A little about me now
So, I’m an A level student, second year, just about to move onto university in September. - Where? I don’t know yet, but hopefully The University of Lincoln to study Biology (Biological Sciences as it’s sometimes known).
The thing that me and Chloe have in common (apart from a past history with an eating disorder), is that we both suffer from a long term medical condition. - Mine being an autoimmune disease known as hyperthyroidism.
A little about me and my battle
I’ll have to tell you about hyperthyroidism first, or an over active thyroid as it is more commonly known. All that means is that my body creates too much of a hormone that makes me thin. (I know what you’re thinking, “isn’t that a good thing?”.) But honestly no, it’s not, for two reasons. One of those reasons, is that if it is left for too long, your body starts eating at your own cells because it’s used up your fat stores that you keep just under the surface of your skin. The other reason, is that the treatment they use to stop my body eating up my cells, is to stop the production of this hormone (or at least decrease the production). But my body was already used to me eating a lot of food, (which believe me, I ate like crazy because my body wasn’t getting enough energy). So, when they put me on this treatment, I started gaining weight at a fast rate. I put on three stone in two months, and to anybody, that is a big massive shock. Obviously, at first, I didn’t really notice ( I know, how can you not notice gaining weight?). But that was because I was always happy with how I was before my thyroid messed up. I wasn’t the thinest of people, I was just really active in my sport, which was Taekwondo. But anyway, so the problem started when I went to my specialist and he mentioned I should think about losing some weight. But to me, my weight gain was his fault. I’d been eating as normally, exercising as normally, the only thing that had changed was my treatment. So, I went crazy, I started going training ten hours a week, cutting out any crap I ate, which to be honest, at fourteen, that was quite a lot of food for me. But still, I didn’t lose any weight, I just stayed the same. I mean, going from 7 stone 2 pounds to 10 stone 10 pounds, was hell for me, stretch marks, bad skin, horrible hair, a teenagers worst nightmare. Yet, as hard as I tried to lose the weight healthily, it just didn’t budge.
Now, even to a fourteen year old, that seemed a little crazy, but the worst part was my best friend at the time. I won’t mention her name for privacy reasons but she sort of encouraged me into anorexia at this point. She was a dancer (ballet), and obviously, image is quiet big when it comes to ballet, so she told me how she kept so thin. And believe me, she was thin. Size six, 7 stone, I wanted to be that again. She told me about these websites that help you diet and are proven to lose weight. That they have tones of different ways to help you; music, photos, special diets, people you could talk to and share tips. But at this point, I was already down to soups and salads and water and fruit and just anything healthy, so my body was starved, and my mind… well, that’s never been fully intact to start with, so I went along with it.
I started with cutting out dairy. All dairy, every dairy you can think of. I didn’t have tea, because it meant i’d have to have milk. I didn’t have bread if it was buttered, I didn’t have cereal because it meant I needed milk. And you know those packet pasta you can get, where it says add milk, I added water instead. Yes, it was all watery, but was better than having milk. Then I read on one of these websites that there was loads of fat in meat, so I became a vegetarian. Now, I know it sounds like I was becoming a vegan, but you have no idea. I couldn’t eat vegetables, I don’t like them, with a few exceptions, I don’t really like fruit either, again, with a few exceptions, and after a while, I cut out bread, then it moved onto carbs. So, after a few months, I’d managed to go from healthy eating, to only eating an apple, or a banana or maybe a few grapes a day. This obviously effected my moods, my movements, my thoughts and a few of the consequences I got from that was massive mood swings it was even ridiculous to me, that only my best friend would put up with me. And unknowingly, until about a year ago, I also suffered from depression.
But by this time, I was obsessed. I didn’t care who I hurt or what I looked like, I just knew that if I stopped eating, I would look like those girls did in the photos. It wasn’t about just losing weight anymore. It was about being perfect. But I was far from it. This little obsession of mine only lasted a year or so though, because after a couple of months, I stopped losing weight. I just stopped. I wouldn’t and physically couldn’t lose weight. So, from 10 stone 10 pound, to 8 stone 9 pounds in a few months, but that was it. It was just ridiculous, but the thing that made me eat again, was my family. As much as I hated them at the time, they saved me. They noticed, because in the holidays I was forced to stay at home with them, where they grew accustom to my eating habits (or lack of them). They forced me to eat, told my specialist and it was all out in the open. I was okay again. Physically. Mentally though, I was still scarred.
My grades suffered because I was too obsessed with this perfection image, but that thought of perfection just stayed with me.
But it wasn’t until my first year of A Levels (AS), that it came back an reared its ugly head once again.
I was in a relationship with the love of my life (and my thyroid had managed to fuck up once again, after being controlled then came back over active (AGAIN!!)) So, obviously, all that weight i’d lost, went straight back on. I went from 9 stone to 12 stone in the space of about eight months. (My body likes me gaining stones in threes, have you noticed?) Anyway, so my mind set off on my mental mode, lose weight, lose weight, and I was depressed because I couldn’t lose weight (also the added addition that my family life isn’t so great and A Levels are fricking hard) and i just went a little too crazy for him to handle. But by this time, i’d noticed i was crazy, and there was always a saying stuck in my head that someone once said; “if you ever wonder if you’re crazy, it’s already too late”. And even the stupidest quotes like that just gave me a push, as well as my love promising to try and always help me through things, and promised that he’d always try to work things out, I went to the doctors and was diagnosed with mild depression. Which, I was on tablet for. Then, a couple of months later when my exam came around, I went mental crazy because exams were on, and just because I am, genuinely crazy, i freaked, i panicked and took it all out on him. Which was very, wrong and bad of me. But up until then, i’d been better, I’d started eating properly, probably too well, and was happy with him. And he loved me for who I was.
But, two months after that, of him trying to put up with my constant mood swings, he left me. Which, looking back i do not blame him. But realising that i’d just lost the one thing that mattered to me most in the whole entire world, shattered me, absolutely shattered me into a tiny million pieces. Because of my anorexia and my mental illness caused by it, I lost him. And that is the thing that turned me around the most.
Probably the worst thing, medically i could have done, i stopped taking all my medication. My medication to help me concentrate, my medication for my thyroid, my medication for my depression. I just stopped taking it. This, is what i controlled now. My body, no more side effects of any stupid medication. I needed to think straight. This didn’t happen until recently, very recently… literally a few days ago (thats why it’s taken me so long to write this, because i didnt know what to write). But now i know, that image isnt everything. Perfection isnt everything. School isnt everything. The only thing that actually mattered to me, was love. And the thing that pulled me out of my downwards spiral, was my love. Even though he has refused to talk to me ever since we broke up because i did and said some horrible things to him, he spoke to me for the first time in eight months. And that gave me hope. That in time. Things get better. You just have to be patient. And but up with all the hard, awkward, depression parts, to finally, reach a place where you’re happy.
To this day, I do still struggle with my weight. And I do still have my down days. But that confidence in me, that makes me realise, my love, loved me, even when I was at my lowest, gave me hope to believe in that I will be happy again… some day.