I have an eating disorder. I was diagnosed with EDNOS a while ago, but I have been suffering for a long time. It probably started with various incidents of quite severe bullying that went on at school which was ignored. Then, everything spiralled out of control when I lost my father just before going to university.
The new control and freedom of university allowed me to take out my grief, and insecurities on food. My self esteem got lower as my weight did. Friends became more worried and I kept getting more and more incidents of quite severe low mood or depression.
I became underweight, and an incident where my own thoughts scared me so much sent me to my GP. I had enough of it. I was instantly referred to an eating disorder clinic. I have been seeing my councillor for a while now, however, it is only recently I think that I am making quite a lot of progress. It is only now that I truly think I am recovering. I can see the way forward.
I am really scared of gaining weight. Really scared, however I know that it is not the worst thing in the world. I know my health is more important. And, most of all, I know my father would want me to throw myself into recovery. He was never the type to give up. I know he taught me well, so I know I never will.
Today I made a massive step and gave my scales to my house mate to hide from me. I will not be able to weigh myself, I will not be able to give into the addiction of seeing the numbers decrease.
I will not feed my demons instead of feeding myself.
I will not be able to obsess about it any more. Instead, I can focus on health.
I don’t want a certain number. I want a healthy weight and a healthy body shape. I want food to nourish me and give me the energy I need to fulfil a happy life. There are going to be some people reading this who did not know I had this mental illness, but some who did. There are so many different reasons I didn’t tell certain people, and it was not personal. It was what was best for me.
The people who did know, I can not thank enough. They gave me the support and love and kindness I needed. I know how depressing, and scary, and annoying my behaviours and my thoughts got at times, yet they stuck by me. They realised that the real me was still here, just deeper down than before. If they are reading this, and thinking “am I one of these people?” Then they probably are, and I love them.
This is not something you can get over or recover from overnight, I will probably have to think of my health, and try to conquer certain demons for the rest of my life. I know when I go through harder times, because life is like that, I will have to be careful not to slip back. However, I know my friends and family will always be there, and my father is watching over me somewhere urging me to be the best me I can be.
Despite this support, this is the time for me to be open. I need to speak out. Yes, I have an eating disorder, yes I am mentally ill, but I am recovering. I am fighting. I am getting better. And most of all, I am happy.
My mother makes me happy. My friends make me happy. My university makes me happy. My progress makes me happy. I am focussing on the positive things in life, and learning how to cope with the negative. My father was my hero, and him dying was the most horrible and tragic thing that ever happened to me. However, I can’t do him justice being ill. I can’t make him proud with no energy to accomplish anything.
Deep down, I know he taught me better than this. He brought me up to take every opportunity I can and to do the best I could, and to never ever let anything get in the way of my dreams and happiness. One of his biggest fears was even that I would be stuck in a job I didn’t like. I know how clever he was, and I know he would hate what damage I have done to myself so far. So I will recover for him.
Most of all, I will recover for me.
I deserve to be happy. And I deserve to be confident. Despite the name calling, and the pushing and the systematic bullying that I experienced, I know I am worth something. If I wasn’t why would my friends have stuck by me through this.
It is too early to tell if I owe them my life, but at the moment it feels like it. I definitely owe them a lot.
So yes, dear readers, this was a personal post. No, my blog will not become dedicated to my disorder. My blog is about all aspects of my life, this is one of them. I may never post about this ever again. But I am sick of hiding it. Mental illness is not something to be ashamed of. We need to break the taboo. We need to speak out.
I am not ashamed.
I am proud, because I am a fighter.
I am a Jamison.