5 years is a long time. So much can happen in what some people may think a short period. My past 5 years have a rollercoaster of adventure, hurt, fun, heartache, failure, and success. For people who are new to my page, 5 years ago, I struggled with an eating disorder. 5 years ago, I became my eating disorder because it started to control me rather than me controlling it.
This time, 5 years ago, I was in Summer School and I was already showing signs of being unwell. It was during my time here I took advantage of my disorder which was easy to hide. I used to just give my food away or throw it out, I went to a different chemist (which in Edinburgh there are lots of) each time for laxatives, if you knew where in the University of Edinburgh to go, purging could be done without disturbance. I walked a lot, at home I would say I ate out, go to youth groups and play high active sports like football. It was too easy. For me, the hardest part was hiding my signs. I tried everything from makeup, washing my hair a lot and straightening it, carry mints to disguise my purging, I wore baggy clothes to hide any loss and to also try and keep me warm. There were 100 of tricks I had to hide it. Whenever anyone asked about my weight loss or whether I was abusing laxatives, I became an Oscar winning actress and lied about it. Pretended I was okay when I wasn’t. I think for my mum the first warning sign might have been the time I burnt a bit of my head after falling asleep against the living room radiator to keep warm. I had my layers on and my hoodie (with hood up) on, but my head slipped out of my hood and landed on the radiator and I was there too long. Woke up to a lot of pain and a burn on my head. I had no idea how long I was there for, but I was glad it wasn’t a lot worse. I kept my hood up to hide the burn make until it had faded enough to blame my straighteners. For me, I noticed it was a problem when I collapsed outside of a church which you can read about in my previous blog “My Relationship with ED.”
I could spend ages talking about separate times my eating disorder affected me one way or another, but I want to look at one factor of my journey. My recovery, and that it this year (in November) is the 5-year mark of my journey. It hasn’t been easy, and yes, some days I do slip up (which I am told is normal), but I am better from that disorder.
2012 was the year my disorder took over me but was also the year I defeated it as well. I recently found a couple more photos of that point in my life where I am glad I am not sleeping and collapsing on the buses due to exhaustion. I started university in 2012 and this year I graduated which I made the comment “5 years ago, I started university with an eating disorder, now, I am recovered and leaving university.” Yes, I might have gained a lot of weight, but I am currently healthier now than when I was back then, but I could be healthier, so I am going to try and lose the gained weight in a healthier way.
top row from left – my at my school award in 2011, the next 2 are from a year later. on the right was me at summer school before leaving for university.
middle row from left – After gaining a little weight before uni, I was still feeling the effects of the cold. The next two were at uni after losing some more weight again leading to the last one of me sleeping everywhere to just have some energy to even walk.
Bottom row from left – the first one was taken moments before my collapse outside of the church. Then the next one was a couple of weeks later trying to get better, followed by one in January 2013 recovering. The right one was taken a few weeks ago at my graduation and recovered. 5 years later.