Interview with BunsRecovery- Former ED Sufferer



In 2021 I noticed my obsession with body image was so bad and I felt as if I was controlled by something, I wasn’t going out at all. only over-exercising all day and my family members told me if I was fine but I couldn’t know it myself I lost feelings and emotions all what I thought about was
food,, its when I knew I had an eating disorder.



Trigger Warning: The Content in this interview could be triggering for people suffering from Eating Disorders.


Dear Readers,


Please find below our interview with former ED Sufferer from Saudi Arabia. Thank You so much for doing this interview. We share this interview to create awareness of Eating Disorders in Muslim World.


Bunsinrecovery: Interview with a person in Recovery




That moment you realised you had an Eating Disorder or Abnormal Eating Habits: The story of successful recovery from an ex-sufferer


Q:  Maha Khan (MK) Thinking back to the first time you went on diet or decided to restrict. What were you thinking when you decided to try dieting? What did you tell yourself about how long this diet will last for?

A: BunsinRecovery (BIR) back 3 years ago I told myself that its better and for the best to start restricting., I was fooled with my thoughts that in order to be a “better person” dieting was the best, I thought if I was “smaller” I would love myself, I will stop being insecure and life will be kind to me, I will become the best of me, I told myself it will be for just a short time and I didn’t realize it lasted long.


What Is Disordered Eating?


MK: If you find yourself asking this question: How do you know you have an eating disorder?

BIR: eating disorders are an unusual eating patterns or behaviours associated with emotions and thoughts, the person can face binges or restrictions during it, the reason for it is not the same for others because it can be different it can be trauma, coping mechanisms or failed diets and
more It’s a mental illness that makes the person feel controlled and is also able to let a human being lose their selves and develop a self that isn’t them but the illness.




MK: When did you realise that you had a problem? What happened to make you think, this is actually a problem?

BIR: In 2021 I noticed my obsession with body image was so bad and I felt as if I was controlled by something, I wasn’t going out at all. only over-exercising all day and my family members told me if I was fine but I couldn’t know it myself I lost feelings and emotions all what I thought about was
food,, its when I knew I had an eating disorder.


MK: After you realised you had a problem, did you stop immediately? If not, why not?

BIR : i didn’t stop, i was so scared and my thoughts blurred me, I thought  I wasn’t sick enough Because I restricted for a “short time” while I was already sick enough because I thought like that.


MK: When did you start abusing your diet? When did your family picked up on your disordered eating habits?

BIR: It happened in july 2020, when I locked myself in my room and I wouldn’t even come out even if I wanted the bathroom till a certain hour comes, at that time I developed an ocd along my ed,. My mom was worried but I didn’t think there was an issue I thought it was normal.



Is Eating Disorder Illness A Social Problem?


MK: What happened to your relationships with your family? What happened to the relationships with your friends? Did you abuse the relationships in any way and what were the consequences?

BIR : yes it can be a social problem, when I had my ed I was isolated from others and I didn’t want to face them I was scared of them commenting on
my body or to talk I had no energy to listen nor talking , my relationship with my family wasn’t good and was completely destroyed they didn’t recognise me at all and I too, I stop talking to my friends that they thought I ended my friendship with them but I didn’t, i didn’t want to talk it felt like a chorus for me, I abused my relationships by rejecting so many into coming close because I thought there is no way out and the consequences of that I lost the ability to communicate or to understand feelings and I l became so far from friends that used to be close.


Is Eating Disorder a disease?


This is a difficult question. According many medical associations around the world, it is considered a disease. It’s not a disease in the traditional sense. We often think that a person has a disease because they inherited it, caught it somehow, or were exposed to a dangerous chemical. The historical perception is that you didn’t choose to have this disease and it’s unfortunate that you now have it due to some unforeseen circumstances. The main difference from the traditional point of view is that a person has chosen to go on a diet which has caused a chain of events that negatively impact the body. It’s a choice, perhaps without realising that it isn’t a wise choice, but it’s a choice nonetheless. I think we can all say we have made bad choices in our lives. A disease can be considered an incorrectly functioning part of the body resulting from the effect of genetic or developmental errors, infection, poisons, nutritional deficiency or imbalance, toxicity, or unfavorable environmental factors. According to this definition, restriction and imbalance in diet have caused the body to function incorrectly. Whichever way you view it, deliberate or accidental, it is very difficult to change addiction as the brain starts to strengthen the pathways to bad habits with the aid of chemicals.

BIR : it’s a mental disease if I wanted to describe it right, the person gets affected by thoughts all around, they can hear, see and touch these “thoughts” and once they do it spread fast in their brain and rot it. Can you beat Eating Disorder by yourself?


MK: Did you try and beat Eating Disorder by yourself or with your friends/family? Did it work?

BIR : my family got me a sheikh to understand what is my problem they thought it was an envy or the shaitan cursed me but at the end, the sekih
told them to get me a therapist because it’s obviously a mental illness nothing else.


MK: Can you keep your old friends?

BIR : I can if they accepted me as a human being, if they accepted I changed and I became free of my illness since they only recognize my sick
behaviors which is the least interesting thing about me.


MK: When did you receive professional help?

BIR : 3 days after my illness drugged me very down, my mother was searching for a specialist and luckily we found and she drove me
immediately to them.

MK: Was it easy to receive help in Saudi Arabia?

BIR : No it wasn’t at all, my country is so beautiful and so lovely but when it comes to mental illness it viewed as bad and weak iman, worst of all
mental illnesses like eating disorders aren’t well known and are mistreated or even misdiagnosed.

MK: How was your experience with medical staff in Saudi Arabia?

BIR: It wasn’t that good, they helped me and understood that I have an ed but ended up mistreating it leading to a relapse. I struggled a lot.

MK: Do you feel they understood your illness?

BIR: They understood I have an “ed” as a diagnose but didn’t understand it at all.

MK: When did you feel you received the right help?

BIR: Last year in December, I was connected to a American therapist who understood my illness and told me my diagnose well, its hard to recover
with an online therapist it costs a lot but its for the best since I have no option.

MK: Could you please tell us about your journey to recovery?

BIR : yes, my journey to recover wasn’t the happiest, but it made me understand myself and feel hurt, but hurt is what made me realize I have
emotions and by that, I was introduced to many emotions that I lost, many food that I lost the joy and the flavors of , many happy faces and new
people who supported me I was glad that I knew all of this, life was unkind to me in the past and by recovering I feel if allah gave me another chance
at my life and my life started to open slowly, it might be so hard to recover at my current state but I will and I hope to reach my full recovery.

MK: What was a key factor in getting over your Eating Disorder?

BIR : Going out and drawing, I lost motivation to everything but after being kind to myself, I got my energy back and I felt like drawing and going out a bit they helped me so much to release my emotions, also the recovery community helped me so so much in my darkest times and I am so thankful
for that.

MK: What one piece of advice would you offer to people reading this interview?

BIR : Nothing is impossible Recovery is not impossible at all, it’s a hard path but it’s the only way out  it’s the only path that can save you in the future and you will be so thankful I want them to know what matter what they suffer from and no matter how life is so unkind to them, the path that they follow is not lonely you aren’t alone, you chose to be kind to yourself, you chose to live and make amazing memories in this life, and by that you will slowly realize life I so joyful you are worthy to live in this short life, life is imperfectly perfect and by being able to feel hurt we realize we are humans we realize the pain and the hurt is what makes us living by finding a way out I promise you you are worthy and its not late at all to be kind to yourself <3


MK: How long have you been in recovery?

BIR : 1 year


MK: What is your life like now? E.g. Relationship with family? Friends?

BIR : My life is very simple and quiet, nothing happens a lot but I am grateful for living it, I made amazing relationships and I discovered a lot of
emotions, my relationships are getting better with family and friends and I am glad for being able to sit with them again smiling truly without masking.


MK: What are the big changes in how you think about life?

BIR : I started to accept and to know nothing is perfect I started slowly ditching the “perfectionism” that I was obsessed with the entire time and I think neutrally around I am able to say so much difference than before.



About Author

Islam and Eating Disorders founded in 2012 – run by Maha Khan, the blog creates awareness of Eating Disorders in the Muslim world, offers information and support for sufferers and their loved ones.

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