Regaining my Sass!
I have struggled with an eating disorder for 7 years. It’s been a long road to where I am today, but I am proud of the strong woman that I have become.
I was diagnosed with EDNOS at 16, with many symptoms typical of anorexia. I received treatment from CAHMS but unfortunately, the focus on gaining weight caused my illness to evolve into bingeing and purging.
I kept my new illness a secret because I was ashamed of being a failure. I was discharged 6 months later, and for many years I was stuck in a cycle where my self-worth was defined by my eating disorder. I had a very unhealthy relationship with food and suffered from low self-esteem, low confidence, and constant guilt.
Last year I decided that I wanted to be free from the control that my eating disorder has had over my life. Eating disorders thrive in silence, so the first step towards recovery, for me, was to talk to people about it. This included my family, friends, my GP, a counsellor, and the Forward Thinking Birmingham team.
Being open and honest allowed me to accept my illness and work towards getting better. When it’s so easy to be knocked down by setbacks, it’s crucial to remember how far you have come already. The Forward Thinking Birmingham team has helped me to understand that recovery is a process of self-discovery and self-acceptance. I am extremely proud of how far I have come. Regaining my sassiness and confidence means so much more to me now than the numbers on the scales or the calories in my food.
Loving and appreciating my life
Within the last year and following onto the start of the new year I have been suffering with an eating disorder. What is one I hear you ask well an eating disorder is a mental battle that happens when this mind demon takes over to make you think things that are untrue. This mental battle can interfere when you least expect it for example when I was at my sister's birthday I was fine I was eating and I was loving life and then a sudden change happened in my life from October onwards where I started to restrict myself to the point of nearly being anorexic and to the near point of death.
Now I know this might sound dramatic and over the top, but this is what an eating disorder can do I nearly lost my life to this invisible demon and I knew I was going to do so if I didn't take action and listen to the professional advice from this eating disorder service and family support. That was given to me as well as results from weekly weight checks and blood tests as well as family therapy, mantra therapy and so I started to improve by eating which was hard at first as my brain was telling me not to eat, but then the eating disorder was saying some of the following points to back that point up.
Too many calories! Too fattening! You don't need it.
But I didn't listen to it as I knew if I did I could never move forward and from that point onwards I started to combat the eating disorder by eating what I wanted when I wanted it while still adhering to the food plan that I was set in order to help me get through this brutal mental disorder. But the real truth is the food plan is there as a guide and it's you who has to eat the food and it's you who has to do it.
During the course of my eating disorder I lost my attributes, I lost my confidence, my strengths, my passion for things such as drama and video games and my body image, but that came back in time as a few months later from this eating disorder.
But now I have started to feel eat again, enjoy food again and since then my passion for things such as drama, video games and sport has returned and I am loving life and appreciate my life. It is such a relief to be able to do the things you want to do in life. I see this as a second chance at life and I'm gonna live it to the way I want to live, healthy, fit and strong as that is what I want my life to consist of.
Thank you for listening to my notes, and thank you for giving me this chance to express my feelings and thoughts on my personal experience of my eating disorder.