My first memory of having an eating disorder was when I was about 13. Prior to developing an eating disorder I had developed alopecia - an auto immune disease that causes the hair to fall out. Meaning I had lost control of what my body was doing so I grasped onto what I could and that was my weight.
For 5 or so years I hid my eating and weight issues from everyone including my family. I would exercise compulsively most nights in my room and purge frequently. This went on for a few more years, still hidden from everyone until I started going for long runs and barely ate or drank. I quickly started to lose weight which became obvious to my family and friends. The demons of my eating disorder in my head got worse and worse - “you’re fat” “you’ll be worth so much more when you are x amount of weight” “you’re worthless” “disgusting” “no one likes you because your fat” “pig” “whale” - horrible things like this we’re constantly going through my head.
I eventually became too weak to even exercise, my life had become starving myself and laying on the couch to watch movies and hope that anytime I got up I didn’t collapse. It eventually got to the point where my body had just started to give up - meaning I was forced into hospital, with two drips in my arm, a nasal gastric tube, heart monitors, pulse checks, blood sugar levels checked at least 6 times a day, my blood sugar levels would drop so low that I’d be forced to drink this green shot to get my levels back up.
And the hardest part was that my head was telling me I didn’t deserve to even be in hospital because I wasn’t even sick. I remember the first few days in hospital and almost every day really, I would cry and cry at meal times because I was so terrified of the food and getting “fat”. There would be times where my mum would just sit and cry watching me try to eat as I cried she cried. I was on 24hr constant ngt feeds which for me was traumatic enough and then to add food was even scarier. I would cry and yell at the nurses looking after me and meal times begging them to not make me eat. I was also put on only having plastic cutlery because I’d throw my forks in refusal to eat. This went on for 6 weeks. Bed rest for 6 weeks. 24 hr feeds for 6 weeks.
Eventually I was discharged into the care of my parents which straight away didn’t go well as soon as I got home and begged and begged and fought my mum to let me go for a run which my mum eventually gave into. It would now be about 6 months later, I had just gone backwards again. I went into a private clinic for eating disorders again to be Nasal gastric tube fed and this time doing therapy at the same time.
To be honest I was just getting better to please everyone around me. I didn’t want to get better. I wanted to stay comfortable in my eating disorder.
During my first time in private hospital care I was still purging with my tube in and I refused food which would then be made up by more feeds through my tube. After 3 weeks I just gave up and decided to discharge. To my disgust I had put on a decent amount of weight over three weeks which just sent me into another relapse and was back in hospital 2 weeks later, not even that. I was again tubed and this time complied with treatment. I was in hospital for another 4 weeks. And again asking to discharge but being able to maintain a stable weight.
At the time I was still purging and exercising. Then I eventually, somehow that I still don’t know, I began eating and getting to a healthy weight with not engaging in any eating disorder habits. It’s been 2 years since I was in hospital! And I’m doing better than ever. I still have days where I cry at my food and just can’t eat because of the ed voices in my head. I am now able to eat and exercise in moderation.
I still have a long way to go in recovery but everyday is one step closer to getting better and being free of an eating disorder.