”Awareness is the first step in healing.” – Dean Ornish
This journey has honestly been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to face and still today, it gets to me, it’s something I have to face every single day. I have to say it’s become a lot stronger than it has for a while recently and it’s something that I am struggling to deal with, it’s slowly tearing me apart and I am scared it’ll grab hold of me again and trap me in. It’s not something that can just be fixed over night, in fact it’s something that will stick with most people who have suffered with a eating disorder for on average over 6 years. It’s something we have to fight and face everyday for a long period of time and some days, we can’t just be that strong, it’s hard to keep motivated. I do feel like I’ve lost a great number of my life to anorexia/bulimia, I’ve lost myself.
Please find below a real life story from Algeria. This was directly submitted to us by a sufferer herself. She’s now in a process of embarking on a journey of recovery and healing. prayers are needed for this wonderful soul, who has suffered from Eating Disorder all her life. Recovery is her birth right and we know she will make a full recovery one day.
I HAD SEVERE ANOREXIA AND SOCIAL PHOBIA. I STRUGGLED FOR THE MAJORITY OF MY LIFE WITH MENTAL ILLNESS .… last year, I properly opened up about my eating disorder on here, shared my story about my eating disorder with people who never would’ve thought I’d suffered from one. During the past year, I’ve become a lot more open about my mental health, and tried to show my thoughts and feelings to help other people. This journey has honestly been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to face and still today, it gets to me, it’s something I have to face every single day. I have to say it’s become a lot stronger than it has for a while recently and it’s something that I am struggling to deal with, it’s slowly tearing me apart and I am scared it’ll grab hold of me again and trap me in. It’s not something that can just be fixed over night, in fact it’s something that will stick with most people who have suffered with a eating disorder for on average over 6 years. It’s something we have to fight and face everyday for a long period of time and some days, we can’t just be that strong, it’s hard to keep motivated. I do feel like I’ve lost a great number of my life to anorexia/bulimia, I’ve lost myself. There is no way I’m the same person I was before my eating disorder nor do I ever think I will be, I’ll never be that happy, brave, not a care in the world Sabrina, I once was. I’ve come to accept that. I’m someone now who is sensitive, insecure, scared, emotional and overall just completely different to the Sabrina I used to be, but that’s okay. It’s difficult but there’s nothing wrong with the fact I’m like that. I’ve had so many thoughts and suffered for so many years putting myself down for the Sabrina I am now and for not being the Sabrina I used to be, but what’s the point? What’s the point in putting yourself down for something that in a way you can’t fully control? It’s not really my fault that I’ve changed due to the fact I’ve been/am still ill. I can improve on myself and make myself a better person, like anyone can but I can’t change the fact that something I’ve suffered from has changed me, but what I can believe is that I can fight to overcome this illness and become a different me, someone who probably will be scared, insecure and emotional but someone who can also appreciate happiness and become a Sabrina who is able to do her daily life without worrying about food. I can be a happy Sabrina again, different than what I used to be but still happy. Still do this day, a lot of people don’t understand eating disorders and they don’t get the recognition they should. A lot of people think that you only have an eating disorder if you’re really skinny, you only have an eating disorder if you look physically ill, but that’s not the case.. I’m not skinny in the slightest anymore, but that doesn’t mean I still don’t suffer with an eating disorder? It still doesn’t mean that I’m still at the same health risk as someone who’s looks physically ill from one. We’re all struggling, we’re just struggling with it differently and I think that’s something we need to understand. Not everyone with an eating disorder looks physically ill, doesn’t mean we aren’t still struggling. I’m so lucky to have the people in my life that I do, my friends, my family . They’ve helped me to push through, even when I feel like giving up. It’s because of them after almighty Allah I still have the willpower to carry on and to do my best to fight and overcome this. I just want the people who have suffered, who are suffering or who know someone who is suffering with an eating disorder that it will be okay. I know it’s cliché but it will get better. I have days where I don’t feel like it will and that all this fighting is worthless because I still seem to let it get to me but it isn’t, the fighting is so worth it, I know that even though I have bad days/bad weeks that in the end, there is people who care for me and there are things out there to see. Don’t ever think you’re not worth fighting for because everyone worth fighting for, there’s no one on this world who isn’t. I know seeking help is scary and seems like a weakness but it isn’t, seeking help is one of the bravest things to do, it’s a step in the right direction, a step to recovery. A step to admitting you have a problem and you want to solve it. Recovery is a long and hard road, maybe one of the difficult paths you’ve ever have to walk along but I promise you, it’s worth it. You’re worth the fight, don’t be scared to take that step and get help because you deserve to overcome this, you deserve your freedom back.Recoverying from an eating disorder is like having a full time job.Every waking minute is spent challenging your thoughts, questioning yourself, trying to calm your brain before it goes into full pelt meltdown mode.It’s rough because, like any high- flying job, at the end of the day you feel absolutely shattered. You have no energy to do hobbies, find it hard to engage with those around you, and spend the majority of the day, asking yourself…‘WHY I’m so tired And so sleepy!And I dunno about you, but fixing anything can be a right pain , especially when the solution isn’t directly in front of you.Ok…So I’m making it sound FAR simpler than it actually is.Recovery is painful.But you know what else is painful… Spending years of your life, only living it in half colour. Being controlled on a minutely basis. Thinking about food constantly. Feeling isolated. Your personality being sucked away by this THING. The eating disorder taking up an overbearing role within your families lives. That continuous ‘on edge’ feeling. Forever putting plans on hold because your simply ‘not well’.THAT’S PAINFUL.Recovery is torture sometimes.But staying snuggled up in anorexia’s sweaty grip isn’t exactly peachy either.