This is something I wrote a while back, in hope of raising awareness post on both my old blog and also my personal Instagram and Facebook for Eating Disorders Awareness week back in March.
“Today is the last day of Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2014, and I have finally plucked up the courage to post something about it. I feel physically sick posting this, but I am determined to raise awareness and break stigma about eating disorders, so I’m doing it anyway.” – 04/03/14
But why should I be ashamed; why should I hide it?
If I had broken my leg I wouldn’t be afraid to tell someone, so why should eating disorders be any different? They shouldn’t.
I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa on the 9th May 2013, and I’ve been at the Priory for 4 months [now discharged, but was there as a combination of inpatient and day patient for 10 months] recovering from it. It is only with their help and huge amounts of support and encouragement from my family and few close friends that I’ve nearly beat it.
Last year was hell. At my worst I was so cold all the time, I couldn’t focus on conversations at all, I fell behind at school and felt weak and tired. I’m just thankful my parents spotted it before it got any worse or went on for any longer.
You don’t “choose” to have an eating disorder.
It starts off as an innocent idea to eat healthily and stop eating so much chocolate etc, but before you know it it can spiral out of control and become a full-blown eating disorder.
Anorexia isn’t just “being skinny”. It’s in your head; you can’t concentrate on anything except food, exercise, calories and body image. You lose everything: your friends, your happiness, your health. And no matter how thin you get, you will never be happy with your appearance. You don’t see yourself how you really are, your perception becomes warped and wrong. People with eating disorders aren’t “attention seeking”, they don’t want the illness any more than any other person. It’s hard to recover from when you’re in the grips of the illness, no matter how hard you try. But it is possible.
Also, just because you see yourself as bigger than you actually are, does not mean that you think everyone else who are normal sizes are fat; it doesn’t work like that.
You don’t have to be thin to have an eating disorder either; it’s a mental health condition, and being underweight or overweight are just physical consequences/ symptoms of it.
Eating disorders can come about for all sorts of reasons, but often they are caused by stress and feeling out of control of your life. People turn to food as a way of coping, and it is so easy to fall into the grips of an eating disorder. But they only create more problems- and need lots of help and support to overcome.
If you think you know someone suffering from an eating disorder, tell someone about it. You might just save their life.
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This is quite brief and simple, but I hope it helped get some important messages across.
No one choses to get cancer, no one chooses mental health conditions, so don’t treat them differently.
Thanks for reading.