You are not ok, BUT you deserve to be ok
I would like to share my story with you all, as my eating disorder has shaped me into the person I am today and lead me down a path I didn’t think I would make it to.
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 12, I was in year 7. Being diagnosed with this disease was the start of having to watch what I ate, and count the carbs I consumed to ensure that I was giving the correct amount of insulin to keep me alive. My family was very supportive, and changed their whole life to support me. This was when I started exercising excessively to make sure I was burning off the carbs I consumed, and by the age of 16 I starting showing bulimic tendencies. I lost control of my diabetes and many other things in my life, the only thing I could control was my weight. Which then impacted my mental health and how I treated the people around me.
I am now almost 23, and in recovery. My parents found out about my eating disorder when I was 18 and about to move out of home, I promised them it had stopped but not only was I lying to them I was lying to myself. At the end of 2016 I, for the first time, admitted to medical professionals about my eating disorder. It was my GP and my diabetes specialist, and from that moment I felt a weight lift off my shoulders.
Although they did not offer me any specialist services for my eating disorder they did show me a lot of support and saw me as regularly as I’d wanted. I told myself that I needed to learn how to love myself, and the food I ate as having two life threatening diseases was not going to get me far and I got to the point of fearing my life. I moved back in with my parents to recover for 6 months and get their support, as I did as much research as I could to find help without telling my parents – but did not find what I was looking for.
I deleted social media as I realised that was a main trigger for me. This may sound like it was an easy fix, but believe me it wasn’t. For 6 years there was this voice in my head telling me that what I was doing was ok, and finally a louder voice spoke over that one and screamed “you are not ok, BUT you deserve to be ok”.
I would like to raise my hand and help others who have been in a similar situation, that is why I am 1 year away from becoming a Social Welfare worker with the aim of helping women and men who suffer from an eating disorder. I could beat myself up about what has happened to me, but I could also learn from what has happened to me.
Every eating disorder is different, everyone’s support networks are different.
Everyone has the right to reach out and ask for help, if the first person you reach out to doesn’t respond the way you want them to – don’t give up, keep trying.