Hello lovely people!
As you may, or may not, be aware next week begins EDAW (Eating Disorders Awareness Week) and as a sufferer of Anorexia Nervosa, I would like to make a post in favour of this week. And to contribute in putting an end to the stigma currently surrounding these awful illnesses.
Super scary, but very important. Eating Disorders Awareness Week, 2017, begins on Monday 27th February. Though I wanted to share my post today as we should be raising awareness every single day of the year. This is a matter very close to my heart. It’s a very important week which aims to raise awareness of ED’s of all kinds – Anorexia Nervosa, Bullimia, Binge eating disorder, orthorexia and EDNOS. I could’ve chosen to post photos of protruding bones and thigh gaps, I could’ve spoken about ongoing medial appointments and tests to ensure my body is functioning okay, countless weigh in’s, therapy appointments, doctors and hospital visits. I could’ve included details about calories or exercising, but instead I chose not to. I wish not to mention how I’ve almost died or how many meals I’ve skipped. Why? Because that wouldn’t be raising awareness. It’d be adding to the stigma which desperately needs addressing.
I suffer from Anorexia Nervosa and have done for quite some time now. 7 years to be exact. My Anorexia began at just the mere age of 13. It’s been years and I haven’t yet managed to eat a proper meal or the recommended amount of calories my body needs to thrive and function. And that isn’t by choice – that’s by fear. Fear of weight gain and a fear of going against my Anorexia. But I will get there, no matter what the voices and thoughts in my head tell me day after day. I hope to take baby steps forward in order to assist me in regaining my health, happiness and sparkle. With support and encouragement that I am lucky enough to have, I feel that I may learn how to live with my illness if I don’t beat it completely. The thought of reaching a healthy weight and returning to “normal” eating habits after so long terrifies me, and I have such a long way to go in terms of recovery but I can only become stronger and more determined as the days go by, take each day as it comes, step out of my comfort zone and add new things into my diet. It’s scary but necessary I guess?! Remaining at my current weight isn’t healthy or sustainable (which is hard to accept) and wearing children’s clothes isn’t normal either (also hard to accept) By becoming stronger, I will also be welcoming new life and embracing all the happiness there is to come. I’m very far away from a healthy weight and because of this, my body isn’t developing properly and I look very fragile, small and underweight. Child-like, if you will. I don’t look the way I should and I’m pertified of looking any different.
Eating disorders are not a lifestyle, a phase or a choice. They’re not cute, admirable or jokes either. Though, they are horrible, manipulative illnesses which have the highest mortality rate of any other mental illness. With 1 in 5 people affected, it’s time we end the stigma and support those who are struggling by providing them with reassurance and support, as opposed to judgement and criticism. I wouldn’t wish an Eating Disorder on my worst enemy, as they are nasty and cruel life destroyers.
I suffer from Anorexia Nervosa and I’m not ashamed of my diagnosis and shouldn’t be made to feel any different due to the media and the stigma. My eating disorder is NOT me. I am Laura and I will learn to find myself again slowly but surely. My eating disorder is a part of me which I live with and fight each and every day. And by this, I aim to help put an end to the stigma which currently surrounds Eating Disorders, which prevents people coming forward for help.
If you’re suffering from an Eating Disorder or know of anybody who is, please don’t be afraid to seek help – everybody deserves to be happy and healthy and nobody deserves to die from, or suffer from, mental illness. There are incredible helplines and support networks available online which you can access anonymously, or you can visit your GP and go from there. Please don’t wait another day, please don’t waste another day to your illness.
Many hugs and thank you’s to the people who’ve helped and continue to help and support me and my battles. And a massive shoutout to all the animals out there who give me a reason to keep fighting. It means the world to know I’m not alone in this and it also means the world to know so many people have faith in me, especially during times I have no faith in myself.
Keep fighting and lots of love,