Sunday, January 30, 2011
ANNALEIGH'S STORY: "ANOREXIA TOOK MY LIFE FROM ME, ALL THE THINGS I COULD HAVE BEEN, COULD HAVE DONE."
Annaleigh, before the illness
Hi, I've been meaning to do this for a while, and I’ve wanted to share my story and I hope one day that all the bad things I’ve been through can help other people.
My name is Annaleigh. I'm from Dorset, UK.
I wish I’d had hindsight before embarking down this terrible road...Anorexia took my life from me, all the things I could have been, could have done. They died because my life became Food, Calories, Weights and Numbers and nothing else.
This is me now, and the picture I am holding is the girl I was before Anorexia took me.
I’m 20 now. I was 16 in that photo. 4 years of anorexia has torn me to pieces. I’ve lost so much. In that picture I seem a happy, healthy, school girl. I even think I look pretty.
Now I’ve become a shell of my former self and I hate what I’ve become. Even though the smile in the picture was fake, I can see the health and the glowing skin in that girl.
I’m currently still in treatment for my eating disorder. I attend a day patient unit now, 9-7 pm. 3 weeks ago I left inpatient treatment at the same hospital and I thoroughly believe it saved my life and has given me the opportunity of recovery. I am so thankful to them.
Pictures of myself over the years:
I developed anorexia at 16, but I was already ill, but no one could see. At 15, I was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and I’m certain this was the trigger that set off my eating disorder.
I was sexually abused from the ages of 13-15 and I suffered mentally on my own. I was self-harming, overdosing, and feeding my pain with food. It was during the abuse the binging and purging started, although I was never diagnosed at this point.
After going to the police, and the abuse ending I decided to stop eating, I decided food was the cause. I thought things would be better if I lost weight. I didn’t know what anorexia was but I thought losing weight was a solution and it would take away my pain.
I started off 5'6 and 14 stone (196 pounds) in April of 07 and by the November that year I had dropped to a mere 5 stone (70 pounds), losing over half my body weight. Nobody was taking action and by that point the first option was a general hospital where I was tube-fed for the first time. I don’t remember much of that stay. I just didn’t understand.
Since then I have been hospitalised on numerous occasions. I’ve had 3 mental health sections from my eating disorder. I’ve been to the depths. I’ve been drugged, held down, force fed and lapsed over and over again.
It’s only on this admission I have seen the light and am actively trying to recover. Sometimes I think u have to go to the depths of hell before u realise that there’s gotta be something better. It may feel absolutely shit to go against the Anorexia but in the end I know now the alternative of going backwards is far worse and now I hope for something more. I've glimpsed there is so much more to life, so much more. I’ve started to see friends enjoy life. My demons from the PTSD still follow me but I know now my eating disorder is not a solution.
Being thin doesn’t make you happy...it numbs the pain for a while. I ran away for a long while into the illness but now it has made life worse and the past harder to deal with.
And I wish I’d had this hindsight before I got ill, because now it is so hard to fight when it’s been my entire life and all I have known for the past 4 years. It took me a long time to get into this mess and its gunna take a long time to get out, but I have hope now to do it. I have so many dreams and aspirations in life....
The rise of Pro-Ana and the rise in eating disorders upsets me. I don’t think people realise how UGLY this disease is, it’s not glamorous.... and at 20 I never I thought I’d be left with arthritis, osteoporosis, no periods, having severe stomach problems.... I feel like a granny even though my nutrition is better!! This life is not beautiful. it's an ugly ugly thing.
A recent photo of me
This is a little poem I look at to remind myself to have hope that it can get better.
Sometimes we walk along a path,
Beneath a cloudy sky
There's nothing to the left or right,
To lift our spirits high,
And then we turn a corner,
And there bursts into view,
A scene of light and beauty,
A world so fresh and new.
So hold this little thought and hope,
Wait for the skies to clear,
For Beyond the dark and stormy clouds,
A sunny day is near....
Thank you for listening.
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