I never thought that I had an eating disorder until that beautiful chart at the psychologist's office told me differently. I never thought that I hated my body enough for it to become damaging to my health. I never thought that I would live each day in fear that I would eat too much, just to make myself sick again. I never thought that this would impact me to the point that I hated getting out of bed, looking at my friends, or socializing with the people I loved. I never expected any of this to happen to me because no one has ever warned me.
1. Your hair falls out.
Not only does it fall out, it also knots extremely quickly. Your hair becomes super thin that your entire head of hair could be equivalent to your best friend's bangs. You will notice this when you are doing her hair for her and it will break your heart.
2. You are tired constantly.
Forget about sleeping. Those stomach pains will keep you up all night. If you lay down the wrong way, just expect your body to feel like there are knives stabbing you.
3. Mirrors become your worst enemies.
You really hate what you see. Even in the morning, when you apparently weigh less, you will still hate that figure that you see. Your eyes become dark and sunken in. You will hold the fat on your body and squeeze it, hoping that you can rip it off and forget about it. You will look dead. You will be a zombie. You will hate that mirror.
4. The only thing worse than a mirror is a scale.
Scales are forbidden words. If you have one in your house, you can bet that you will check your weight obsessively. If you eat too much for a meal, you will find yourself on top of it, then you will find yourself doing your method of getting rid of that "weight".
5. Your friends and family will notice you don't eat enough.
They will start to ask you if you ate today. They will see your mood change. They will realize that you are melting away to nothing. They can sense how drained you are.
6. You develop tiny holes in your stomach.
Your doctors will tell you that these are just ulcers from stress, but you know what you're doing to yourself. Prepare to have to lie to dozens of people why you're on so much medication.
7. You stop getting your period.
If your eating disorder gets to this point, you have to live with the worry of "why is this happening to me". You will never know when or if your period will come. Understand that you now need to carry some sort of feminine product with you at all times because the "time" of the month becomes a guessing game.
8. Your stomach acid eats your teeth away.
Your teeth become extremely sensitive to hot and cold. Brushing your teeth starts to hurt. You need to be careful with hot tea, or a drink with ice. Toothaches become a regular thing.
9. You get sick from any kind of food even when you're having a good day.
You will have good days that you feel great about yourself and you want to treat yourself to a snack because you think that you deserve it. You will get sick anyway. You will develop numerous sensitivities to your favorite foods.
10. Your clothes will never look good on you again.
Shopping becomes a traumatizing experience rather than a fun and relaxing time with your friends. You begin to shop for clothes that are just too big so that no one will notice your weight loss/weight gain. You hide yourself in your clothes. They become security blankets, not fashion statements.
11. Eating disorders never go away.
Just when you think that you are healed, they come back to bite you again.
If you can relate to this, I want to tell you that there is help out there. There are millions of people just like you who need special care and support. The first step is accepting that even though you "never thought this could happen to you", it did, and there are people out here to help you cope.