As I sat on the bathroom floor I felt for the first time in years something I hadn’t…in control, my body was shaking and I was crying but I was in control. The relief was over whelming, I didn’t know if I was crying because I so was happy or because my throat was burning so much but it didn’t matter, I was in control.
Over the next couple of months I kept my secret, I kept my control, I knew it may cost me my life but I had the control back so at least for that time I could be content in knowing that.
I knew I was suffering from an eating disorder, I knew what I was risking but I was trapped in this vicious circle of self hatred that I didn’t seem to care. I wanted my life back, I wanted my childhood back, I was dying to live, literally.
Then there came a day I no longer got the same relief, I started to feel dead inside, I started to hurt myself, I would cut my upper arms and my legs, scratches, nothing too deep, I didn’t want anyone to think something was up but when I saw the blood the relief came back, I guess I was still alive after all. I kept my “cutting kit” tucked down between my bed and my wall and would move it if I thought someone might come across it, laundry day etc.
I couldn’t honestly tell you the moment that I wasn’t in control anymore but it came to be more of an out of body experience, I would look down on myself crouching over the toilet desperately trying to make myself sick, no matter how sick I was it wasn’t enough. When the disorder first started I would wait a while after a meal before going to the toilet so I didn’t get caught but that didn’t matter anymore, as soon as I had finished my meal I would excuse myself to go to the toilet I should have known it wouldn’t be long before mum and dad found out and confronted me and it wasn’t, one night I was sat on my bed talking on the phone and mum came in and told me to hang up… that we needed to talk, my heart sank, she knew, in that moment I felt like my world had fallen apart. This was my secret this is the only thing I had control over and now that was taken away from me. I realise now everything mum and dad did was out of love but at the time I was angry with them, I didn’t want to go to the doctors, I didn’t want to go to see a psychiatrist I wanted to left alone, but thank goodness they didn’t, wouldn’t leave me alone.
Things got ALOT worse before they got better, I suffered from “school phobia” I was petrified to go anyway near school and suffered from regular panic attacks, I had days when all I wanted to do was stay in bed, I felt weak all the time I could see the strain I was putting on my family and one night ran away from home.
I think when I went home after I had run away I hit rock bottom, I was so lost, I didn’t know which way was up and I was angry, I was angry with God, why had he done this to me? What I had done so wrong to deserve all of this? Why couldn’t he have let me keep my eating disorder a secret, then I realised, it was his love for me that made mum and dad find out, he had big plans for me and this wasn’t how it was going to end. After that moment I started accepting the help, I set myself goals, I was determined to reach them and get better and with the support of my fantastic family and the love of God I did. I am now studying for a degree with the open university I have my own house, a wonderful partner and am as close to my family now as I have ever been.
I still go through rough patches but I know and I trust God has a plan for me and one day everything will fall into place. I have written this article because I felt a calling to do so. I think that maybe I had to go through that horrible time to support those who are living it now. No matter how hard things get in the everyday living in today’s society I feel blessed, I have my life, I have my health and I am loved.
Eating disorders are all consuming illnesses, they control you completely, and although you think you are in control you never are. To any people that are suffering from an eating disorder or those who are supporting someone suffering from one I can give you only one piece of advice, don’t give up, be persistent, remind the sufferer that they are worth more then this, remind them how loved they are, how beautiful they are that this isn’t just a state of mind it is an illness and that like with any illness they need to seek medical advice.
I have a saying that I use now to comfort myself when I am down, “the harder you fall the higher you bounce” if you hit rock bottom the only way is up but unfortunately with any kind of mental illness you normally have to hit rock bottom before you can start to get better.
Just before I sign off, I have one thing to say, if this article touches just one persons heart, all of my pain, all of the hardships I went through will have been worth it. God bless you all.
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