Nick is another sweet Twitter friend of mine! I visited his blog one day and felt that he would have something to share that could definitely help and inspire people. I asked him to write for me and he sent me the following. Thank you, Nick, for sharing your journey with us. You can follow Nick on Twitter and visit his blog.
There is a whole back-story to this that I won’t explain in this post. I will write about something that I have to live with daily and am constantly learning of new ways to cope.
I have been living with Anorexia Nervosa for as long as I can remember. My earliest memory of the obsessional behavior of the disorder is from when I was aged about 11 or 12 when I used to give my dog as much food from my plate as I could get away with without my guardians noticing.
I was on a complete downward spiral from then on, eating and drinking very rarely and eventually going for extremely long periods eating nothing at all, basically just “living” on cups of tea and hot chocolate. When I think back to some of the situations that I got myself into and the things I said and did to people, I feel so ashamed and embarrassed that I was blinded by this disorder so much that I was acting completely irrational about everything. It is only in recent years that I have come to understand some of the things I did and said was probably the effect that starvation has on the brain. Obvious things were happening like my memory was and still is shot, so doing my job was difficult, it is a lot better now that my diet is healthier. I was collapsing at home and at work regularly, dizzy spells, skin so dry that it split. My cuts wouldn’t heal, and I would bruise SO easily. I said awful things to people and walked around in a daze when the caffeine wore off. All I could do most of the time was either sit on my sofa or lye in bed. That is no way to live for anybody, yet I knew to a point what was happening to me, but this disorder is so strong, that you need a very good support network.
I waited for about 3 years to finally get seen by an eating disorder specialist with the care of his team and hospital. In the meantime, I saw all kinds of counselors/CBT therapists/psychiatrists none of whom were any help to me because they didn’t understand eating disorders or how to treat a person with an eating disorder, the only thing they could help with is the depression that comes along with it. Which was great initially, but my health was suffering and I WAS NOT going to be admitted under the Mental Health Act and I’m sure that my partner wouldn’t have wanted that either, so it was more determination for me not to back down, and to see every bit of help through, even if it was no help at all.
It was when I met my partner who I have been with for eight years that I started to feel stronger because I had someone to love and someone that loves me. I had more than just myself to think about. After much persuasion from him and his family, we started to re-introduce food to me slowly but surely, because if I would’ve gained weight too fast, that would’ve brought on more health problems because my body had got used to consuming the tiniest amounts of food over long periods of time. This was before I started to receive the specialist CBT therapy that has been the best help ever. I don’t know what I would do without my meeting with my therapist, but all good things come to an end and I am a stronger and better person because of the help that has been given to me.
I am now out of the ‘danger zone’ concerning my weight, weighing at just over nine stone (126 lbs), but I realise I have a long way to go regarding my mental state. I take a lot of medication, which I don’t like to do, but right now it is the only option for me because it DOES help.
I try to focus on the positive thing in my life, like my partner, my job. I love my violin dearly, it has been my best friend through the many turbulent years and it will continue to be through the many beautiful years. I love my animals Thelma and Louise who are Bearded Dragons and I am trying to live my life the best way I know how. I still suffer the occasional re-lapse which causes me to have time off of work, but I am a lot stronger and can ‘get a grip’ faster and not let it control me like it used to. If I am going through a re-lapse, I try to bring myself out of it with my violin and good books and say the little riddles to myself that get me through the day, then I kiss my partner and eventually the cloud blows over and I can continue.