Hello lovely people! I’d just again like to say, thank you to everyone who has followed me recently! I have followed some amazing new blogs lately and I find myself binge reading!
So… This week is an important week for mental health. I don’t really know where to go with this post, I feel as though it comes across like “I’ve had an eating disorder take pity on me” but that is not at all what I’m going for here. The point in this week is to raise awareness for people who may be suffering but are in denial about it. Or even to those who may have noticed some strange behaviors in a friend, or family member. If you’re sitting there thinking about someone you know right now, or you’re thinking “this could be me” I urge you to ask for help. Please do not leave it to manifest into a whole world of new problems.
Did you know that on average people leave it 3 years (149 weeks) before seeking help? I didn’t, but this is what I did. Not intentionally, I never put any thought into it, I was loosing weight, I was getting to the place I wanted to be, the place I thought was my happy place, is there even such a place? Once I’d reached a goal, I”d give myself a new one, and it would keep going.
A little background. So I used to play football, I played for two teams so this was two games on weekends and two training sessions in the week. At this point I never thought about how I looked, I didn’t need to worry because I was exercising a lot and my parents always make home cooked healthy meals so I was, really, a healthy child. Then, I got a bad injury to my knee which meant I wasn’t able to play, for weeks I tried to rest and then go back, but I ended up so behind everyone else fitness wise that I decided to call it quits and stop playing. Obviously this was a huge change to my lifestyle, I wasn’t getting all of that exercise anymore.
I also have really dry skin and eczema, which in fairness has cleared a lot as I’ve grown, but in school it was always really bad and people (boys specifically) would call me names because of it.
Back to my point, my eating disorder was primarily a source of control for me. I could not control my knee injury and I could not control the names I was being called, I was already applying cream twice a day, and in the evening wet bandaging my arms and legs in the hope that it would help. So what did I have control over? What I looked like. My weight. I was by no means a big girl at 16. I was wearing size 8 clothes comfortably. But as I stopped exercising, obviously I lost muscle and got a bit “fluffy”, so I decided “well I’ll just eat less to get rid of some of the extra weight” which, without any thought spiraled.
I remember telling my Councillor that my target weight was “40kg” (this was aged 20, at 5’6) when she asked me when I would be happy. I said this with my parents in the room. This did not register as a problem for me, I mean, once I got there I’d he happy right? Wrong. She then asked me if this was the first target weight I’d given myself. Well no, obviously it wasn’t, I thought I’d be happy at 55kg but I still looked the same, so I decided 50kg would change that, but that didn’t change how I looked either… and you can see where I’m going with this.
On that day, in June 2014, I watched my dad cry in anger, in frustration that he could do nothing to help me, his baby girl and it broke my heart. It was in that moment that I realised the effect I was having on my family. After over a year of seeing Councillor’s, and Doctors and doing nothing to help myself because the voice in my head told me I wasn’t worth it and that I was fat. I walked myself to a shop, shaking with fear and tears streaming down my face. Bought a tuna baguette, took it home, and made a promise to my dad that as of that day, I’d make sure I ate 3 meals a day, even if they were small, I’d do it because I had to.
Yes, I struggled, I didn’t just buy the sandwich and my life was changed forever. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and it’s taken a number of retries, and I still have days where I look at myself and I convince myself that I shouldn’t eat something, or should skip a meal, but the best thing I have ever done for myself is recover.
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again” – W . E . Hickson
It can be the hardest, and the scariest thought in the world, the thought of eating and suddenly piling the weight on over night whilst you sleep is painful and sickening. But, if you’re reading this and you’re suffering, I promise you it is so worth it.
#WhyWait? Please do something to help yourself or those around you! Do not suffer in silence!