My Eating Disorder battles

I was a chubby little kid. I loved my biscuits and I loved my ice cream. I loved the t.v. I was not sporty, I was not popular. I was a little strange really (ok still am, but I am so owning it right now hehe). I was a loner and the more alone I felt, the more I indulged in food. I had accepted the fact I was 'fat' and that I would never fit societies 'ideal'.
Fast forward to the beginning of my teens. I became quite ill with the flu and couldn't eat for a week. Wow! I realised I had the power to not eat!! I also had lost some weight and felt fantastic about it. So the start of my new chapter began. I stopped eating junk food. I actually began to eat vegetables and lean meats. I started exercising, which led me to count calories and know how much I was burning. I felt empowered.
Little did I know my empowerment would soon turn to loss of control.
The weight was melting off. My clothes hanging off me.
I would sit and read my favourite book: The Calorie Counter.
And when my mum realised my obsession she became fearful and confiscated the Calorie Counter book.
"Ha ha!" I thought, It didn't matter to me as I had memorised the calorie amount of every single item that was in my diet from that book.
The funny thing was even though I was obsessing over calories, exercise and such, my school marks were getting better too. I was so focussed on getting perfect marks. I was trying to be perfect in every way, unlike the 'old me'.
It was nothing for me to do a thousand sit ups a day.
It was nothing for me to feel massive guilt from extra calories at dinner and then have to do an extra 2 hours on top of the 2 hours I was already doing.
If I couldn't exercise due to one reason or another, I just wouldn't eat.
As my body deteriorated, so did my mind.
Mentally I was spiralling down. The days seemed darker than ever before.
Everything became fuzzier, and cloudy at the same time.
My mum would cry. She would plead with me "please eat more", "please exercise less".
But I couldn't, I thought I would rather die than stop exercising. I would rather die than be fat.
I would have panic attacks if my weight went up by a few hundred grams. I would shake violently in fear that I was about to balloon.
Then one morning at the age of 15, I couldn't see, my vision had gone to white blur. My stomach felt like it was imploding. I really thought I was dying. I screamed in fear and ran through the dark to my parent's room. My mum held me and took me to the kitchen. She force fed me as I gasped in pain and struggled to breathe. I was gagging, my body wasn't use to the food.
"I don't want to die mum".
We hugged eachother tight.
That was my wake up call.
I started to eat a bit more and exercise a bit less. I had gained a bit of control back.
Then my weight started to plummet again, but this time I wasn't doing anything to make it happen. I was also extremely thirsty and tired.
I was diagnosed just before my 16th birthday with Type 1 Diabetes.
My mum thought the Diabetes saved me from my eating disorder....
And I guess it did for a few years.
Then my mum passed away.
She was my best friend. My rock.
I was more lost than ever.
I started punishing myself. I would binge eat, then vomit. It wasn't a diet thing. It was a self harm thing. At the time I didn't realise this. I just felt guilt and self hatred.
It didn't last for too long at that point. I became immersed in university and luckily I was enjoying my academic life. Or so I thought.
Slowly the anorexic shadow came back. I wanted to prove to everyone how I could fit that perfect mould.
So while I was this intelligent lady learning about pedagogy and curriculum, I was this empty shell, who loved nothing more than to see my rib bones in the mirror. I loved feeling my hip bones jutting out. I was sick. Sick in body and sick in mind.
Depression crept in like a sly demon.
I no longer had any clarity. My marks started to slip as my focus on my life started to slip.
Who was I?
What did I want to be?
Where was I going?
I transferred to a different degree, thinking I wanted to be a powerhouse of a woman, a suited up "marketing exec", instead of a loving, nurturing "teacher".
I started drinking heavily, partying so hard, that it was normal to wake up and have a cocktail. As my binge drinking became heavier, my depression became deeper, darker and more bottomless.
As I went further down the spiral, I started losing the anorexic 'control' and would binge eat, then purge. I would do it just to punish myself. So much self hate. No self worth. Some people cut, I ate and vomited. It was self harm, not a diet.
I wrote poetry about it (which I will share in a post sometime).
I had callouses on my knuckles from forcing my fingers (yes plural... because after awhile one finger or two fingers just don't cut it, you almost need to shove the whole fist in your mouth for you to gag and vomit) down my throat and scraping my teeth along the knuckles.
Yes this is graphic. But it certainly doesn't need to be prettied up. And once again another topic that should not be taboo.
I tried to get help. But the mental health 'professionals' I dealt with made me feel worse! One even said "We aren't a diet service".. WTF!?!
What made me stop? I don't remember a 'defining moment'.  I was wanting to turn my life around. I wanted to find meaning and purpose. And slowly with the help of my Aspie Bestie J, we quit the binge drinking, we ate healthily (without counting calories consumed) and we walked (but never counted calories burned). We made a short term goal to travel to Thailand. I transferred back to my orginal degree of Teaching.
I just became 'gentle' on myself. And it was a relief.
I stopped worrying about being perfect. And started focussing on the authentic 'me'.
I had a few relapses as a lot of people who experience addicitons and disorders do. But the final thing that made me stop all the crazy dieting, and self harm......
my husband and my baby boy Liam.
The moment I was pregnant with Liam I knew I could never do what I did to harm myself again.

But I must add I was lucky for things to fall into place. For some sufferers of eating disorders the ending is not so happy. These people need as much support, love and understanding as possible. And patience. I am so glad I had a lot of patient people in my life. Because in the end it is the sufferer that has to make the decision to want to get better and to make the steps toward that, and it is the job of the supporters to be there for them without judgement and without pressure.
Thank you for reading my story.
I feel kind of naked now... This is me, bare bones