Monday, 29 February 2016

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Last week it was National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. Therefore I am writing this.
I want to share a few things about eating disorders. First of all, they are ALL mental illnesses. To be classified anorexic you need to be a certain BMI? BULLSHIT. To be bulimic you have to be overweight? What!? No. Forget all these stereotypes and lies. I wasn't a beautiful skinny girl 20 kgs ago. I didn't lean over the toilet for attention.  And anorexia and bulimia are not the only eating disorders out there. EDNOS, binge eating disorder (BED), orthorexia, anorexia, bulimia are all eating disorders. And they are all as serious.
Let me tell you a few things about my anorexia, the eating disorder I struggled with the most. (I also had issues with bulimia and orthorexia.) This illness made me torture my body. There was this one exam week for example, when the first two days I didn't eat anything. The third day of that week I woke up and went to the bathroom and puked and puked a load of stomach acid, because that's one thing that can happen when you deprive your body from food. It's a natural reaction. After that I fainted. I had to stay home that day and miss my exam, because I couldn't walk the whole morning. For breakfast I had a piece gingerbread and a dried baby fig. This though didn't stop me a few months later to not eat anything during the whole day, and then walk 7 kilometres to my dance class, that lasted 1.5 hours. After that I took the bus home, and during the walk from the bus stop to my home I had to stop walking for about 5 minutes, because I was feeling so weak and about to faint. The terrifying stomach cramps from hunger stopped me from moving, it was just impossible. I ate an egg when I came home and then went to bed.
I was thinking about food ALL THE TIME. It was never ending. It was constantly on my mind. I was so hungry, so the only thing that I could think about was that. In the end I didn't even feel my hunger anymore. It became my normal state. I was so buried in my thoughts that it started effecting my social life, and eventually my school results. My eating disorders wills always came first.
I used to feel like I'd binged, if I ate a bit of pasta for dinner, because my parents made me. After that I went up to my room and purged it. My veins under my eyes were sprained, and my throat felt like hell.
My teeth suffered from the malnutrition and self induced vomiting. I had tiny thin white hairs growing all over my body to try to keep me warm cause I had no fat. My skin was yellow and dry. My nails were brittle. My hair was falling out. I had no muscle left either. I looked like a dead body. And yet I saw myself as obese. I had (and still have) a biased view of myself. But it is much better now, because I eat. When you don't eat, your brain doesn't function and that makes you see yourself completely wrong. Everyone else saw my drastic weight loss, while I only saw myself as fatter and fatter for every kilo I lost.
I remember when my doctor actually let me go on a 5 day school trip to Rome a month before I was hospitalised. We walked at least 10 kilometres a day. I ate a yoghurt in the morning, had no lunch, and then ate a ridiculous 'dinner'. The last night, I binged like crazy on sweets and cookies etc at a little 'party' we had in one of the rooms. After that I went back to my room and felt so horrible. I purged.
I continued and continued with this until my body just gave up, and I had to go to hospital. When my friends who I'd told about my problems told me how many people actually knew about me being ill, I was shocked. How could people see that, I thought. I remember being angry at one friend at one point because I thought he'd told people about my eating disorder, because I felt more and more people started knowing about my secret. But it had been because of the way I looked and acted that people had started to realise something wasn't right. I had become a completely different person, or actually, I was still there, but underneath all the darkness.
I have now partly dragged myself out of that darkness, but recovery is a long long journey, so I take it day by day, and choose it everyday again and again.

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