by Ellen-Rose Smith
“Just increase your portion size”, “Why don’t you just eat more fatty foods”. Genius why didn’t I think of that (note the sarcasm). Trust me if only it was this easy.
When I heard about ‘Beating Eating Disorders’ blog posts it was something I really wanted to do. Don’t get me wrong I’m no doctor, but if speaking from my experience can inspire at least one person well that’s good enough for me.
As a child, you heard about eating disorders, along with the typical stereotypes that go with it. Never did I in a million years think I would fall victim of one. I wish I could sit and preach to all those recovering that it goes away completely, but I’d be lying. However, that’s not to say it doesn’t get any easier because it does! Like anything in life, you take the good with the bad. Some days I’ll look in the mirror thinking who will ever fall in love with that, hating what I see. On these days, I’ll dread each meal time, limiting myself to what I will eat, but there’s also days when I think to myself ‘hey you’re doing ok, if you don’t love yourself who else will?!’. Life is too short to obsess over food.
I once read a quote; “Would you tell your friends the things you tell yourself?”. Simply no, you wouldn’t. If I can give one bit of advice, it’s that you must want to recover for YOU! You need to get out there and live your life. Don’t let your disorder control you, you control it. There was a stage in my life in which I didn’t want to go out and socialise with people because food was often the centre point, I couldn’t control what I would be eating; that scared me. I let it consume me, distancing myself from the people I love. I let what started out as a teenage diet consume every thought I had and that’s when it became an unhealthy obsession. I became so underweight I could not longer attend school or see friends, I was was told to rest as my body needed to keep all the energy it had. I felt ashamed that I let it get this far and embarrassed for my family. But I beg you TALK. Talk to your family and friends, they’re there for you, they care, only ever wanting to see you healthy.
That’s where the real point of this post comes to light. I spent years trying to avoid the topic of an eating disorder, it was like the elephant in the room. If brought up it often ended in heated debates, but realise it’s not just you struggling with this disorder. Those who love you are watching you waste away day after day, frustratingly there’s nothing they can do. Yeah they might not deal with it in the best way using harsh, (yet very real), words. Be as lenient as you can; no one’s ever told them how to deal with this.
Don’t avoid the conversation of eating disorders, your family will be relieved you’ve realised you need help. It’s OK to say you don’t understand it. Its OK to say you’re not OK. Four years on and I’m still learning. Many are at different stages of recovery. Those who are only just realising they need help, I admire you as reading this is the first step in the right direction. Live your life, be young, fall in love with yourself & everything about life. Tomorrow is promised to no one. Life is too short to be anything but happy.
Lastly I beg you talk; Some days you just need to off load that you’re not OK. Whether that be to a family member, local eating disorder team or doctor. Recovery is a long road, problem shared is a problem halved.