Oooof. It’s been a long, busy and enlightening week. I feel as though I have journeyed through an important chapter in the last 5 days. Although I’ve been a fashion blogger for a good few years now, it’s only really recently that I’ve started this blog here and found the strength and appetite (clever word to use here, huh?) to talk about my own personal story of my 15 year battle with Bulimia and Anorexia. And, as this has been Eating Disorders Awareness Week, not only have I chosen to write a blog post each day – which is pretty heavy going when it’s such a deep and personal issue- but I have also been busy in my role as a Media Volunteer for the brilliant eating disorder charity Beat. I have done a TV news story and two BBC radio interviews, which I enjoy not only because it’s new and exciting but because I can actually feel the help it is doing in getting awareness and understanding out there. Telling your story to complete strangers live on air can take it out of you a bit though, so I am all out of energy and ready to quieten my mind on the issue, just for a few days. It takes a lot of effort and emotion to put myself back in that place in order to be able to genuinely and sincerely talk about what its like. All very rewarding though, seriously, watching and listening to myself talk about my eating has made me see myself in a whole new light. I see a really confident, assured and wise woman there, which I don’t think I saw before now. Win-win for everyone, yay.
So, to end Eating Disorders Awareness Week I am gonna write down what I would say if I were to write a letter to my eating disorder, like, what I want to shout at it now when I look back. A good way to end this cathartic week I think. So, Anorexia and Bulimia from my past, this is what I have to say to you.
- I hate you for making me believe you were my friend, a friend who had my back and who knew what was best for me. For making me think it was you and I against the world. But, I thank you because by pulling me down so low, you forced me to learn that I know what is best for me, that I must love myself, have my own back, to stand up for myself and look after myself nicely.
- I hate you for making me feel so insignificant for so many years. For making me feel so lost, so lonely, so scared, ashamed and overwhelmed by myself and the world. But, I thank you because now I have a comparison for my life, I now have a liberation from you and for that, I am appreciative every single day.
- I hate you for stealing my dignity all those thousands of times I was bent over a toilet with bleeding knuckles and a bloody throat, ridding my hungry body of food it so badly needed. But, I thank you because now I understand how fragile the body and brain are, how important it is to take great care of your body and nourish it.
- I hate you for making my family and friends fearful of what I had become, where I was heading, not knowing how to help or heal me. But, I thank you because now my family see a fuller and better version of me, a me who has the confidence of knowing I am strong because I conquered you.
- I hate you for distorting what I saw when I looked at myself in the mirror. You made me see a weak, ugly and useless girl. But, I thank you because now I see a strong, beautiful and valid woman who accepts herself, or at least chooses to try.
- I hate you for taking up so much f**king time of my life, it breaks my heart how much time I gave to you, how scared and lost I was for so long. But, I thank you because now I realize how short life is and I try to enjoy it more. And, I thank you because now I am able to offer my story to others who are in your grip or who have a loved one in your grasp, I am thankful because I came through it, and, everything turned out alright.
Phew, heavy huh? Probably the most intense thing I have written in a while, not easy, typed through tears, but, an important insight. I’m off for a sandwich and a long sit on my sofa. xx