I will be sharing my experience of living with an eating disorder, so before I get into it I want to disclose a trigger warning.
**If you are uncomfortable with the topic of eating disorders or body image then please do not read this – I will not be going into great detail but it may still be upsetting for others to read – thank you**
One of the main reasons I wanted to start blogging was to share my experience of living with an eating disorder and body dysmorphia, but since I started I kinda chickened. It is really tough to write about but I shall prevail and try my best to share my side of things.
If you are not aware, it is National Eating Disorder Awareness week from the 25th February to the 3rd March – so really this is a perfect opportunity to do this!
I always knew I struggled with an eating disorder, but I never acknowledged it as an issue until my late teens. So it kinda began (that I was aware of) when I was around 8 years ago when I begged my parents to let me turn vegetarian. My parents have told me for years that I was a fussy eater, for example when I was a kid my mum would have to pick out certain parts of my dinner and be like “you need to eat 2 more of these and you can go”.
When I started secondary school this is where the obsession took over mentally and physically – I would restrict my intake of food deliberately, and only eat certain foods and also begun to exercise. I never ate breakfast or lunch. I would only have dinner because I was at home and I could not really escape it. Anyway, I am not going to go into too much detail regarding my secondary school experience, and the sort of stuff I would do because I do not think it is healthy for others who are sensitive to this topic or perhaps dealing with a similar issue.
It was not until I was 15 years old (2010) when I was diagnosed with Bulimia, Body Dysmorphia, generalized anxiety, and depression. So that is my diagnosis – out in the open. Which is honestly so weird to read even though I know and live with it (if that makes sense?).
Anyway, I went to see an eating disorder specialist and a psychiatrist once a week for several weeks – but I had a terrible experience with CAHMS and decided to stop because it was not helping me. Nor do I feel I was ready to tackle it at this point. From that point on, it was until university when it began to take over my life due to stress, lack of control and a family illness.
I am just gonna time hop to 2018/2019 because this is a much more positive but still challenging part of my life that I feel comfortable sharing. My body dysmorphia was impacting me in every aspect; I struggle with perceptions of my body (nose, thighs, stomach, and skin). And these insecurities were heightened by many different things around me, such as the media.
Now, this is something I have discussed only with my boyfriend & counsellor, but again it is something I do want to share. But I struggle with seeing nudity. Which means I cannot watch, see or read anything that has any form of nudity, sex or passionate stuff. So because of this, it got to a point where I felt trapped, worthless and just unable to function anymore because it was everywhere. Then around April time in 2018, I booked an appointment with my GP, got referred to Healthy Minds and been having CBT since.
I only have one more session left, and it has been an incredible challenge. There were days when I got home from counselling to just cry; because I was discussing in detail about my body it was bringing a lot of memories back. Which was difficult – and on top of that, I was being set mini challenges to help improve my self-esteem to try and change my mindset into a positive one.
BASICALLY – I still have an eating disorder, and I still struggle with body dysmorphia. But like a lot of mental illnesses, these will go hand-in-hand so it feels like a constant battle. However, I feel much more aware, confident and willing to change. I still have plenty of bad days where I feel worthless, ugly, stupid etc. Instead of focusing on this, I try to remind myself that if it is perfectly normal for this to happen. Tomorrow is a new day!
I am going to leave it at this, it probably was not as informative or helpful as I wanted to intend. But I do want to explore this more on my blog. I hope in time I can speak more about my eating disorder & body dysmorphia.
If you have any thoughts or questions on this post then please leave a comment if you can. And if you are struggling then reach out to someone you trust; whether it is a doctor, friend, internet community or family. You are not alone, and if we all spread positivity and our own thoughts together, we can make some sort of difference to each other’s lives.