Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dear Girl

All I ever wished for when I was physically and mentally at my lowest, was to hear from or meet a girl who would tell me and show me that I could get better, that I wasn't the only one affected by this, that there is an after life, a life without "The Bitch" - Anorexia.

Dear Girl,
I once was you. Worried and obsessed about my weight and appearance, worried about not being good enough for my parents, worried about not living up to their expectations.

I don't know how it was exactly for you, but with me it started slowly and subtly; Anorexia and "the voice" slowly and slyly started to take hold of me, luring me into a false reality, one that was so destructive not only to myself, but also to my family and the people around me.
But Dear Girl, I stand here now to tell you that you can fight "The Bitch" and eventually beat her. I want you to know that you're not alone, and that not only myself, but many other girls/women have have over come it. Here is my story...

If I were asked to describe Anorexia in three words I would use:
  1. Manipulative
  2. Selfish
  3. Destructive
Once you let Anorexia into your life, this is what you also become. The thing with Anorexia is that it doesn't become you, but you become it.

Do you make up excuses saying you ate at a friends place or will eat later just to get yourself out of eating a meal to avoid consuming extra calories?
I did, constantly... It made me a compulsive liar.
Are you afraid to look in the mirror and see your reflection because you are convinced you'll see a fat reflection of yourself?
Well, its not reality. Your mind is playing tricks on you.
Are you obsessed with seeing other people eat and cooking for them, because it brings you comfort and reassurance to see other people eat while your aren't?
Watching people eat made me feel full, strong and in control. It made me feel proud of myself.
Do you keep thinking you can stop this when you've reached a certain weight or point, but find yourself never finding that point?
I never found that point, until I decided to seek help and get healthy.
Do you feel incredibly lonely and empty and lost?
I did for years, and sometimes still do. But you have no reason to be lonely. You can fill your emptiness with love, laughter and life. You can find yourself, sometimes it just takes patience, alot of patience.

I still wonder what the trigger for my Anorexia actually was, and there are a few things I could list that I believe could be a factor in contributing to me suffering from Anorexia; like my parents breaking up... being bullied at school... low self-esteem... being a perfectionist... social pressure..., but then theres that theory that maybe it is simply something that 'just' happens to you, for no tangible reason.

I became obsessed with my weight and the shape of my stomach. I loathed my body because it didn't reflect that of the "perfect" body that so many women sported in magazines and on TV. I believed that losing some weight would bring me that bit closer to being ideal, being good enough, which would automatically generate approval and acceptance. Dear Girl, I learnt that the one and only person you formostly need approval and acceptance from is yourself.

Losing that first Kilo was like a rush of adrenaline and a boost of endorphines. I wanted more. I wanted to see the numbers drop. I wanted to see bones poke out. I wanted a six pack. I wanted nice boobs.
The numbers never seemed to drop low enough. My stomach never got flat enough. My hip bones never protruded quite like the girls I idolized. It wasn't really that the images of those girls drove me to lose weight, they simply acted as a benchmark.

After a while I started hearing voices. Voices that lured me into deep self-conversations and mind battles, all revolving around food, calories and weight. I began to call them the 'Angel' and the 'Devil'. The Angel was the voice that was still fighting for me, Belle, fighting for me not to lose myself to Anorexia. The Devil was Anorexia. So strong and loud, constantly setting me new challenges that I found so inviting, that I thought if I'd meet the challenge I could stop. But now I can see that by starving myself I was feeding the Devil, making its voice stronger.
On reflection I feel so incredibly sad about what I put my family through. I became a real Bitch. I played games, I manipulated so I could get my own way. I isolated myself, letting no one into my world, and by doing that, I convinced myself that no one cared about me. When someone wanted to offer me a helping hand (of which there were many) I would shut them down, eventhough I really wanted to reach out to that hand, but "The Bitch" wouldn't let me.

By physically wasting away I felt like I was becoming invisible. By being invisible I wouldn't have to face the world, be a burden on anyone, I wouldn't have to see my reflection in the mirror.

I loved to hate food. Everything about food became a game and so controlled.
Do you eat at set times? Do you weigh your food? Do you cut your food into small bites and chew for ages? Do you time yourself when you eat? Do you secretly throw away your food or give it to the dog?
It's a tiring game, isn't it!?

You're probably growing a fine layer of hair all over your body... Are losing hair that use to luciously grace your head... have dry skin and sore patches... Bad breath. Is that really more beautiful and perfect than before? Are you a better person with Anorexia? Is this who you want to be?

Oh Dear Girl, I wish I could tell you how to get better. I know you can though. You need to be STRONG, ACCEPT HELP and start LOVING YOURSELF. And remember, just because you have reached a phyically healthy weight again, doesn't necessarily mean your mind has reached a healthy state.
I have to work on myself every single day. Life is worth living. Begin to Fight back, its an investment in life. Don't be afraid. I understand you.



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