I have been struggling with anorexia since the summer of 2010, so about a year and a half. It's been a very up and down journey, and is definitely the hardest thing I've ever dealt with in my life.
The first time I really got any ideas about dieting or losing weight was at a friend's birthday party in July 2010. It was at the beach and a lot of her skinny, fun, outgoing friends from her ballet studio were there. As dancers, they usually had to be very careful not to eat junk foods and such, so whenever they ate any chips or sweets they would make comments like "I feel so fat eating this". I felt so inferior to them in everything, and it made me think seeing them that maybe I should be like that too about food. Then I could be pretty and successful like they were. Through the rest of the summer, I started being more careful about what I ate and tried to cut back a lot, but nothing really that serious.
When the school year started, I got extremely busy. All of my courses were honors, and I was a year ahead of my class in maths, so I had hours of schoolwork and studying each night. I also had an hour of flute practice a day in addition to a really busy marching band practice schedule that took up most of my time. I was doing way too much, and as a result of all this I started restricting my food- probably one of the worst possible things I could have done, seeing as I needed a lot of energy to keep up my schedule. Restricting made me feel more in control, like I had more power over my life. I also felt a lot of pressure to be 'perfect' in all the things I was doing, and I thought if I could be skinny I would be more perfect. Of course, it didn't take long for everything to spiral out of control. I became obsessed with calories and losing weight. Food took over my mind. Around this time I also developed pretty bad depression. As I'm sure you can relate to, the more weight I lost and the more I restricted, the worse my life got. As I got skinnier, I only kept seeing myself as fatter. I had barely any energy or focus, coming close to fainting at our long difficult marching band practices. My only meal of the day was dinner, when I had to eat with my mum. I was always thinking about food I had eaten or was going to eat and ways to burn extra calories here and there. I really lost control of my life to my eating disorder.
My close friend, who was taking some time off from school to deal with the depression she had gotten that year, found out about my eating disorder and depression. She helped me out a lot. We would talk about all of our problems with each other, and she tried to make me eat again. It worked for a while, and I got on a pretty good track, mostly because she threatened to tell my mum if I didn't start eating again. She also encouraged me to go to our school counsellors, because you can talk to them without them notifying your parents or anybody else. I resisted her help though, and didn't want to go talk to them even though they had helped her out a ton. I still didn't really see that there was anything wrong with me.
Things were better for a time, but we started to slowly drift apart. As we talked less frequently, I also began slipping back into my old routines. Around March of 2011, I found out through my new best friend that she had called me a b---- behind my back, and that this had happened during the time that we were closest and I trusted her most. I was so shocked and hurt by this. I didn't think I could ever trust anybody again. I became extremely depressed and only ate a little bit at dinner, having about 200-400 calories a day. A little later I started self-harming, but it was never a huge problem for me and I've now been able to stop on my own.
Then summer came. I took a trip to Europe with my youth orchestra. It was one of the best ten days of my life. Being around my friends at all times also helped me re-learn normal eating patterns, and it helped that it was the best food I'd ever tasted in my life. Through the rest of summer, I had some ups and downs but my eating was getting back to somewhat normal, set off by the great experience in Europe right at the beginning.
School began and once again, I had a crazy schedule. Lots of schoolwork pressure, and a crazy schedule. My flute practice had increased to 2.5 hours a day by then, and I had a 3 hour rehearsal Friday night, and I drove to a city an hour away every Sunday for lessons and more rehearsals (sometimes Thursdays as well). I also had marching band, which took up Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. It was completely exhausting. I felt so much pressure on all sides, and cut back on food once again. My depression also continued getting worse and worse.
Once my schedule lightened up again, nothing got better at all like it did when a little pressure was taken off last year. The depression increased more every day. Around our winter break at the beginning of January, I had become extremely suicidal. Every day was like torture being alive. A few months before, I had confessed about my eating disorder to my best friend. He also knew about the depression already, and he had problems with depression and suicidal thoughts himself. He helped me a lot, not forcing me to eat but being there to listen and support me. He got me through my tough times, and I began to want to get better. I pushed myself, with his help, to eat better. Through the next few months, I slowly improved and finally got to a somewhat normal eating pattern once again. However, all the bad thoughts were still present. My depression was still getting worse to the point where it was unbearable. I felt completely empty, like I had died inside and was just going through the motions of life, but even that was difficult. Also, the anorexic side of my brain kept screaming at me, telling me I was fat and shouldn't be eating normally. I tried not to give in to the anorexic thoughts though.
Nothing got better, even though I was eating (kind of) normally once again. A few weeks ago, I reached the point where my life was completely unbearable. Every day was impossible to get through. It got exponentially worse, going from not knowing how I would get through the day to not knowing how to get through the next hour, the next 5 minutes, the next minute, the next 30 seconds. It made even thinking about living through the rest of my life seem like an eternity.
A couple weeks ago, I think on Thursday March 16, I came extremely close to attempting suicide. I had a rope tied around my neck and I was so close to pulling it tight and ending my miserable existence. I sat there for a while, and ended up taking it off and forcing myself to go to sleep instead so that I wouldn't do anything stupid. Then on Tuesday March 20, I got out the rope once again when I got home from school. It was around my neck and I had tightened it bit by bit until I had started to feel a little dizzy. This time I was talking to my best friend while I was sitting there. He managed to convince me to take it off, untie the knot, and put it in another room where I wouldn't be tempted by it.
Then on Thursday March 22, I found out that he was now in a relationship with one of my good friends. I felt like now she would be his priority, and I wouldn't get to be in his life as much (we spent a huge amount of our time together). The only times my life was actually bearable with him. Now that that might be gone, I completely fell apart. I was talking to him through all of this, and he was really afraid that I would do something bad, despite him telling me that it didn't change anything that he was in a relationship. I spent three hours in bed crying that night, and my mum was at first worried but then just got angry at me, and proceeded to yell at me for being in bed and not doing my work- the opposite reaction I needed from her. I told her I couldn't go to school the next day, because I really did not have any energy to face getting up in the morning. She forced me to go anyways.
During my second class at school, I got called into the school counsellor's office. Somebody had referred me to them, and I found out later that it was my best friend. I ended up letting everything out to her, even though I didn't believe any psychologist was going to be able to help me. I had lost hope in every option I had. She then told me that she was going to talk to my parents, because they needed to know about everything. I was terrified. My mum was called into the school during sixth class, and the counsellor told her about my depression and eating disorder. They then called me in after they talked to my mum. Everything had actually gone really well, and my mum was extremely supportive.
Now that my parents know, a new page in my life has started and I'm going to start getting better (or so they say). I've been referred to an eating disorder clinic, where I might start recovery or something like that. I'm not quite sure what's going to happen next, but I can say that it is a huge relief having my parents know. No more secrets, no more faking happiness. I can be completely truthful with them, because really they're just here to support me, along with everybody else in my life.
So that's where I am now, beginning my blog and my new chance at life :)
(I hope my writing wasn't too horrible to read?.. I'm not reading it over, it was really hard emotionally to write out in the first place. Maybe I will eventually, but for now, sorry if there are mistakes or errors. I also wanted to say, that barely even begins to cover everything that has happened the past few years, but it's just the basic past of my eating disorder up to this point. I'm not going to dwell on the past on my blog, I'm just going to focus on moving forward with my life and maybe even getting better eventually.)
I'm also going to add photos to this eventually. I'm too tired at the moment though, maybe I'll do it tomorrow.