It is very weird to finally write about having an eating disorder. There are so many feelings and thoughts bottled up inside of me, that it is hard to find the right beginning of the story.
Telling the start of developing an eating disorder automatically suggests that I should blame someone or something. There has to be a source somewhere, something it all started with. And though there might be, it doesn’t seem fair to name it. I am not blaming myself either. Being the victim of an eating disorder does not mean it is my fault. No one choses to end up in this situation voluntarily.
And yet somehow, here I am. Six years in, and fighting for recovery. I always imagined what it might feel like to be able to say I battled and conquered, but how much braver is it to battle and ask for help? Some wars cannot be fought alone.
Battling anorexia, a binge eating disorder and bulimia are the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. In the beginning, I never realized how quickly I let myself slip. When down 40 pounds, I started developing physical problems. This led to me gaining weight, ending up a whopping 60 pounds heavier. Slowly, and with lots of tears, breakdowns and panic attacks, my weight stabilized. However, my confidence was never as low as it was at that moment. I felt beautiful being 108 pounds, and every pound I gained I started to feel more and more unattractive.
Of course, there is much more to it than the story in a nutshell above. Because having an eating disorder is something I always felt ashamed for, it was, obviously, never something I liked to talk about. Neither was eating in front of other people, nor shopping, nor sunbathing, nor many other things.
Every night, when I went to bed I told myself that tomorrow would be a better day. That I would eat healthier, and preferably less, and that I would exercise more. The next day, when I had eaten some chocolate or whatever, I felt like I had failed, and gave up completely for that day. Which resulted in big binges, and a promise to make tomorrow better. Which, of course, never worked.
Slowly, but surely, I am now gaining confidence and starting to eat like any other normal person. I’m learning what actual ‘’normal’’ eating behavior is, and how to control my mind. Not many people may realize this, but it is actually very tiring to focus on getting better, because it cannot be switched off. I am constantly thinking about what I am doing, and what I should be doing next.
But I am very grateful for all the people who have been supporting me over the past few years. For those of you who have helped me to see what normal eating is. For those who have told me that I am beautiful and that everyone deserves a full recovery. And those who love me unconditionally, because really, that’s all that matters. Having people to turn to when things get hard is the only thing that will help you through. Who needs a therapist if you have others you can scream at, cry with, and who let you be you?
The clichés really are true. Never judge someone if you don’t know their story. They might just be the most beautiful thing.
Meanwhile, I am still going strong, one step at a time.