Our latest Guest Blogger bravely shares her learnings and rediscovery along her eating disorder journey.
I think one of the hardest thing with an eating disorder is the loneliness. I felt alone in the depth of mine for over 8 years. There were nights that I would sit and sob, desperate for someone to come, take me in and save me. Yet, the next day, I would get up, put a smile on my face and continue like I was fine.
I was ashamed. Ashamed of who I was and ashamed of what I was doing. I desperately wanted someone to see me and see the pain that I was in but I was equally terrified that someone would see me and would see what I had become. No matter how much that tiny voice inside of me cried for it, I couldn’t face myself, let alone let anyone else see me.
“I was not ‘ill’ enough for hospital intervention and I wasn’t ‘recovered’ enough for charity support. I was in that horrible middle ground where I was just surviving.”
Our internal battles are not always visible to anyone else and for years I just could not imagine a way out. I felt utterly deflated and the thought of having to try and change was terrifying. There is no way to describe the misery and devastation that an eating disorder causes. It destroys us as suffers and it destroys others watching us struggle. I think one of the hardest things for me was asking for help and nobody coming. I tried with doctors and charities but nothing ever came though. I was not ‘ill’ enough for hospital intervention and I wasn’t ‘recovered’ enough for charity support. I was in that horrible middle ground where I was just surviving. I think that everyone close to me almost just came to accept that I was the way that I was. Eventually, it broke me, but I realised that no one was coming. I had to do something on my own. And that is incredibly difficult, to fight for help when you are already fighting with yourself every single day.
I am not going to sugar coat it, recovering from an eating disorder is the hardest thing that I have ever had to do. It took hours of therapy and a heck of a lot of internal work. It was exhausting. But you know what, it is also the most amazing and liberating thing. To love, and really love the people around me. To be present in the moment and experiencing life without the constant brain work that maintaining an eating disorder takes. My personality started to come through when I hadn’t had any for years. I wasn’t always cold, I wasn’t so regimented and I could feel again. I think we are very often scared of our emotions and how they may surface but I now understand that emotions are part of the magic of life. I can laugh, I can cry, I can feel scared but I know that I will look after myself. You don’t realise how much you are missing out on until you begin to come to life again. I now realise how beautiful it is to feel the whole array of emotions rushing through your veins and I will always chose that over feeling nothing at all.
“You deserve to be seen, you deserve to have support and you deserve to truly live… You will come out of this so much stronger than you can even imagine and you will become who you know that you can be. “
If there is anything that I would wish to tell someone its that I am so sorry that they are going through this but please please fight for yourself. You deserve to be seen, you deserve to have support and you deserve to truly live. You have nothing to be ashamed of. You have been brave and you have been doing your best. But please seek out the help that you need to thrive. Life will forever be full of ups and downs, but if you can learn how to take care of yourself in the midst of that, then you are so lucky to have the chance to experience it all. You will come out of this so much stronger than you can even imagine and you will become who you know that you can be. We all just need a little help to get ourselves there.
So, release yourself of the shame and loneliness that your eating disorder is wrapping you in and please reach out to someone and let them know what is going on. I promise it will be the best decision that you ever make.