After almost 10 years of struggles and fights, I have barely recovered from Anorexia Nervosa.
Even though I eat a reasonable amount of healthy food, I am still on vitamin pills. If I don’t take my pills, I become very weak, and I cannot work efficiently. It seems that I haven’t come yet to fill up the gaps of around 5 years of repulsion toward foods.
When I became conscious of my mental and physical state back in 2014, I thought that I would be automatically recovered.
Nevertheless, amid the physical effects, such as anemia and low appetite, the drawbacks were immense:
- first, whenever someone talked about my size, I became very upset;
- second, I couldn’t speak about food, nor about any other circumstance associated with food;
- third, I would avoid at all costs any parties or activities where foods were being served.
I don’t know if words could describe the feeling I had back then: I wanted to be healthy, have friendships, and carry on with my life; but at the same time, I couldn’t erase my dark past. Eating voluntarily was only one step forward, but I had to make thousands. And there are still many steps left.
What prevented me to recover from anorexia nervosa?
Going back to my first step in 2014, I remember the confusion and turbulence that started to emerge in my mind when, unexpectedly, I became conscious of the harm that I was doing to myself for many years.
It was a moment of joy and happiness for my family, but they probably didn’t know if the bad experiences I had with food would affect my whole life.
No one realized that being aware of my eating disorders also meant reviewing all the images of me vomiting the food that people thought I ate, throwing them in the garbage while many other people were truly starving.
It was also feeling once again the sensation of weakness and deficiency, and remember how many people were sad, stressed out, and rejected because of me.
Yes, I rejected and ignored many people.
The first ones were my mom and dad when they used to tell me: “Take even a bite so as I can be happy”, and I chose to make them sad instead.
I ignored them, and other people also rejected them for being bad parents. No place was perfect for them, at home they had to handle a stubborn adolescent, and outside, they had to resist harsh criticism people were throwing at their face and the numerous suspicious glances we were receiving.
Believe me, my parents did the best they could! Even tears shed for my sake… But who would understand that the problem was me?
I was uncontrollable! Nobody on earth could make me change my mind. Nevertheless, in people’s eyes, I was just a fragile and weak adolescent.
Therefore, every moment I remember this part of my life, I become ashamed of myself and feel an extreme sensation of remorse.
The many challenges I experienced along the road of recovery
From my sixteen up to my 20, I tried to escape from these sensations by overworking. Being efficient meant a lot for me, it meant that I would not do anything to make my parents as ashamed of me as they were when I was 12, 13, 14, and even 15. It also meant that I was alive, and I actually made it despite the avid suicidal thought that prevented me from seeing brighter sides of life. Nevertheless, many visible and invisible wounds remain in my body, and they were obviously totally uncovered back then.
I wanted to go out with some friends, but I didn’t want them to discover that I still couldn’t eat many foods and that I was sad when people talked about their experiences with food. I was mad at many friends, but they didn’t know why.
I remember how upset I was when a friend asked me what my best food was when I was 13.
I knew for sure that nobody would understand me if I said, “it was coffee.” Maybe they would bully me, as it did happen when I was 5 and my elder brother told me that my jaw would explode because I ate too many chewing gums.
“Who wouldn’t judge me?” I doubted. It was very odd to even imagine a teenager craving coffee.
I was also sad once when a friend asked me what I ate for my 14th birthday.
My brothers did surprise me with a cake. I ate a bite to make them happy, but I vomited after.
How could I explain such a cruel thing to a friend?
How to recover from anorexia nervosa it’s a long winding path
That was the question that came up in my mind each moment I felt the need to have intimate friends. That was also the feeling I had even during a random conversation when they asked me, “How was my childhood?”, “Do I love my family?”, “Why do your parents want to be everywhere with you?”
If you were my parents; would you leave me alone once.
My parents always wondered how and when I decided to starve, and why a lucky child like me would be so extreme about doing harm to herself.
Obviously, they had become overprotective. While I was getting older, my parents were becoming even stricter with me. It was all the contrary for my brothers and other people that I have met.
Now I am thinking about it, I realize that this was a natural response to what happened years before. I even stood for them when people tried to tease them because some part of me knew that I made them become overprotective.
I did respect my parents, though their reaction had influenced my social life, and made me even more anxious. If they supported me for five years without complaining, I needed to be patient with them and work hard to earn their trust.
I think I did earn their trust around my 19, but I am not sure if it was complete trust. But as far as I could remember, I saw joy and happiness in their eyes.
Right now, I am trying to do my best so that I don’t come back to my old self, not only because I want to make my parents, family, and friends proud of me, but also because I want to be proud of myself.
And yet I want to have the courage and strength to just be myself, no matter what people say about me. If I had been proud enough back in my early teenage years, I wouldn’t have experienced these confusing moments; and, perhaps, I would have been a better child, a better sister, and a better friend.
Note – Featured image from Citizen vector created by storyset – www.freepik.com