Our latest Guest Blogger reflects on her journey of recovery, demonstrating the immense power of being brave and asking someone if they’re ok, “I don’t see myself as having lost 40 years of my life, I feel privileged that I have now been recovered for 5 years and they’ve been great!”.
I’m a child of the late 60’s, Get Back by The Beatles was number 1 when I was born, not that I remember!
But for as long as I could remember I had always felt different, the odd one out, a square peg/round hole person, as the only girl with four older brothers, this might have seemed the obvious reason but it wasn’t that.
My childhood was difficult, a low weight baby who was a poor feeder, a child who was fussy with food and events that left me feeling so ashamed of myself that it got to the point that I didn’t want to be seen, I wanted to become invisible, to not be noticed, to disappear.
I didn’t have great family relationships and no confidantes, I didn’t make friends easily and I was always guarded as I had this irrational fear that people could see inside me and all the badness that I was made up of, weird right? But that’s what I thought of myself and keeping this inside was bound to affect me, however, I didn’t realise at the time how much of my lifetime it would impact on.
“I was 37 when I was diagnosed with anorexia, it was thought I had probably been battling this for at least 30 years before I came to the attention of ED services.”
I was 37 when I was diagnosed with anorexia, it was thought I had probably been battling this for at least 30 years before I came to the attention of ED services. This was purely because a work colleague asked me outright if I had an ED, they were concerned about me after watching, monitoring and questioning me. I denied it at first, I had no idea what they were talking about, I didn’t understand what an ED was and didn’t connect my behaviours to anything other than me being bad inside and an oddity, albeit a secretive oddity.
My colleague persuaded me to visit my GP, she even came with me and that started the ball rolling. I’m certainly not going to say the next 10 years of treatment was easy, I didn’t realise how emotionally stunted I was, how much imaginary armour I’d shrouded myself in to ‘protect’ myself or how I was misusing food to control my life and feelings.
“I didn’t realise how emotionally stunted I was, how much imaginary armour I’d shrouded myself in to ‘protect’ myself or how I was misusing food to control my life and feelings.”
The path to recovery was an extremely hard but enlightening process of learning about myself and my emotions, allowing myself to feel these emotions and being comfortable with those feelings but it did, eventually, result in acceptance and the realisation that my ED behaviours were encased in a child’s thought process of self preservation.
I don’t see myself as having lost 40 years of my life, I feel privileged that I have now been recovered for 5 years and they’ve been great! I’ve rebuilt relationships, become more open, honest and trusting with myself and others, I now have two grandchildren who have a proper Nanna to spoil them.
I view self preservation in a different light now, it’s about caring for myself by nourishment, self care and emotional freedom.
The Not so Hungry Caterpillar grew up to become a Butterfly.