|Image from internet - The Veggie Expat.|
Where it All Began:
We were 15, fresh out of dropping out of school and being home schooled because of being bullied relentlessly. We had social anxiety and school was a living Hell - making every single day a nightmare that I couldn't wake up from. ''We're free!'' we thought as mum and dad told us we no longer had to attend school, ''We have no worries now!''.
How wrong we both were.
As the weeks went by and it turned into Summer 2012, we both began subconsciously, cut out food. The next thing we knew, it was a fast downward spiral. Beforehand, I hadn't ever been bothered about food before - it was just a necessity like air or water. Time went on and I noticed that my twin sister Rachel was throwing food away, hiding it, she began exercising and I instantly copied her because we always do everything together. She was my other half and back when I was a vulnerable 15 year old, I felt like we needed to do everything the exact same. Same hair, same makeup, same interests, same personality and now, the same eating/diet.
As I began restricting my food, I became obsessed with my image. ''Do my legs look fat?'' or ''Rachel is way skinner than me'' were sentences constantly in my head. I took photos of my body complusively, hating myself with a passion and wanting to punish myself for being 'fat'.
By November 2012, me and Rachel were sat down by our devastated Mum and Dad. We were told we had anorexia. At first, I was in shock - no way would I ever have anorexia. The weeks went along and it became apparent to me and Rachel that something was seriously wrong. I was scared of food, calories, I was exercising for hours every day and my LIFE was consumed by the voice in my head that was determined to kill me. I woke up everyday and wanted to die, the hours were like days but nothing made me feel able to recover, the voice was too strong.
2013 - Worst Year of My Life.
2013. It brings me feel so sad and heart broken to even think about that year. How could my own mind make me so mentally sick that my life had become a live action horror movie? My body was exhausted, my demon in my head stronger than ever and I was starving & exercising myself to death. Nobody could help - how can you help someone that won't listen, that doesn't truly care? I was so hungry and then something else enters my life - another eating disorder. Binge/purge/restrict. I had massive binges - me and Rachel were a team when it came to our eating disorders - we'd encourage each other, support each other and when the hunger became too much, we'd binge together.
The binges would last all day, from the moment I'd wake up to bed time. Chocolate, whole packs of biscuits, cakes, over 40 chocolate bars, doughnuts - literally anything you can think of - I ate it.
I'd go to bed unable to walk, my stomach distended to such porpotions that I thought I'd actually explode or throw up in my sleep and choke and die.
The guilt was overwhelming. I'd cry, exercise for hours and after a massive binge, I wouldn't eat at all and see how long I could go before binging yet again because I'd literally forgotten how to eat. 3 meals a day and snacks wasn't enough - I needed to binge/restrict/purge.
And so that was the cycle. Starvation and bingeing, then a massive purging through exercise and sometimes laxatives. I wanted to die but I never ever wanted to recover. I was terrified. I WAS my eating disorder, I was starvation, I was bingeing. I wasn't human anymore - I was dead inside and so my life continued like this until 2015. Towards 2014, I was nearly dying. I lived for binging on food while fearing them so much. I craved to look sick, to look emaciated and to feel starved. I took photos constantly, hating myself, not wearing nice clothes because I 'didn't deserve to". I was mentally ill and therapy didn't help at all, nothing did.
My Breaking Point & Recovery.
Recovery was something that, to put it simply, scared the shit out of me. As i mentioned earlier, I was my eating disorder - it defined my being, it was my life. But at the same time, I felt myself becoming more and more depressed at living my life like this - at living my life as an eating disorder. I was sick of feeling pathetic, a failure, I hated hating myself and pushing my parents away. I'd had enough. I wanted out of it and it wasn't my choice to live like this. I never wanted to be mentally ill but now, as it turned Spring of 2015, something snapped inside my head. Something deep inside of me said "you only get one life, do you want to live it like this?".
I remember the day when I said to my mum that I wanted to recover. Both my parents had spent my eating disordered years crying, miserable, and helpless to me and Rachel. I had ruined their lives since 2013 but now, in 2015 I decided enough was enough. I wanted my life back and I wanted my mind back.
The voice was still in my head as I tried to recover. ''If you don't like eating like this then you can always starve again'' it told me. But guess what? Recovery, even in the first few days, hours even, made me feel alive for the first time in years. I recovered by cooking all my own foods and eating clean in the beginning - it was an obsession to eat clean at the start but then it turned into a way of life and as I realized food wasn't the enemy, I introduced everything and anything into my diet. However, in the beginning of recovery, eating pure whole foods make me feel incredible and I recommend it to anyone who is wanting to recover from an eating disorder. I'm a firm believer that as calories increase, the voice goes quieter and quieter. Eating healthy allowed to me to feel strong enough mentally to raise my calories to the highest thy'd ever been and I felt amazing. I was happy, my skin was improved and I was finally free.
Recovery was the hardest thing I had to do and some days I felt like I was back to square one but I NEVER gave up. I told my eating disorder to fuck off and it worked!
My clean eating is now in a balanced way, I eat in moderation and exercise to keep my body fit and my mind healthy. I never deny myself anything, I can eat out anywhere I want, order desserts, go out for drinks with my boyfriend... I can do anything because I'm no longer controlled by my mental illness.
I'm not going to say I'm perfect and fully recovered because I'm not but damn, I'm almost there. I'm so close to not even thinking about food negatively and you know what? It feels so good. I hope this inspires even just one person to recover because remember, you only get one life. Don't waste it on being sick. Find that inner strengh, you'll have days when you don't feel as strong and want to breakdown but you've got this. You can beat this. No matter what, it is possible to recover and lead a healthy, happy life.
Please share this post, I'd love for as many people as possible to see it so I can encourage others to get help and support. Thank you so much for reading. xxx