I always struggled with my confidence, I never felt like I fit in, comparing myself to everybody else, not really accepting me. I came to believe that I was not worthy of anything. Nothing really that special, just me. Ever since I was little I have wanted have some form of control, whether it was some form of clothing being tight, something being clean, making sure the front door was locked or the oven was off; it just made me feel at ease. It then became my body, something I never really accepted, something people always made comments about despite my deep insecurity, I felt trapped and that was something I needed to stop, for me eating was the only thing wrong me, if I stopped eating or restricted the amount I had then everything would be okay then, I would be as skinny as everybody else and I wouldn’t be a ‘problem’ anymore. With a mixture of GCSE stress and the stress of a toxic friendship, anorexia became louder and louder, it became uncontrollable something that I couldn’t stop. Calorie counting became my only worry, the only thing I could think about, controlling my mind every minute of every day. Portions became smaller and smaller, and so did I along with it.
My friends and family became more and more worried; ‘please eat’ they said, ‘what’s going on In that head of yours? Your falling away’, ‘you look so frail so skinny, its not healthy’. I became ignorant to the truth, scared of the truth. In my head I was fine, but that was anorexia talking, not me, it was like I had disappeared.
It got worse and worse to the point school started questioning what was going on, socialising with my friends became unimaginable, family gatherings were not an option, after schools club commitments got abandoned. I became trapped in my own little bubble. The only thing I had was school work and home. I ignored the fact that my ribs and every bone in my body was unprotected, I ignored the fact that I felt light headed and tired all the time, I ignored my family and just made the basic chit chat. However, for my mum it had to stop it had come to the point that she had to stop it, help was needed. It felt like my control had been taken, but it was needed. I was weighed and I was more than just underweight, I was what could I only be described as frail. It was at a click of a finger that I was referred to my CAMHS. Anorexia’s voice became louder and louder, ‘YOU WILL NOT EAT MORE’ ‘YOU EAT ENOUGH’. Boy was it wrong. Since my GP appointment I had lost more weight, it was then that help was needed and they had to step in, a blood test and ECG was done. Two weeks later, it got worse I had lost more, it was then that a meal plan was needed but it was then that I knew this was not healthy, this had gone to far. Admission was needed, or was it?
It was agreed that if I was able to be driven to the hospital where my CAMHS and would eat meals with the eating disorder intensive service I could go home. It was then that I met my key workers. 2 weeks intensive work spending 6 hours a day with them, whilst the calories went up to the amount my body needed, to be nourished and become well looked after. I met people that were going through it as well, finally I felt not alone, not judged and that it was okay not to be okay. I formed a bond with everyone there that will never be forgotten. Games were played, craft sessions were in place, community talks and key sessions were there. Anything to take my mind of what was happening was held onto with any part of me I had. It was after that, going home for meals was discussed, seeing some friends was a possibility and maybe speaking to the school could be possible. I was starting to want to recover, because I was doing what I had to.
I suddenly started to come back. The time at the hospital then became shorter it went to two days a week, key sessions were still done, meals were had, scrapbooks were explored and body image sessions commenced. I joked, I smiled and I spoke with my key workers. I worked on me getting my life back, I accepted compliments about my progress because it was good. I was back at school with supervised meals with my friends and I suddenly grew the confidence to go back to work. Appointments became once a week. I was doing myself proud. I was starting to feel some happiness back. Although, calorie counted meals were still there, I could be more flexible. I could have something else. I accepted that I needed to feed my body for it to work.
My keyworkers, watched me become a more confident girl, the girl they wanted to see. We joked and laughed about little things, have conversations that weren’t controlled by my eating disorder. We’d cheers when we had tea, laugh about my memories or even there’s. I trusted them with a lot, something I had never really been capable of. I opened up, because I knew it was the one way to get better. Fears, concerns or questions I had was spoken about. I could no longer pretend I was okay.
Meetings with friends for coffee became a routine, trips with family was no longer a fear, a birthday party became a joy and blessing. I was no longer scared to go out and feel like I had to eat. I could not predict what was going to happen, because you can’t do that in life. My days just flowed and food just fitted around whatever I was doing, it was okay to be NORMAL! There were more good days then bad. The rollercoaster was finally going up.
Don’t get me wrong I was and still am struggling with body image, but I know it is and was anorexia. Review’s with my consultant finally became less serious and I was less of a concern. I was discharged from the intensive service! The joy inside me was real. I finally felt happy. Freedom!
Therapy is now commencing, it is time anorexia really left. Its gripping on tightly but I am slowly kicking its but, it is time it really goes. Talking will really help. The first thing me and my therapist did was get to know each other, form a bond that would help me feel safe. Then came the hard part, I had to explain even if each part of me felt like it couldn’t, but I had to for it all to stop. It spiralled out of me, slowly and slowly.
Although, my journey is still commencing, each day I try and try to push on using every bit in me. I try to distract myself breathing through the pain I feel. Therapy will help me. It will get better. I will recover. I want to recover. Anorexia will not beat me and it should not beat you. It is okay not to be okay, you just must try and fight.