In the last of my Mental Health guest post series, Bethanie talks about her experience with eating disorders.
Those who know exactly what an Eating Disorder is will tell you that it is one of the worst things to go through. Those who have not been through the reality of eating disorders will probably have no idea what I am going to talk about… but that ok, because its time for people to actually sit down and understand it.
Ok… imagine this, you have a friend, this friend is the most annoying, clingy person you possibly know. you want them to leave you alone, but you are stuck with them, they are constantly telling you that everything you do is wrong, and that no matter how hard you try you can not please people. Nothing you do is good enough. When you walk places – you haven’t walked enough, when you eat something -you have eaten to much.
Stressful right? This is what people with an eating disorder experience first hand on a daily basis.
Now from an outside point of view eating disorders may not make sense… I mean just eat right? I’m sure its not that hard to go to Burger King and have a burger. WRONG. For those who suffer with an eating disorder all of this makes sense.
Growing up, I always suffered with my eating… back before I was in high school it was purely unintentional. To me I just wasn’t hungry, it wasn’t about how big I was etc… however i always thought I was bigger then the average person. I remember on one occasion my nan brought me some orange tonic medicine thing… it was the most vile thing I have ever tasted in my life… and it was to make me eat.
In primary school I would throw my sandwiches away so i wouldn’t get in to any trouble for not eating them. At the time I didn’t think it was a big deal but looking back it kind of makes senses.
When I eventually got in to high school I started to develop like any other girl, which I hated. Because I’m quite small, the weight I gained made me look bigger then I actually was. I tried everything to get my weight down. I bought diet pills online, I tried teatoxing, binging and purging, restricting, and before I knew it the weight did come off. This carried on all through out my high school years. I would log on to Pro- ana sites, looking for more motivation to loose weight, it was an out of control spiral, and I couldn’t stop myself. I had a ton of ‘ana buddies’ these are basically people that you meet online that helps you loose weight.
Now at the time I genuinely thought there was nothing wrong with me, but one of my ‘buddies’ at the time, who actually is know one of my best friend’s messaged me one day and basically said her family had found out and had sent her to get help. She told me she had realised what she was doing and that she didn’t want to do it anymore, we skyped and cried and cried for hours and finally I decided I was going to go and talk to someone about my eating habits. — I am now going to say that this vanished over night… and I am not going to tell you that i do not have any eating problems now. Because i do. Sometimes its so difficult not to restart my eating, especially if i put on a pound or two.
Sometimes when i pig out with friends, its hard not to throw up after.
But you know what?
It does get easier in a way. I do not weigh my self every day like i used to.
I go to the Gym, and i eat healthy, but i still indulge a little bit. There are certain foods that i do not eat, and maybe will never eat again, purely for the problems that I have. But I’m coming up to 2 years in recovery, it has been a bumpy road, and i have had a few slip ups. But I have never been happier.
There is a lot of stigma with eating disorders that infuriate me, people judge people for being too ‘thin’ or too ‘big’ you do not have to be SUPER SKINNY to have an eating disorder…. to the outside world I didn’t, I was thin yes, but not what society would call ‘anorexic’
An eating disorder isn’t about the size of a person, but its about what is going on inside of that person. It is a mental disorder, and society has made it into a joke.
For people reading this that do not know much about it, please please research it before you make judgement on someone.
And for those that have been through an eating disorder, I really hope and pray for you on your journey, and that where ever you are, you are finding the strength to fight through it!