"I've been following your blog for a while now, and there are really no words to describe what it has done to me, or what it means to me.
I’m not particularly articulate, and I don't have a way with words to inspire and change lives, but I'm hoping to just share the hell the past 10 years has been for me.
I'm only 18 years old and I've been suffering from many different eating disorders on and off since I was 8 years old. I began to binge eat when my parents split up, I would eat and eat until I couldn't feel the pain anymore. I was always a heavy set child, and this didn't help me any. I didn't have a single friend until I turned 10 years old because all I wanted to do was be alone and eat. I was eight years old and living inside my own head, and inside my own body. There was no terror worse for me than to look for food to eat in secret and not being able to find any. A frantic search would begin until my void was filled. Instead of dealing with the divorce I covered it up with food.
This continued until I was about 14 years and old my mother began to criticize everything I did, wore and ate. Some attribute disordered eating to a family history or parental influence, for me that influence was my mother. My mother was severely anorexic and exercised non stop all her life. Her proud illustration of herself when she was 18 years old was that she was so thin my father. All of the pressure my mother created about weight and image drove me to start dieting (at 14 years old, no less), at first it was harmless and I cut out fat and sugar but then I began to cut down absolutely anything non-essential (in my opinion) until I was eating no more than 300 calories a day. I lost 20 pounds in a month, and 60 pounds in the following four months. I adored how my friends and family swooned over my sudden change, saying how fantastic I looked. I counted my bones in delight several times a day, pleased with my "diet" and how well it worked.
However like most anorexics, this was not enough. I continued to lose weight until my parents confronted me about my eating. I was 5"9 an 105 lbs BMI 15.5 when things turned for the worse. I was told I had to go to my doctor and "smarten up". I went to the doctor once a week to weigh in and do a check up, a dietitian to help me with meal plans (funny thing was, when I was binge eating I had gone to the same dietitian to LOSE weight) and my psychiatrist once every week. I lied through my teeth to every one of them, and somehow to this day I still haven't talked to the psychiatrist about my eating disorder. Everything was going well for me while I accepted this treatment, and as much as I wish my story could have a "phew close call, I almost ruined my life" moment and be wrapped up in a tidy little bow, it can't.
About three months after being put into out-patient treatment (they would have sent me to in-treatment if there was a treatment centre closer than 2000 km away) I decided I didn't like treatment anymore, and began to purge all of my specially coordinated meals three times a day or throwing them in the trash bin at school. My best friend caught on after a few months, and confronted me about what I was doing. He begged me to stop, and after much conversation I agreed to stop. That lasted for a few months until I couldn't take it anymore, so I started my binge and purge cycle that lasted until only a few months ago. I gained much weight, and have since fallen into a pattern of starvation, for a week at a time, followed by one small meal. I am sickened by my appearance and have covered all mirrors in my house. I do not know if I will ever be well, but I know I can not let myself die, not this soon and certainly not like this.
I am 18 years old and suffer from osteoporosis from what I have done to myself for a large portion of my life. There are days where my knees hurt so much I can not walk, I can not move. I can not lift anything heavier than 10-15 lbs. I once had gorgeous hair and beautiful skin, and what remains is dry, brittle hair and sunken grey skin. This is the hell I live in every single day. It was not by any means worth it, I am not thin, beautiful, rich and popular. I am fat, swollen, grey and lonely.
All is not lost for me though, I plan to attend university and get a psychology degree, so I can help girls who were misunderstood and lonely just like me. I want to notice the signs and behaviors before it’s too late for other girls. I want to change lives in ways I wish mine could have been changed.
There will always be those who suffer, but I want to change at least one of those people. Websites like yours can make a change, it can open the eyes of those who suffer or of those in denial of suffering, and show them it is not glamorous but painful and deadly. Please never stop the movement for change, it is life saving.
You're right...all is not lost for you. Never give up, hon.
Best wishes to you for recovery of your health and much happiness in 2010.