I’m writing this as a reminder to myself. I’ve been struggling with eating disorder thinking recently and I know that I need to be aware of the past and the impact that acting on these thoughts can have.
I lost so much time to my eating disorder, letting it take over again would mean that I would lose even more. I lost time to obsessing, to adding up calories, to being crippled with stomach pains from laxative abuse. I lost time to exercising when I didn’t want to. I spent so so many hours doing nothing but scrolling through websites and looking for weight loss tips. I will never get that time back.
I lost friends. It’s not much fun being around someone who has an eating disorder. I didn’t have much space in my head to think about other people. I was boring to be around, I could not hold conversations about anything that did not involve food. I never wanted to be around people anyway because they just fed into the voice in my head comparing me to everyone else. I was angry at what was going on and I took it out on those closest to me. I did and said some horrible things to people and pushed them until they had no choice but to leave. I felt like I didn’t need anyone – all I needed was my eating disorder.
I lost experiences. There were so many parties and social events that I missed out on because they involved food and that struck me with intense fear. I’d hear all about the fun people had and have to make up excuses all the time. Eventually, I stopped getting invited to places. Whilst the few friends I had were out having fun and living life, I was sat in my bedroom calculating calories and planning meals and how to avoid them.
I lost good health. I am incredibly grateful that my body has survived all that I put it through. But I am left with the repercussions of my eating disorder behaviours. I suffer from IBS and while the cause is unknown, it’s likely that it was exacerbated by my continuous abuse of laxatives. Obviously, that’s not going to help anyone’s digestive system stay healthy.
Ultimately, it left me miserable and alone. I was thin, yes. But that was all I had, I became nothing but my eating disorder. I was dull and boring and no happier no matter what my weight was.
So there you have it… my eating disorder took so much from me. I lost out on being a teenager for the most part. It impacted my grades, my relationships and my life and I didn’t fight back for so long. But through my battle against it, I have gained strength that I never knew I could have. I gained an appreciation for how my body fights to survive even when I’m trying to kill it.
This post will hopefully serve as a reminder to myself that I have too much to lose now. There’s that nagging voice in my head telling me to skip a meal or telling me I’m worthless because of my weight. It’s been louder recently but it is one voice which I refuse to listen to.