Eating Disorders Are Not Your Friend

The Worst Best Friend I Would Never Wish On Anyone

A living hell I am still trying to find my way out of.

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As a young girl, I have always struggled with body image issues. I was never the skinniest, but I was never the biggest. Growing up, I ate everything. I was never a picky eater. Yeah, I was always aware that I was bigger, I had rolls, but I was also super athletic. I played basketball ever since I could walk, so that was pretty much my excuse for eating whatever I wanted.

However, as time went on the media said how every girl should look, eat, wear, and breathe. And it was EVERYWHERE. It was a living nightmare, especially for me. I would always tell myself that I should look like that, not aware of the fact that the media is a mastermind at photoshop and cover-ups.

Now, I am not blaming the media for everything because my childhood growing up was definitely anything far from a walk in the park. But that conversation is for another day, so just take my word for it. The struggles I have had growing up definitely played a role in the development of my eating disorder. I mean, how could it not?

Let me fast forward to around March 2017 of my junior year, which is when I decided to go vegan. At first, it was because I wanted to change my eating habits. I wanted to lose weight, and be thinner. Believe it or not, there were a good amount of vegans in my school, so I was inspired. Eventually, I had done research on what veganism was all about and what happens to the animals and yeah that is also for another conversation. As you can guess my diet had gotten a lot stricter and I started working out like a crazy person. But, I was still eating normally, maybe a little healthier, but I did not restrict any food. *foreshadowing*

In August 2017, a month before my senior year is when everything went downhill. I fell into the world of social media. I went on these crazy diets, while vegan, and started counting my calories. I was still working out a lot, but I began to weight lift, which had changed my life to this day. I was so brainwashed into the fact that I need fast results, just like the media shows. Those "21 day fixes" or "Lose up to 10 pounds in 1 week" is a bunch of BS. I came to find out that those diets did not work. I may have lost a couple pounds here and there, but it was not satisfying. So in turn, I started heavily restricting my calories and exercising after everything and anything I ate. I had done this for about two months until I became diagnosed with Anorexia.

Shortly after I had gotten diagnosed, I went straight into inpatient. For those of you who do not know what inpatient is, it is pretty much a hospital/treatment center for people with mental illnesses (in my case, an eating disorder), and you stay there, follow a schedule, and do the same routine every day until the doctors feel that you are well enough to be released. Anyway, I was there for 12 days. Well, let me tell you that those 12 days were not enough because a few months later I relapsed. This time it was worse. I had gotten down to my lowest weight and the doctors told me I had to go back in as a patient. Now, this may not be everyone's experience but I did not like inpatient one bit. So I was trying to do everything in my power to stay out of there.

I cried and begged them to not send me back. I could not bare the fact of missing another part of my senior year. However, to this day I regret not going back in. Let me tell you why. In January 2018, shortly after I was told I had to go back in, I started my binge eating. In the beginning, it was completely innocent. My body was starving so part of me understood why I was uncontrollably eating. But months and months passed by and it was still happening. I felt like I could not stop.

Until April of 2018 is when I finally told my doctors about this binge eating problem I had been having. They said it was normal, however, to try to be aware of myself and my eating behavior. Well, the next 2 months I could not stop. I binged at least 3 days a week. It was a living nightmare. Part of me felt like this cycle will never end and that I was going to be like this forever. I was so lost and out of options.

I contemplated going back inpatient before college started so I would not have to deal with this throughout my college career. But, after talking with my nutritionist, I decided to give myself one last shot to turn this around. And so, that is what I am still trying to do. My last binge was at the beginning of July 2018, so I have been binge free for about a month.

I am definitely proud of myself for how far I have come, but do not think for a second that this is easy. Every day I wake up hoping for another good day. The binge mindset is a whole other emotion. It takes over and then you wake up the next day regretting everything that happened. It really is a living hell. And I pray one day to be free.

I really hope I can relate to, or reach out to anyone who may be struggling, or know someone who might be. It is not something you should go through alone. I had an entire support team behind me, trying to help me put my life back together. I really recommend talking to someone. Just having someone listen to what you are going through helps so much. And if they can relate, it helps even more.

Stay strong and keep pushing forward.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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The Only Difference Between A Summer Body And Your Winter Body Is Your Attitude

Your love handles need love, too.

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Summer is coming and for most, this is a very exciting time. The weather is warm, school is out, and the beaches are packed. Although summer is great most of the time, it can also be super stressful for people who aren't confident in their bodies. There is a body ideal that is set on media sharing sites such as Instagram, Facebook, and VSCO that makes people feel like they need to fit that image to be considered attractive.

My first problem is, well, these images are unrealistic in the first place. Most of the time, people posting photos of them in their bikinis or swim trunks have edited the photo in some way. Whether they've edited it to appear skinnier, more muscular, or tanner, odds are they've doctored the photo in some way. Even if they haven't, who cares!

I know I've personally struggled when it comes time to buy a bathing suit. Honestly, it's the worst thing ever. Looking in the mirror and seeing what you look like after the holidays and 4 months without the sun can be shocking. It's time to embrace this! I've seen so many people posting "working on my summer body," or "getting ready for bikini season," and it's honestly just sad.

A person shouldn't have to change their everyday lifestyle to want to "look good" in their bathing suit. What's wrong with a little extra weight on the thighs or some cellulite on your butt? As long as you feel confident with your body, you should want to embrace it and show it off!

Feeling confident in today's world is harder than ever for women. The media is pushing body positivity, but it doesn't seem like it applies to everyone. If a celebrity is a little thicker, everyone applauds them and talks about how beautiful they are, "even though they're bigger," and that is exactly where the problem lies. Shifting the standard of beauty because someone is bigger totally discredits whatever compliments they receive. It's a backhanded compliment and it's not fair to include a comment about their weight while trying to compliment them. Someone's beauty should not be defined by how big or small they are and saying people are an exception to the rule probably hurts them more than you think.

I don't know about you but I won't be doing anything to prepare my body for this summer because these people are going to take what I give them! All in all, love yourself first and it'll give others the opportunity to do the same!

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