I had a monster in my head, screaming at me to not eat. It was tough, and the monster took over me. I was not me. I ate nothing; I worked out all the time.
The biggest disappointment and sadness in my life was my eating disorder. This is my biggest disappointment because it almost ruined my life. My eating disorder was obviously very unhealthy and my horrific thoughts led me to it. I kept on thinking about losing weight and it started out with thoughts in my head when I started comparing my body to others. I convinced myself to starve for a whole day and that’s where it began. To me, my decision felt safe and good. I would not eat like before. I started on a secret and innocent little dieting. My eating disorder started in December 2012 when I was 16.
I began skipping meals, eating very less when asked to, and being obsessed with every calorie intake of mine. The results came slowly forward. I was happy when I lost my first few pounds, looked at myself in the mirror and still didn’t feel perfect. No matter how much weight I lost, it was never enough. I would exercise more than I ate which caused me to have really low blood pressure. I purged very rarely but during my trip to Pakistan in December, I purged for three days straight and it led me to dehydration at a mall, and I passed out for a few minutes. I was constantly looking up ways to lose weight. I had many symptoms such as always feeling cold, dizziness when I would stand up, and mood swings.
Pounds after pounds, I started to feel more confident and better. It gave me strength, to be thin. I was obsessed with taking pictures of myself, to see how thin I was. The mirror always lied to me. My best friend, my parents and siblings noticed how I was losing weight really fast in a short period of time. Soon, my teachers started noticing too. I had a monster in my head, screaming at me to not eat. It was tough, and the monster took over me. I was not me. I ate nothing; I worked out all the time.
Sometimes I would just try to forget about my eating disorder for a little while and try to eat normally. I would feel really guilty afterwards for eating and it would cause me a lot of stress. The stress often led me to sleepless nights just worrying about the food I ate and “If it would make me fat.”
Next, what really scared me was that my weight started dropping really fast and I became underweight. It didn’t look good at all because my bones and rib cage started showing. My cousin told me how her friend was into a similar situation as mine and how she ate really less. Her friend found out that she couldn’t have children in the future. This really hit me, because I love kids and not having my own in the future would probably break me. Thankfully, by the end of March 2013 I was recovering from my eating disorder. I feel so blessed to have such amazing, supportive and caring family; friends and teachers in my life who helped me realize how unhealthy this was. If I continued it any longer I would have probably ended up at rehabs, hospitals waiting for death.
To get to recovery, I started sharing my guilty thoughts and feelings with my parents, my uncle and my best friend. I started telling them how I felt and they would always know what the right thing was to say and how to calm me down. I’m so thankful for these people because honestly, they have helped me recover and get out of my life’s biggest crisis. What really opened my eyes towards recovery was seeing my best friend. Literally, everyday during recovery, when I came to school feeling depressed, my thoughts and depression would go away when I would see her. She helped me realize not to care about the negatives in life, or to not let my insecurities control me. She helped me understand that I should live life to the fullest. She inspired me. My best friend motivated me even more towards recovery.
My mom and her brother also really helped me through my eating disorder. My uncle kind of became my counsellor. He would ask me to call him whenever I had those dreadful thoughts so he can help clear my mind. He made me aware of how harmful this was for me and of all the consequences which really opened my eyes. He said things like “If you continue, you will not be able to have children in the future”, and that “There is a high risk of diabetes.” During recovery I also started looking at positive affirmations and reading recovery stories and quotes to encourage myself like my uncle asked me to.
I am very proud of myself for beating Anorexia Nervosa. This is not easy at all but I definitely made my way through recovery. I’m happy that I am over with that torturous lifestyle. I feel blessed to have such considerate people in my life who I love more than words can express for being there for me. Without them I wouldn’t have been able to beat this disease.
This experience was shared with Generation Next by a reader who requested anonymity.