Life wasn't easy growing up, my parents divorced when I was very young and at first I lived with my mum. She suffered with severe mental health issues and this meant she couldn't look after us properly. For some of our childhood my siblings and I lived off half cooked pasta with butter and pizza, that's when we did actually eat. After numerous incidents social services took us away from my mum and then my dad started to look after us, but the long term effects of being malnourished had stuck and weren't going to change quickly.
That's just the beginning of my journey with anorexia.
At the age of 16 I weighed 6 and a half stone and today at the age of 20 I weight just over 9 stone. An average 20 year old male should weigh just over 11 stone. I've suffered from anorexia since my early teens, today anorexia is still in me and I can feel it. Anorexia is so hard to explain, its like a mini person inside you, it controls every single thing you do every single day and it makes you live your life completely differently to everyone else.
I was a self-conscious teen anyway but my eating problems often dictated how I lived my everyday life. Still to this day I never show my arms or legs in public always wearing long sleeved clothes at all times, I rarely eat before 3pm, I never eat breakfast and on average I eat one meal a day. Committing myself to eating a healthy balanced proper diet is so hard and I've tried for years to do it. At the worst points in my teenage years I would have to force myself to eat, often pinching my nose and closing my eyes, grabbing the fork with anger making sure I ate that food, It didn't work, I would run straight to the bathroom and it would all come straight back up. That cycle would be repeated every single day, it was both mentally and physically draining.
My friends would tell me to go the doctors, commenting on how they could see my bones and my rib cage. They said I didn't "look healthy" and that I was "too skinny". Only if it was that easy, only if the doctor just gave me that magic pill and I could eat normally just like everyone else. But no, its really not that easy. It's hard to explain but here's what I feel on an average day -
I wake up, around 7am, absolutely starving having not eaten for 14-16 hours but I can't eat. I physically cannot eat. My stomach is rumbling like a hurricane and I could eat so much but my head just won't allow me. Even trying to eat a small piece of fruit is impossible. I never eat breakfast, and I leave the house like a zombie with literally no energy in me. Throughout the day at work I have dizzy spells and often feel very fainty, so I rely on tea with lots of sugar. At around 3 in the afternoon I have the willpower to finally eat something. At this time I often have a massive meal which fills me up for the whole day. When I get home I sometimes snack on junk food and then go to sleep. This tiring cycle begins the next day and carries on and on.
Anorexia controls your life and it controls you. Anorexia is the invisible chain of handcuffs on your hands but when you challenge it, gradually the battle will be won