Thursday, August 8, 2013

Confessional: My Eating Disorder

So when I decided that I was going to start a blog and a YouTube channel (which is still pending), I really wanted to share the mundane parts of my life (because I find other peoples regular life interesting) and the less mundane parts of my life. So, as you can tell by the title of this blog, this is one about something less mundane.

*I should start out by saying that all of this blog is based on personal experience and things that I have learned through the treatment process. I have not studied this extensively in school, and am not an expert on the subject of eating disorders.*

Some basic information -
The two major eating disorders are Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa. Anorexia nervosa is characterized by the restriction of food intake, and bulimia is characterized by binge and purge cycles. Another major factor to consider in the discussion of eating disorders is a disorder known as Body Dismorphic Disorder. BDD is a disorder where an individual sees their body in a dramatically unrealistic way, for example, some who is 90pounds considering themselves overweight.

The important distinction for me is that although I had an eating disorder, I did not and do not have an issue with BDD. I have a pretty realistic view on my body, which isn't perfect, but it ain't that bad! What is at the base of my issues with food is a need for control. I really struggle with feeling out of control and when things do not go as I planned or hoped, I struggle with feeling helpless.

It is that feeling that prompted my eating disorder, which was mainly anorexia. When I couldn't control a situation, or just felt out of control in general, I could restrict what I was eating and how much I was eating and that feeling would help calm and relax me. I felt as though restricting my food intact was restoring some balance and eventually, once the feeling of helplessness had gone and I felt better, my eating habits would become healthier again. I think because my eating disorder was more of a control mechanism, and was something I suffered from in waves, I never lost dramatic amounts of weight.

I remember beginning to restrict my diet at around 10 years old. What I can't remember was if there was any specific event that sparked it, or how I got the idea to restrict my diet. This continued to be my go to coping mechanism until I was about 19. This is when I finally told my parents about how I felt and how I was dealing with it. Together we found an amazing cognitive behavioral therapist who helped me work through the "why" of what i was doing and helped to find some better ways of dealing with stressful situations. 

It has been 10 years since I told my parents and sought help for my anorexia. And although I have not had an issue since then, it is still something that I struggle with. Whenever I feel myself becoming stressed out, overwhelmed and out of control, my mind still wants to restrict in order to regain a sense of control. I now know however that I need to talk about what is happening with my family and friends and with their help, work out the situation in a different way.

Because I really want to be open about this, please feel free to leave comments or questions below! 

1 comment:

  1. <3 I never knew you experienced an eating disorder! I feel like I know you so much better now my dear. Big hugs!