This post is a follow up from the first eating disorder story that I posted, so if you haven’t read that one you might want to go back and read that first so that what I talk about next will make sense. I want to write another TRIGGER WARNING here. If you find it difficult to read about restricting and purging please do not continue reading. I will not be talking about numbers/weights etc.
When I started college I chose to go to one that I knew not many people from school were going to as I wanted a fresh start. I was very nervous on my first day and I remember refusing to get out of the car because of my anxiety but once I got settled in the class I realised that everybody was really nice and easy to talk to which was the complete opposite of my experiences at school. My confidence started to grow and I made a lot of new friends however I was still finding it really hard to not compare myself to the other girls in my class, I always felt a lot bigger than them. In the first few months I didn’t want to eat around people so me and one of my friends would go and sit in the park to eat and then I would end up going to the toilets to be sick. Around this time I decided to tell that friend what I was doing (which was really hard as at that time only one other person knew about it). My friend told me about the dangers of what I was doing to myself and really tried to help build my confidence so that I wouldn’t do it. But at that time I wasn’t ready for the help so continued to use these behaviours. I studied media production and obviously this meant that there was a lot of cameras around me, and everybody would joke about how fast I was at spotting that there was a camera on me and how I would run away and avoid being in front of them but nobody knew why I was trying to hide. I remember being asked to present for one of our classes and I said no. The tutor told me that if I didn’t she would fail me and I wanted to cry on the spot and run out, but I tried my best to just get through it and afterwards she made us all watch it back and I was disgusted with what I saw back as my red chubby cheeks and what I thought was a fat body filled the screen as all my friends watched it. TRIGGER WARNING This bit could be quite graphic for some people so don’t continue reading if you feel you could get triggered. This is hard for me to talk about because it’s disgusting but it shows how bad I was and it gives some back story to what Im going to mention after it.
Around this time something happened while I was trying to get rid of the sick that I had been hiding in my bedroom. I went to get rid of it down the toilet while my family were downstairs and the sick exploded out of what I had been storing it in and it went everywhere. All over me, all over the bathroom and it made a huge bang and I thought my dad would have heard it. So I frantically shut the door and cleaned the whole bathroom and jumped in the bath, crying while doing all of this. At this point I think I woke up a bit and realised how bad I had sank into the disorder. I decided I was going to tell my mum… I remember this night so vividly. I was sat in my bedroom and was listening to Ed Sheeran and crying while trying to pluck up the courage to go and tell my mum. I was trying to figure out what I was going to say, I walked out of the room and then walked back to my room and I must have done this about ten times before actually walking down the stairs. She was sat watching a programme about celebrities moving in with families to care for people, I sat on the chair opposite her and tried to talk and the words just wouldn’t come out. I got up gave her a hug, told her I loved her and then walked back upstairs to my room because I just couldn’t let myself tell her. So I sat in my room and cried instead.
At this point I genuinely thought I was going to have to live with it in secret for the rest of my life. Only myself and two others knew about it at this time but I had never tried to seek professional help or tell my parents. When I turned 18 I went from someone who never drank and didn’t even like alcohol to someone who drank excessively. The first time I got drunk I remember feeling like I was able to escape my thoughts and I felt a lot more confident when drunk, due to this reason I was drinking a lot. A lot of people saw me as a bit of a party girl. I was friends with a big group of people and the girls in that group didn’t really drink a lot or go out very much so I was always the girl who would go out, get very drunk and stay out till everywhere shut. Every time I would go out I would end up in a very drunk state, I would usually embarrass myself and then it would be repeated the weekend after. I didn’t know my limits and because of the strain I had but on my stomach from making myself sick I could not handle large amounts of liquid so would end up in the toilets being sick most nights. I was still trying to keep my secret hidden even while drunk so I would end up getting really depressive and cry and nobody knew why. I was getting complimented on nights out because people would say I had a nice body so it made me want to carry on what I was doing.
When I first started university I was petrified. I had never been away from home. There was one thing that I was really grateful for though and that was the fact I had my own toilet so I knew I could be sick in private. I was worried about what foods I would be eating as I had never really cooked for myself before. When I got there I was put with a good group of people and was really enjoying myself. We were eating frozen foods and takeaways a lot and even though I was still being sick, I was doing it less often because I was distracted by having new friends and going out most evenings. I told two of my flat mates about my eating disorder and they were very supportive but I was only able to talk to them about it if I was drunk because I found it really hard to talk about sober. I noticed my weight creeping up and thats when the thoughts started to come back quite badly. I would get ready in my room for a night out, feel good about myself and then as soon as I saw everybody else dressed up at parties or whilst out, my mind told me I looked like shit in comparison and if people complimented me I truly believed that they were lying. When I went home that summer I decided I was going to try to lose weight healthily with exercise and eating well but then somebody made a comment about how big my thighs had gotten and with that I spiralled back into my eating disorder behaviours. Going into second year I was really excited to get back however it was not what I had expected. Some of my previous flat mates had moved into a house and myself and the other flat mates moved into a flat. It felt weird with us all not living together. At this time I fell more into my depression which in turn worsened my eating disorder. I wasn’t eating and when I was, I would sit in my bathroom for hours until it physically hurt to get any more out. I wasn’t getting the nutrients I needed and I was exhausted which meant that I was staying in my bed most days and not going to class as often as I should have been. I had a lot less money to live on than I did in first year so I couldn’t go out as often. I lived in a flat that had a broken freezer and was an absolute shit hole and so claustrophobic because it was so small and only had tiny windows which let barely any light in. All my friends were busy doing coursework so I was spending a lot of time in my bedroom watching netflix and being sick. I started to really control my food intake and at one point the most I would have in a day was a bowl of chicken noodle soup (which was mostly water) a slice of bread and then go and be sick. I was in a really bad place and was constantly home sick.
Telling My Parents
Im only going to do a brief story about how I told my parents here because I want to write a full blog post in detail of how it happened. We threw a party in my flat for one of my friends 21st birthday, I got extremely drunk, paranoid and homesick so locked myself in my bedroom crying my eyes out and decided that 1am was a good time to phone my mum. I phoned her not planning on telling her anything but to just talk to her and tell her I missed her however when she answered the phone I was in the middle of a panic attack and couldn’t talk through the tears. She was asking what was wrong repeatedly and I just blurted it out. I told her how I was constantly comparing myself to lots of other girls and how I felt disgusting in comparison and then the words just fell out of my mouth that I had been making myself sick, she asked for how long and I told her as long as I can remember. She broke down in tears, told my dad who also cried and then came to pick me up and took me home where I ended up getting help.
Im going to have to write a part three because this has gotten very long. Part three will be all about how I got help, recovery process and where I am now. For part three follow this link http://www.lornajade.com/my-eating-disorder-story-part-three/
If anybody reading this is feeling the same way I used to please get help. You deserve more from your life than this. I have a list of helplines that you can access by clicking on help lines in the blog menu.