I didn't want anything to change...
But in May 2014 I finally acknowledged to myself that I had a restrictive eating disorder...that now was the time to reach out for help. I knew, that this was not a life that I was living...that on the contrary, is was a living death. And one thing had to die...me, or my eating disorder.
I knew, that I couldn't do this alone.
So I threw away the mask that I had worn for so, so long and told my Mam...of everything I had done, everything I was still doing on a daily basis, that I was scared and exhausted and frigtheended and was in desperate need of her help. She was shocked, upset, and extremely concerned, but she was not angry. And then she hugged me and told me it was going to be okay. That we could beat this thing, together. And from that day onwards, something changed, deep inside me. I knew it was going to be a long, hard, difficult road...but it was on that day, of that month, in the year 2014 when that girl with an eating disorder started to help herself, by fighting for her life and her recovery.
I gained weight by myself over Summer 2014. I managed to increase my bmi from a dangerously low 13 to just under 15. I was still underweight, of course, but I had just managed to pull myself off a brink which could very easily have led to my own death.
Though I was still underweight, I was out of the danger zone...but I was not recovered. I had started the climb up that mountain which is recovery...but at that time, I was still not quite prepared to give myself the help that I needed to reach the top.
In January 2015 I went into hospital to commence my treatment as an inpatient in a mental services hospital. It was one of the most difficult times of my life ...but by putting myself in such a rigid environment in which I was closely monitored on a day to day basis , I was helping myself flight my eating disorder in a way I would never have been able to do alone.
I gained weight during the whole course of my hospitalisation, to reach a much healthier bmi, a bmi which allows my body and mind to properly function. Though I still have an eating disorder, I know that my body is in a much better state than it was this time last year...and though the battle is far from over, I know that in this regard I fought and won a great victory.
I fought the compulsive urges of my eating disorder to exercise for over 2 hours a day when I started to work on recovery. This, for me, was one of the most difficult habits to kick. My walks with Benny in the morning and afternoon were my escape. They seemed to be the only way in which I could quieten the furious, manipulative Voice that occcupied my head every single day. But in the initial stages of my weight restoration, even my walks with Benny had to be curtailed, and this was very, very difficult for me, to refrain from something which gave me so much joy, so much happiness, so much pleasure. But I did it,because I knew that I had to, to help myself fight my eating disorder... and now I am back to walking my beloved springer in the beauty of the Irish summer, in a way which is not unhealthy or obsessive.
For so many years, my eating disorder was my deepest and most darkest secret. I did every single thing in my power to keep it concealed from everyone around me - my family, my friends, fellow students at school and college, my teachers, my tutors, my counsellors. I put off going to the doctor's about my total absence of periods, reassuring myself that nothing was amiss and I was just later starting than others. I never opened up to a soul...not even those who I loved the most - the closest of my friends, my sister, my Nan, my Mam - noone knew. and though, at times, I was desperate to let them in to this bitter, destructive, harsh world of my own creation...but I couldn't. I told myself that they wouldn't understand.