and hop on the recovery train. It might be hard now, but believe me, it is not worth giving up your life and everything you’ve worked for, everything you’ve become, to an eating disorder. You can change your mind set for the future, but you can’t change the past. There are professionals, support networks and online coaches willing to help – let them before you waste your years being dominated by an insignificant voice.