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Anorexia : My Story & Recovery

Disclaimer: This is my story and my story only. I wanted to share my story. Some content may be triggering.

I feel like this is going to be the longest blog post you will ever read ever in your life. I never had the urge to tell my story until last night, I was lying in bed thinking about my past and I felt like I needed to get it all out.
If you're like me and you've over come something massive in your life...
Looking back now or even thinking back, the years kind of blur together. Even looking back at it all now, doesn't feel real to me.
This isn't really where the journey of it all began because ever since I can remember (early teens) i've always had a bad relationship but body image and eating.
This is just where the years of true restricting began...
I was 17 years old. I had just became a qualified makeup artistry. Moved back to Rotorua (where I grew up and family lived). Got into a relationship and scored my dream job. Sounds great right?! I didn't know but it was those two things that sent me down this spiral. I felt happy or so I thought. I didn't actually realise...The fact life was happening, made me freak out. Like I was growing up in a split second and I didn't want to. I can't remember thinking that I was going to take control of the one thing I felt like I could control. It just sought of happened...
It started. I cut out breakfast, snacks and lunch, only allowing myself to enjoy dinner. Also alcohol wasn't allowed, not even in the slightest. I allowed myself a "cheat" day each week, which I loved. A time where I could eat lunch on a Wednesday. My father normally took me to a bar called The Shed.
I didn't weigh myself well atleast for 6 months or so from the beginning of restricting, since I knew i'd hate what I saw. Then I got scales, the first time I weighed myself I got hooked. The major difference I saw was crazy and this was something I done. Just me... I was on my way to becoming the perfect person, the perfect girlfriend and the perfect daughter. From this point I was weighing myself around 5 times a day. I don't really know when this happened but I shut the world out. Even my best friends. I remember when they would throw parties or drinks i'd show up. Sit there for awhile then leave. At work it would be lunch time and in the staff room I remember thinking to myself "why are all these people eating? Surely this isn't normal?!" Drinking Redbull on an empty stomach became my vice. I can't even explain the way it made me feel. The way it tasted... Sounds crazy I know. At the beginning dropping the weight was easy. I didn't get sick. I suddenly started to. Get sick all the time. My hair started falling out and I started blacking out alot. Every day after work i'd get home and while the jug was boiling for my after work coffee I remember sitting on the lino in the kitchen breathing in and out so I wouldn't pass out. I didn't pass out all that often but afew times was at work and I remember the ambulance and my mum coming into the locker room and had to get pushed through work which was so embarassing. Even at the time I felt like I wasn't in my body I was just looking at myself.
My relationship  started to fall apart. We would fight because I hated myself so much. Can't explain it other than that. I really did, for no reason at all I was my own worst enemy.
Then... I stopped loosing weight. I had to step it up a notch. No Wednesday lunch and no just having "anything" for dinner each night.
Slowly and I mean slowly I kept losing weight...
I just to look in the mirror and just cry my eyes out because I had no idea who that person was staring back at me.
One night I was having a fight with my boyfriend and I felt like things were going to end unless I came out with it. In a second of my walls coming down I came out with it... "I have an eating disorder". That's at least what I remember saying, i'm not sure if I actually said that. Literally a split second after saying those few words my brain was fighting back "you're not skinny enough to get help" "How dare you tell someone about your secret" "You don't deserve to get better". He then called my parents and they came straight over. Organising going to see the doctor that night and not that anything was any of their fault but I didn't know how no one saw it. Maybe I was really good at hiding stuff or maybe I just honestly wasn't skinny enough?!
I started seeing a psychologist and I wasn't loving it to say the least. I had to decide between dying soon and living. I don't say that lightly but I really rationally knew that if nothing changed then soon there wouldn't be a life to save. Each waking moment day my thoughts were about that one appointment at the psychologist that week. I wasn't good at connecting feelings to the way I really felt or things in life that happened. I honestly just don't think she was right for me. In New Zealand, unless you're a minor there isn't alot they do about eating disorders apart from just hospital. Lucky for me my heart was still on track and I was as healthy as I could be in that moment.

This photo was after I started my recovery journey. I remember asking my friend to take a photo of me because this will be the skinniest I will ever be again. Even sounds backwards me typing that to be honest.
I decided to get better by myself which was not something people clostest to be liked the idea of. But I actually started doing it. Eating lunch eventually again. Cutting back on Redbull and concentrating on myself again. This was a slow process, even slower than I thought. I honestly thought that when I ate again i'd puff up and gain a million kg in a second. After about six months or so I got rid of my scales and I was finally okay with that. A day before it was one year since I started my recovery journey I decided to get a tattoo. Something to say: Yes i've come this far and ima keep on going.

At the time when I got this tattoo I still wasn't 100% into the idea of recovery and being well, even though it has been a year since I started. If you don't know what it is, this tattoo is the NEDA symbol (national eating disorder association). Somehow from then this story comes to now. I love myself (in a non vein way). Everyone should. It took me about 23 years to and now at 25 years old i'm stronger than ever. I wish I could say that the disordered thoughts go away and it magically is all rainbows and ponies. Sadly not. The thoughts will always be there. But the difference is, now I just don't have the time of day to listen to them. I'm here to live life and not just be alive because there is no frigin' point in that.

I just want to say one last thing. If you need someone to talk to, i'm always here. I don't know alot but what I do know is that talking to someone can help so much. If not me then maybe open up to someone you know and love. Remember to live life and no matter what your past, it's not what defines you.

Love always,
Louise xoxo.

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