I have had an eating disorder since I was 16 years old. Though I had severely disordered eating for at least a year before that. As a 16 year old I was fairly old (in teenagers) to be diagnosed with anorexia. I hated it immediately and I still can’t say the word out loud.
I was referred to the adult eating disorder services (EDS) in my local hospital and spent 8 months as an outpatient before reaching a mildly near ‘healthy’ BMI and was rapidly discharged with my full urging. I didn’t feel recovered, all I wanted to do was exercise and lose all the weight I had been forced to gain. That didn’t happen.
Instead, my eating disorder coalesced into a form which I didn’t know how to deal with. I started bingeing if I ate at all. I would try so hard to eat a normal or less than normal amount for breakfast, which would lead to multiple slices of toast, biscuits and buckets and buckets of tea. I remember one occasion having breakfast with my mum before driving to college. On the way I stopped at the Co-op and got malt loaf, hot cross buns and a small loaf of bread. I sat in the college car park and ate three quarters of the food in less than an hour. I felt physically sickened with what I was doing to myself though as much as I tried to stop it I couldn’t go back to purely restricting. I hated it. I still do. Because that is what I am now dealing with now I’m back at home.
When I’m at uni I can restrict quite easily. If I know there is no food in the house that is not allowed, I’m fine, I eat my allocated foods and can go about my daily business in peace and my ED is okay, because it knows how to restrict and it’s pretty good at it. But now I’m home I know there is so much food in the house. There are all these foods that I haven’t eaten for the last 10 weeks. There are foods that I haven’t eaten since Christmas and which my family are expecting me to be able to eat. And I’m hiding it all, of course, I don’t want to be put on ED watch like I was as a teenager, so I’m having to eat these foods at family meals. And then I’ll binge on them when I’m alone. I am so torn up. I can’t handle this. I can handle restriction. I know what to expect, I know *how* to do it and I know what the consequences are. But restricting and bingeing is still a new kettle of fish to me and I can’t do it. I don’t feel comfortable telling anyone about this in person (aka my doctor) because it’s embarrassing. I went from straight and easy anorexia nervosa, underweight and slowly dying to a confused mixture of restriction and bingeing and its disgusting. I am disgusted with myself.