I have another Anorexia recovery story ready for you! Recently, I’ve found that more and more people are willing to share their stories, which is amazing! Amy is a friend of mine who is so inspiring to me, because she openly talks about invisible illnesses and her journey with Anorexia through social media and her Youtube channel. Talking about your personal experiences can be very hard, but know that sharing your troubles will influence someone else to as well, so I have a lot of respect for Amy for being brave! Here’s her story!
What is the name of your condition?
How long have you had it for?
Approximately September 2016 – October 2017 (including recovery)
What are the daily struggles and how does your condition affect you?
I would avoid social events and obsess over when and what I would eat which would dictate the structure of my day. Re-assuring people that I didn’t have an eating disorder was a daily occurrence which was manipulative and damaging. I almost blacked out twice and malnutrition destroyed every aspect of my physical and emotional energy.
The exhaustion, and ironically, insomnia, effected every relationship I had – friends, family and loved ones. The most broad description I would give anorexia in relation to your personality is that you become a version of yourself you would never have experienced or expected. Comparing your character between anorexic and post-recovery is life-changing – the amount of people who notice a difference too is amazing.
How have you dealt with it? Is there treatment for this condition?
I believe that recovery can only begin once you decide to. Anorexia effects your mental health as equally as your body. Personally, once I had begun recovery, it was at a point where I was scared – I could see the deterioration of my body, felt awful, and would give anything to look how I did before being anorexic. Since then, I have felt no attraction to the stereotypical images/ triggers of eating disorders. I feel incredibly lucky to have this clarity.
Did you ever find it hard to speak about and why?
No – I feel that the more awareness is raised for all mental health, stigmas can begin to lose their power. The concept of mental health not being real or important has always baffled me – we all seem to be able to comprehend the power of the mind and its capability, but the idea that one of the most complex and vital assets of the human body can’t become ill, is something I don’t think I will ever understand.
Thankfully I’ve also never been pressured to avoid addressing my anorexia or mental health. My friends, family and loved ones have shown me incredible support, which has made it even easier to help raise awareness.
Has your condition led to other illness’s?
Do you know anyone who has the same condition and if not has that been hard to know that no one you know has it?
The more I talk to people about it, the more I hear of others who have, or have had, it. I haven’t been able to talk directly to someone who has anorexia currently, but it seems to be a fairly quiet topic until someone addresses it directly.
What would your advice be to anyone who is dealing with an invisible illness?
Telling others about it is the first step to moving forward. There is nothing shameful about mental health – experiencing an invisible illness shows an immense amount of strength, and there are more people than you might think who want to talk about it too.
What would your advice be to people who is trying to help someone with an invisible illness?
Patience, kindness, and empathy are so powerful. Sometimes there is only so much advice you can give – if you haven’t been effected by the illness, the person with it might not want to hear what you think is best for them which can make it so hard for you even when you have the best intentions.
DID YOU KNOW?
‘Over 1.6 million people in the UK are estimated to be directly affected by eating disorders.’
‘Anorexia Nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder in adolescence.’
For more facts: Anorexia & Bulimia care website
Thank you to Amy for sharing her story, and I hope that this post influences others who have an eating disorder to speak up and talk to someone about it. Recovery doesn’t happen over night, but remember that we are never given anything that we can’t handle, and with the right support and will power, change will happen…Amy and I promise you that!
Don’t forget to check out Amy’s Youtube channel! CLICK HERE for her video ‘anorexia-what you may not know’
Thank you for reading!