Eating Disorder Awareness Week
A definition for “eating disorder” states that it “is a mental health condition where you use the control of food to cope with feelings and other situations. With the right treatment most people can recover from it”.
When I read this statement for the first time, it seemed so simple to me. I thought that I just needed to pull myself together, follow some sort of treatment plan which would tell me how to start eating, stop over exercising and I would be “fixed”. How difficult can this be? Just a bit of effort! Unfortunately at this point I had no idea how wrong I was and what a nightmare anorexia would bring into my life…
I remember being in a dark, lonely place. A place without feelings where everything is just flat and numb. I remember falling down deeper and deeper into that black hole, losing my breath, my mind, my soul, losing a will to live. I remember thinking that I was already dead inside, indifferent, full of dust. There was no faith, no belief that any treatment could help me.
I also remember that somehow in this state of desperation, when I was pushing everything and everyone away something unexpected happened, something that I did not believe was possible - a little glimmer of hope. A hope that I could hold onto and start climbing. My family, my friends, people around me, my environment. All reaching out for me, not giving up, trying their best to help me to get out.
Suddenly I realised that I was in a lonely place, but I was not alone. It gave me strength to put on my shiny armour and fight. Since then I have been having my battles with anorexia every day. I win some and I lose others. I fall down and I get up. I keep pushing, because I know that I have the whole army with me. I have people that I can trust, that do not judge me, that walk with me and make me stronger. I cry, I laugh and I believe that recovery is possible. I learn how to feel, I learn how to fully live my life.
It took me a while to notice the support around me, and have trust in it. It was not easy as anorexia is a smart and tricky creature which is constantly looking for its own ways to win. It is making the lives of those who care about me challenging, tiring and difficult.
If you, like me, are living with an eating disorder please believe me that it’s worth taking the difficult journey through recovery, and finding a true connection with yourself and with the world. Even if you do not see it, do not believe it, do not think you deserve it, there is a better place to be. A place where you are worthy, lovable and good enough, regardless of who you are or what you do. It is worth shouting for help.
If you are supporting someone with an eating disorder please do not judge or try to find logic in their harmful world. Being fully present for that person and listening to their words can make a huge difference. The right little gesture can mean so much. Please remember to take care of yourself as it is easy to feel helpless and desperate in this exhausting battle with an eating disorder.
During my recovery, I started writing little stories for myself. It helped me order my thoughts and reflect on my journey. After a while, I decided to publish them to a blog which I call “Kalina’s Wings”, in the hope that others with similar difficulties can find comfort or relief. If you wish to read I invite you to visit https://kalinaswings.wixsite.com/website
If you or someone you know needs support, I encourage you to contact your GP and visit the websites below: