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Anorexia

23rd November 2018

My struggle with anorexia nervosa started just after I began self harming. I had developed a deep sense of self hate. I felt as if I was so caught up in a society, both online and in reality, of domineering personalities. I began to actually forget my own self worth. I had such a poor self image of myself and it got to a stage where I decided to do something about it. I was so caught up in the online world's perception of beauty. Wherever I seemed to look on Instagram it was always picture perfect models. On these models they had a sun kissed tan, collar bones, cheekbones, a flat stomach and a small waist. Little did I know that looking at these accounts day and night was actually a recipe for disaster.

Whenever I ask myself why I starved myself or why did I ever risk my life for an eating disorder that turned deadly, all I can say is that I wanted to be thin and perfect. I wanted to be the world’s idea of perfect. I was willing to do whatever it took at the time after all the bullying I had encountered and the self harm I had done everyday. I just simply thought I would be insatiable and as I sit and think of a word to describe who I wanted to be at that time, I simply cannot put a word on it. All I wanted to be was someone who was not afraid of the world, someone who could not be bullied, and I guess someone that was not so vulnerable to the world.

As I set out on my weight loss journey, I would check the mirror everyday and I would still see that same girl looking back at me. It didn’t take long until I found myself thinking that food was the real enemy. From there on in I set myself a clear cut plan of action to be perfect. I would begin to restrict all food, because not eating food meant not gaining anymore weight. I was so depressed at the time and I remember one night I came in from hanging out with a mate and my father stopped me as I walked in. He told me we needed to talk. He said “listen, people have stopped me in the shop, they’re saying how much weight you’ve lost. You have slimmer’s disease, and if you don’t start eating properly you are going to kill yourself.” I was really caught up in a living nightmare.

Whenever I would eat meals, I would stuff them inside my cheeks and spit it out into the toilet, or stuff them down my sleeves. I really began to hate every inch of my body and it was a very dark time. Whenever I was forced to eat a meal I would self harm or genuinely cry myself to the point where I would fall asleep. I cannot begin to describe how much I really disliked my body.

As I began to get counselling things got progressively worse. I remember being told that I could kill myself, or end myself in an early grave. The weighing and doctors appointments would begin every single week. However with all the help I was getting, I just was not ready to get better. Things just seemed so bad and I wanted to die. I had lost a worrying amount of weight. But at the time, I was still that fat girl. No amount of weight loss was ever going to be enough for someone with an eating disorder.

I'm not going to lie and tell you how happy I was to be losing weight, because it wasn't like that. I genuinely was that ill that I could not see a dying, lifeless girl looking back at me. I would see that girl who was bullied and I would just beat myself up and punish myself by self harming and starving myself. I told myself “ You're not good enough, if you were maybe they wouldn't have picked on you, this is the only way out." I would go hours without eating, I would be physically weak that I would not be allowed walk upstairs.

At this point, I was basically a walking skeleton. I could see the hurt in my family’s eyes by looking at me wasting away. Of course I'd be hungry, but I could never eat. I could not deal with the guilt. Everyday I would go onto an online community that would promote anorexia. It was a website and a forum that would motivate you to starve yourself and not eat, they would even give you tips on how to hide your food. This site was something I visited everyday, They would have a part of forum about thinsperations” which was basically anorexic celebrities and models. They would be everywhere and it would really make you look at yourself and think “what is wrong with me?” This really killed me and made me very sick.

There’s no really happy ending to this, because things just continued to go in a downwards spiral for me. I really had a deep self hate for myself. I would punch myself in the stomach whenever it rumbled, I would go to stupid lengths to stop myself from being hungry. The self harm and anorexia walked hand in hand. The counselling continued, but I was too stubborn and would not listen to what I was being told. I had hair falling out and my skin turned to a grey pale colour, I would shake a lot, but yet this monster inside me kept telling me to keep going. Anorexia is not a pretty disease, it's not just a matter of a skinny girl, there’s a lot that happens behind the scenes, There’s hair loss, weakness, Falls, and a lot of heartache and chest pains. Anorexia is not the pretty disease the online community makes it out to be.

Joyce