You probably won’t understand my story at first. Just like everyone else, you will ask me if I’m insane. You will probably tell me that all I need is therapy. You’ll question as to why my parents never realized my condition until it got really bad. You will have a lot of questions.
It’s reasonable and I don’t blame you.
But that gives me all the more incentive to tell you to read until the very end.
It all started in 2012.
I was merely a chubby 13 year old with no concern whatsoever about my waist line or the fact that I ate twice as much as my friends at school breaks.
I was happy, I was laughing loudly, I had so many friends and everyone loved me. I was doing exceptionally well at school, both academically and in my extra curriculum.
I had an amazing relationship with my parents, they were (still are) my world.
I couldn’t ask for a better life.
Fast forward to 2013.
Imagine this life.
You stagger to the bathroom, using the wall to hold you up. You don’t remember the last time you ate a “normal” meal. You can hear your stomach growling from the lack of food for days.
Stepping on the scale will determine your mood for the day. If it has decreased since yesterday, you have succeeded; if it has stayed the same, or worse, gone up, those voices inside your head become stronger, telling you how useless you are.
When you look at the mirror, you see that your cheeks have hallowed, your t shirt cleaves inwards hugging just bone and skin. You can feel your ribs through your shirt and your collar bones show up so sharply.
But, your mirror tricks you.
This voice inside your head, tells you that you’re fat. So fat and ugly.
You remember the bodies of the models on the runway, so perfect, so thin, so flawless.
“I’m fat”, you tell yourself. The voices in your head keep telling you that being skinny is everything. They tell you that skinny is being beautiful, skinny is perfect and skinny is flawless. And you listen, wholeheartedly believing it.
You begin to develop an inexplicable hatred towards your “fat” body.
Whereas in truth you’re actually underweight, you’re cold and weak. You can hardly go through the day without thinking you’ll collapse. But there is this one thought which keeps pushing you forward.
The craving to burn calories as much as possible.
Throughout your day, you take the stairs and run the extra mile, you skip meals and avoid food at all costs, but sometimes you just can’t help it, you binge.
You keep stuffing in on whatever food is in sight and secretly purge in bathrooms where nobody can hear you.
No one notices, which is fine because that’s exactly what you want.
You clean up the remains of your act and secretly wipe the tears that well up in your eyes when you throw up. You compose yourself, smile at yourself in the mirror and walk out of the washroom as if nothing ever happened.
Sometimes you have to fake a cold and a few sneezes as an excuse for reddened eyes.
Sometimes you have to run the water loudly or flush the toilet, just to hide the sound of you forcefully jamming your finger down your throat and bringing up what you just ate.
Welcome to the life of a person with an eating disorder.
A life I lived for a good 3 years.
A person with an eating disorder lives a life of secrets. They could be Anorexic or Bulimic. If you did imagine what I related in the before paragraphs, well then, you’ve seen some very typical events of my life between the years of 2013 to 2015.
I flip flopped between both anorexia and bulimia , when I starved myself and consumed next to nothing, I was being anorexic and vice versa.
Now, let’s come to the most important question. WHY?
Why did this happen to me? Was I bullied? Was I abused?
The shocking answer is NO. My friends never laughed at my weight, I had a care free, happy, go lucky life with no worries whatsoever.
One fine day, I got on the weighing scale and I noticed something.
I noticed that my weight has dropped.
I noticed that I can actually fit into my favorite jeans again.
I liked it.
I liked this new look so much. As I continued to lose weight, people said I looked prettier. I could now fit into all those crop tops and chic jeans unlike in the past. Losing weight became my nicotine and I was addicted.
There you go. That was the trigger which gave rise to my eating disorder. It was that simple, no abuse, no bullying.
See, that’s the catch.
The persistent issue with eating disorders is the fact that individuals tend to hide it from their family, and that too, most efficiently.
A simple diet or a few comments on an increased waist line, a breakdown of ingredients on your favorite type of junk food, a few fashion magazines or even tightly fitting clothes can be that initial trigger for an eating disorder.
On the long run it can cost you your life. However far stretched this may sound, this is the situation in the real world.
With fashion goals being a size zero for designer wear and stick thin models hitting the runway, it is no wonder than 90% of the worlds women, aged between 12 to 25, and a shocking 25% of college students suffer from eating disorders.
The issue with eating disorders is that its causes cannot be contained to a few pinpointed reasons.
It took me a lot of time to come out of this situation, Not just time, but a lot of family fights, friendship breakups, many depressed nights and a lot of will power. To this date, I do not know how I finally silenced the voices of anorexia and bulimia commanding and paving my way to an early grave.
But, what is important is that I did it. And you know what? It’s been amazing ever since. I got through it. I hope and pray that you do too.
PS – This is the story of one of my closest friends. She preferred to stay anonymous. Feel free to leave your thoughts, but please do not bombard me or her with more questions in the comment section.
PPS – Feel free to share this message out there. It could help someone who is battling their way through an eating disorder. You could save a life by a share.
Here’s some of my older posts aimed at fixing world issues –
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