*Might be a trigger – Eating Disorders*
It’s time I talked about the other half of me. I have kept this locked up far too long. I have let it dominated me throughout the years and more so in the last few months. It’s become harder to talk about and harder to battle. The effect it has on me has been damaging not only on my physical health, but my mental health. Say hello to Mia.
I have touched upon my eating habits before but never in depth. Never openly. So now’s the time.
My disorders started when I was about 17. It started out through stress. No, that’s a lie. I have always battled with my appearance. I was never classed as pretty or beautiful at school and I was never catching anybody’s eye. One comment from a fellow pupil in my year has stuck with me. It was on a Facebook picture my friend had photographed of me as she was in to photography. And this guy just wrote Naturally ugly. He was quite popular, so if he thought that, and could say that so openly on social media, then I dread to think what he used to say to the others at school.
Another comment which has stuck with me for over 10 years came from someone who I considered a friend. I was walking away and she shouted, look at the fat jingle. Yes, there was a few of us having a tiff, but she picked me out. Singled me out.
So from about 14 I have been very aware of my size. When I was 13, I was quite big. Everyone said it was puppy fat, but I didn’t see it that way, and in a way I still see that 13 year old looking back at me in the mirror. I fluctuated a lot. I was never comfortable with the size I wore. I was an 8 or a 10 most of the time but I wasn’t okay with this. I got to 17 and I started losing weight. I became more restricted with my meals. I was vegetarian so I insisted that was why I couldn’t eat a lot of things. My usual meals were a slice of toast for breakfast, skip lunch and then a bit of quorn chicken nugget in a salad.
I lost even more weight when my best friend at the time started becoming unstable. I was worried and stressed all hours about her. I couldn’t sleep. The weight started dropping off but I couldn’t see. I didn’t think about my weight, I was too worried about my Best Friend. It wasn’t until the school got involved, rang my mum, that I was forced to go to the doctors. I was threatened with hospitalisation if I didn’t start eating. I started to eat. Things with my best friend fell apart and we no longer spoke. And I was no longer being worried about.
I went to University and I was skinny. But you know how Uni is. You booze, you eat, you eat crap when you’re hungover. I remember, I used to sit there with a double pack of custard creams, dip them in my tea and finish the pack in one sitting. It wasn’t until the final term that I started a new habit. Throwing up meals. I had a sink in my room so no one would know. I don’t know why I started. How I started. But one night I just chose to do it. I think I started to become so unhappy with how I looked in pictures but couldn’t stop eating crap that I turned to Mia.
I stopped over the Summer because I couldn’t do it at home. And second year was a bit more relaxed. I had got out of the habit over the summer and plus, there was only one bathroom and it had a bedroom on both sides with paper thin walls.
Third year, I was abroad working as part of my degree. It didn’t take long to fall back in to old habits. My flat mate was never around and I was miserable. I turned to Mia in a sort of comfort. I binged and binged to make myself feel better. But then, I didn’t want to gain weight, so I would reverse the damage.
This carried on to final year at university. I was miserable. I wasn’t having the best time. I was struggling. So, again Mia was my safety net.
This has carried on ever since. On and off. I have had months where I have done nothing, then weeks where I do it everyday.
I never think of the consequences on my health. But one night, as I was bent over, I saw blood just filling the basin of the loo. I panicked. I didn’t know where it was coming from. I stood up and felt the blood pouring out of my nose. I felt dizzy. My heart was pounding. I thought this was the big wake up call. This was only a couple of months ago. But it didn’t. The next day I was back at it. My teeth were hurting and my gums were bleeding. I had always taken pride in having healthy teeth, but this, this could have done irreversible damage.
As well as my physical health, my mental health was being affected. I would get snappy if I couldn’t be sick. If I had to rush, I would panic. I needed to binge. I needed to then get rid of the binge. I tried to squeeze it in before seeing F some nights and I would just get angry because I couldn’t go the full extent of a binge. It sounds so ridiculous. I would then feel tired and groggy before I had even saw F. I would be cranky and dismissive the second I saw him because of what I had just done. I felt ashamed. But I also was amiss because I didn’t get a full binge. I also felt bad that I was hiding this secret to F.
I did try and talk to him about it once, but I played it down. I didn’t want him to be weirded out. I didn’t really explain it and I don’t think he really had an understanding of it. He tried his best to show he cared, but once the conversation was done, apart from him asking one time, it was never brought up again. So I left it.
Having looked up the effects of bulimia, I never realised bulimia is actually known to cause moodiness and irritability. It also controls your mind in a way. I was constantly thinking about food, when I could throw up, my weight, my appearance. I felt ashamed and anxious. I felt out of control and I hated that. I felt useless and pathetic. That affected me and F so much. I was constantly aware of my size. He thought I was perfect and wasn’t afraid to show it or say it. He was so attracted to me. He always said how lucky he was. Sitting here now looking back, has me in tears because I doubted him. I doubted his attraction for me so much because of my insecurity about my weight. I let it destroy us. I let it allow me push him away and question everything he did. It made me anxious. I continuously thought his eye would get turned by another girl. That he would leave me. Cheat on me because I wasn’t a model. I wasn’t stunning. But now I realise, I was stunning to him. He couldn’t keep his hands off me. He didn’t do that just for show, he meant it.
This is why I have booked a doctor’s appointment. It is time I opened up about this side of me. It has excluded me from so much for too long. I lost a social life over it. I wouldn’t eat out with friend for fear of putting on weight because I couldn’t purge. I have let the image I have of my self, this imaginary image that those around me can’t see, take control of my head. I have lost sight of reality. I have lost sight of Me. I am not me anymore. I am too obsessed with something that isn’t real. With something that has destroyed most aspects of my life. I have lost my F over it. It didn’t help my depression and anxiety. Or maybe that was the cause of them both? I don’t know, but it is time I stopped and got it diagnosed with professional help.
I want my life back. I want the confidence to feel good again. I want to eat out with friends without the fear of gaining a pound! I want to see the real image in the mirror. I want to see what F saw. I want him back again. I want my mental health restored. I want to protect my physical health before I do irreversible damage to it. I want to be carefree. I want to be confident. I want to lose my insecurities. I want Mia gone.
Not Quite Made Girl