*EATING DISORDERS AWARENESS WEEK 2019*
Research shows that eating disorder stereotypes are preventing people from accessing help. Anorexia is often portrayed as a disorder of white, teenage girls. But anyone can be affected, no question. People assume it’s an attention seeking phase, which always takes the same form. But this is wrong.
In the photograph above, I LOOK happy and healthy, surrounded by beautiful friends, having just completed my A levels with top grades and accepted a place at a prestigious university.
But appearances are deceiving. My mental health was at an all-time low. I was hiding a lifestyle of lies, over-exercising, under-eating, isolation and self-hate. Everyone kept telling me how proud they were, and I felt like a total fraud.
I was lucky in some ways that after two years, my physical appearance eventually emulated my mental battle, which meant I couldn’t hide it anymore.
People assume that recovery is a valiant quest, towards self-driven healing, gradually fighting off the mental demons, and taking back control of your mind.
Unfortunately, that’s total bollocks...
Recovery is more like being stuck on the M25 for four hours and willing that you will edge forward an inch. It’s like climbing a mountain to find that you’ve only reached base camp. It’s having to accept that sometimes it is just about the taking part, and not the winning.
So where am I now? honestly, I still have bad days and bad weeks. Sometimes it takes me half an hour to pick out a meal deal at Tesco if I’m alone. I still have to have porridge every day. I paid £3 for a coffee in McDonalds a few weeks ago, because I felt so anxious just being in there that I couldn’t wait for the change. I’m still recovering. But I’m not hiding anymore. I hope that sharing my story will encourage others to open up and keep fighting. ❤️