Sunday, 2 March 2014

EDAW 2014.

This week was Eating Disorder Awareness week, and given that I couldn't really take part in any events for it, I posted every day on Facebook, just little bits- although not that little; couldn't bloody do it on Twitter. 140 characters, boo- and I thought, yanno, for prosperity, I'd get copying and pasting... Alright, alright, I'm I'm being dramatic, it's really more for the people I don't have on Facebook. Here goes-

It's Eating Disorder Awareness week, and every day I'm going to post on here something a bit different. I'm sure a lot of you know my story- in and out of therapy; specialist units; in and out (but more in) acute psychiatric hospitals; feeding tubes in and out of my nose and currently been in hospital a year and a half. What I want to say though is that not every ED sufferer gets the help that I have been lucky to get. So many people suffer and are consumed by the disorder, but have stayed under the radar, especially people who aren't skeleton thin. EDs CAN AFFECT ANYBODY; OVER-WEIGHT, UNDER-WEIGHT, HEALTHY. And maybe it's those people we need to be more aware of. Please don't ever feel alone- I'm here, and I'll do anything I can to stop someone going to the way I did.

Today, to mark Eating Disorder Awareness Week, I want to talk about how although the brain of the sufferer is eaten alive by your ED, the brains of those who love you are also eaten alive. This isn't a diet or a quick fix to a bikini body, it's a disease that affects everyone around the sufferer. This isn't something I'm proud of, but I once went ape at my mum for trying to give me something 1 calorie over what the Anorexia told me to. It's not just Anorexia, either. It's having your mum crying because she can hear that hours after starting you are STILL throwing up and there is nothing she could do, except wait for a heart attack to stop you. I raise my glass and tip my head to all the families and friends out there, who aren't be being supported and feel like they're watching their child die. And I'm so, so sorry to everyone I put through it.

As I have done for the last few nights, I'm posting because it's National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and tonight I want to talk about openness. I'm lucky enough to come from a very open family, but I have this fear of someone emulating me, thinking it's a quick fix diet, rather than a slow suicide. I asked my cousin, an extremely bright, astute, beautiful and just generally brilliant 12 year old some questions, and some of her answers gave me hope, some scared me. What the hell are we, societally, teaching girls? But here's the interview-

Rebecca- How old were you when you noticed I was 'different'? Did you just think I was odd, or did you realise there was more to it?
Emily-i was about 10 well i thought i knew you were different but i started to worry when you were wearing age 9-10 clothes then i realised

R-Were you told I had an eating disorder, or did you work it out? If you were told, how old were you? If you worked it out, how?
E- kinda both. i sorta figured it out before but them mum sorta cleared it up and told me the whole story

R- When you first visited me in hospital (when I had an NG, or when you saw me in Great Oaks [psych unit in Scunthorpe], up to you which one), were you scared? Why?
E-i was scared because i thought you was going to die or something because i knew that it could kill you

R- When I was 12, I spent a lot of time obsessing about my weight and looks. Based on you and your friends, do you think that's normal?
E- well everyone nowadays wants to be skinny to impress boys.
im like that too ive always hated my stomach and my hips and always longed to be skinny

R- In a choice between something delicious but 'bad' for you, or something boring but 'good' for you, which would you choose? Why?
E- delicious but bad for you because its everything in moderation

R- Do you think my Anorexia has had an impact on you? Do you think it's had one on the family?
E- yes i think your Anorexia did have an impact on me and the family because everyones always worryign about you

For today's Eating Disorder Awareness week post, I want to highlight the fatality of EDs. They have the highest fatality rate of any mental illness. I've known in person 4 people over the last year and a bit die from complications related to the disease, and sometimes I get scared that I'll be next. Sometimes, I log onto here and almost expect to find that its one of my friends. Far more people recover than die, and that's what I need to remember; death isn't a natural or inevitable part of the disorder, but it's always a fight. And that's a fight I, and you, need to win.

Today is the last day of Eating Disorder Awareness week, and so today I'm going to talk hope and help. Asking for help is the hardest part of getting better (that and the food they give you on units. Tinned potatoes bleurgh!), that first step may as well be a marathon, but it's possible. The way I did it, was to go to my GP, after years of refusing help, with my auntie, begging for help. I'd def recommend taking someone you trust. It's been a long 5 years since then, but although I'm not recovered, I've learnt a lot and got to a place where I can just about see hope. Thanks to an amazing family, friends who stood by me and good care, I'm here and I'm alive. And life is both the reward and the proof that it can be done. FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT.

1 comment:

  1. Always fight the good fight.. never give up... I don't know matter how defeated I feel at times... :-/