Awareness Programs

My name is Raelyn and I'm a Residence Assistant at my university and running an Eating Disorder Awareness Program. This program is taking an inside out approach to Eating Disorders, so rather than giving people statistics and lists of signs and symptoms we are trying to really open the conversation and let people in on what it is really like to have an eating disorder. We have been collecting stories from people who have been through eating disorders (myself included) and putting them into a presentation.

I would love it if some people could post from there experience what it is like to have an eating disorder (avoiding any triggering language), and signing off with where you are from (i.e. Ontario) So i can put it into our presentation:)

Thanks :)

brookespre's picture

All of my problems started in middle school. I really had no problem with my body until I was told that I should. I was called ugly and fat, despite being very active in sports and not being medically overweight at all. I was convinced that my appearance was just an unfortunate part of my life that I could never change. I was depressed and felt like a monster. When my freshman year of high school came around, I decided to join the cross country team intead of playing soccer where I would be bullied by team members. When I started, I had the normal chubbiness of a girl going through puberty, but as the season went on my muscles grew and most of the excess fat went away. I hadn't really noticed or cared, until everyone in my family told me how wonderful I looked now. Even kids at school complimented me on my weight loss. I felt really good about all the attention this got me, and people weren't calling me ugly so much! I started watching what I ate, but Sophomore year is when all my problem started. I started researching healthy eating like it was my obsession, which it was. I exercised regularly, but never felt like it was enough. This progressed to the point where I was eating very little and exercising a whole lot. My performance in sports declined and people really started getting concerned. As far as symptoms
- I was very withdrawn
- I wore a ton of layers because I was so so cold
- I was very pale and had sunken eyes
- I would say I had a big breakfast or I was feeling sick to get out of eating a meal
- I was very irritable

Recovery was hell, as it is for everyone. Typical binge eating phase after anorexia. I have made a suprisingly good recovery, and really have no desire to ever go back to that life. I am now a competitve runner, and I do it the healthy way, of course. I guess the most important key to recovery is you have to want it. No amount of someone telling you all the medical reasons why you shouldn't do this to yourself will help you if you don't want things to change. Eating disorders suck, and they really don't get the awareness they should. They really have the ability to ruin your life when you could be doing things more worth your time. I just wanted people to like me and stop being mean and stop hating myself, that's why I did what I did. It took years to realize it doesn't matter. It's sad that a lot of people struggle with this for a lot longer than I did (age 15-19), and a lot who never really recover. I hope this helps what you are doing at your university. No one should ever have to go through the hell of having an eating disorder.

brookespre, Pennsylvania

kaylaballerina13's picture

It's the most treacherous thing I've ever experienced. Having that nagging voice in your head telling you that you're not worth it, lying to you constantly, is so painful and distressing. Recovery is a lot of work, but it is SO WORTH IT. I didn't think I had a problem and I didn't want to change when my parents first sent me to therapy. But when the reality of "You're going to college or a treatment center" was given to me, I realized I had to change. I'm not perfectly better yet, but I'm getting better. I know I'm still in a place where my therapist thinks residential or IP would be greatly beneficial, but I'm making it with outpatient right now. If you're struggling with an ED, seek help and work for recovery. It's the best decision you'll make.

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