Last week I visited the local eating disorders unit to meet with a psychologist who diagnosed me with bulimia nervosa. It has been a long year for me and I’ve had some major life disturbances. My parents separated a week before my 18th birthday and I moved in with my father (by choice) and we have my 6 and 8 year old brothers live with us 4 days a week and they look to me as the mother figure of the house, my family had a huge bust up then my own relationship suddenly ended, I attempted suicide, depression kicked in, and I was still heavily in denial about my life decisions and my self harm escalated to the point I was admitted to hospital 5 times in just 4 weeks! I broke my arm, developed appendicitis and had to have surgery, damaged the ligament in my knee in an accident And somewhere in the midst of all my issues I developed bulimia. One positive thing that came out of it was meeting my girlfriend Sophie who is transgender and she’s been a huge support for me through all of this – hospital admissions, appointments, surgery and my constant moaning about my life!
I turned 19 yesterday! It’s such a milestone considering how much has changed in just one year. I have had to grow up a lot even taking on a more parental role to my younger siblings!!
But my journey with bulimia started 6 months ago when my ex spent a lot of time wanting sex and putting me down but ultimately dumped me because of my looks – fat thighs, scars and being into the gothic/punk fashion. I wound up in bulimias vicious cycle of starvation, bingeing and purging.
I became obsessed with my weight and dying to be skinny became a disease ! But despite all of that the voices are the worst – voices that play like a never ending series of dialogue that plays in your head telling you things like:
“You don’t deserve to eat”
“You’ll never be beautiful”
Just to list a few!
When Mia talks “she” takes over your mind and controls you. Eventually you have no control of anything you do and you’ll go to great lengths to avoid people noticing! You’ll hide food, eat in secrecy, lie about where your money’s going and steal food all to satisfy her and in turn for your actions she transforms you into her image of beautiful – you become physically weak, tired, you adopt the vomit stench (despite chewing gum,deodarent) internally your systems become a train wreck, your hair falls out, discoloured teeth, scars on your hands and that’s just the start.
When Mia takes over she warps your mind and leaves nothing but chaos,depression,emotional turmoil and destruction in her wake.
The song “Courage”by superchick is the perfect song to describe my battle with bulimia though. Some days are better than others but now I’m getting help and my psychologist using CBT and making me keep food diaries, and setting goals for my recovery.
I think a lot about the past and I often go back to the time when my life was perfect – I had everything going for me. I had my career sorted and I had a family I could rely on and I was happy. But now I look at myself I’m dependent on meds to function, I have no clear career aspirations, my family is broken beyond repair, I have more issues than I can cope with and I’m the shell of the bubbly person I once was.
I look at the army uniform hanging in my closet now gathering dust (after 4 years in the cadets) and I realise what I used to be and what I’ve become.
I wish I could go back in time and tell my younger self to savour those moments of happiness because they won’t last and I wish I could tell my 16year old self not to give up because I look at my life and realise just how much I’ve missed opportunities and the day I stopped fighting for and chasing my dreams was the day that made me into this broken, downtrodden individual in so much emotional pain.