Keep fighting, if not for you, for someone else
Ten years ago, I was first admitted into a psychiatric ward at 17 with anorexia nervosa, much to my disbelief and denial. Here, I spent the next two months of my life in the hospital fighting my battles and years of recovery and treatment. I had never felt so scared, confused and alone before in my life as I did in the hospital. Although there was not one day where either one of my parents did not visit, I felt completely detached. Anorexia is an isolating disease, which pushes away your loved ones and causes pain and suffering, regardless of what your eating disorder will try and tell you. My recovery was the hardest thing I have ever had to endure.
My days were consumed with thoughts of food and exercise to the point where my life revolved around it, and it was all I could ever think about. I thought the more weight I lost, the happier I would become. After nearly losing my life to this awful disease and seeing my family in so much pain, I had to start doing something for them. My parents would beg me to eat more and participate in the group activities, and my psychiatrist tube fed me to gain weight. At the time, I thought they were trying to ruin my life. By finally putting trust in my loved ones and the hospital’s team, I started recovering. Was it an automatic switch and an easy road to recovery? 110% not, however, it is worth it. Dietitians and doctors told me I wouldn’t be able to finish school and if I were to continue the way I was going, I would not survive to the age of 18. Ten years on, I weigh the most I ever have, yet I am the happiest I have ever been. I completed my HSC, worked in Human Resources for seven years, and am currently undertaking a university degree that I never thought I was capable of. I am getting married to the love of my life in October to someone who loves me unconditionally for who I am, which I never thought would be possible. I am one of the lucky ones who survived and rid of the disease. Sadly, I lost a close friend to anorexia that I made in the hospital who helped me through my darkest days. In those ten years, I still struggle with terrible guilt of what I put my family through, however, I am incredibly thankful to my loved ones that never gave up on me and were there every step of the long road to recovery.
I want to share my story for those that are struggling to know that there is a way out. It isn’t easy, instead, it is the hardest thing you will probably ever do, yet it is worth it. To now live a life of freedom without the fear of gaining weight and days being consumed by calorie counting. I love my life now and finally believe in myself to achieve anything that I put my mind to. Each time your eating disorder is talking to you, know that pushing it away gets easier and easier and that it is for a happier life. If you can’t fight this disease for yourself, do it for someone you love, because in the end it is worth the fight.