In months of denial I just wouldn’t accept, a horrifying mental illness that just crept and crept.
Work, walking and weed was my only block, the ignorance to my body pained me like a timeless clock.
The words ‘eating disorder’ I refused to believe, a question I now ask myself why was I being so naïve?
Panic attacks at night became a regular occurrence, eventually a doctor’s appointment was made with persistent reassurance.
The day had finally come and now I would face my fears, after months of breaking down and crying endless tears.
With great apprehension I sat there in the room, leaving with my diagnosis the mood was doom and gloom.
An urgent referral to the Eating Disorder Clinic was made, and at this very moment any emotion in me began to fade.
Mum had to plead and beg just to get me there, I’m tremendously thankful – I’d be dead now without her.
On a petrifying journey I was about to start, reluctant to comply but knowing I had to now take part.
So First Steps were made by going to the clinic, but things got terribly worse due to my mental state – my biggest critic.
An insight to how months of my life were spent, controlled by a starvation obsessed monster unfortunately this is how it went…
My physical health had completely deteriorated, experiencing aches and pains everywhere which I profusely hated.
All of my body strength now had disappeared, mum had to wash my hair – I’m 21 this was kind of weird.
I was losing my hair and it felt really thin, was it really worth it just to be slim?
My perfect teeth wobbled, gums started to bleed, lack of nutrients the main cause – anorexia determined to succeed.
An inflatable bed would be my next purchase, I couldn’t sleep in my bed – it was too much of a hard surface.
There were certain positions I could not sleep in, using cushions to prevent bed sores and no skin touching skin.
Clumsy old me quickly became very cautious, a slight knock would badly bruise leaving me rather nauseous.
The feeling of hugging your loves ones is the very best, I stopped giving them out for fear of crushing my chest.
Stopping driving my car was an absolute heartache, putting myself or others in danger was a risk I couldn’t take.
Faint dizzy spells had finally caused this, losing myfreedom and independence was a huge miss.
Resentment was the feeling I had at first, but eventually understood as I was at my worst.
I was no longer the social butterfly that I used to be, isolating me from all my friends and new places to have tea.
You made sure I wasn’t interested in my friends any more, you are the evil that takes great pleasure in rotting people to their core.
Festivals, raves and gigs I sadly had to miss, I can’t help but think to myself what did I do to deserve this?
By birth I am a Gemini – there are two sides of me, but I never thought psychosis would change ‘me’ into ‘we’.
As if the pain and suffering caused wasn’t enough, you took my job away from me and this has hit me tough.
A future in my workplace I now could not see, I knew it was over as the sick note was handed to me.
Low concentration levels, work machinery a dangerous medley, I never knew an evil voice in my head could be so friendly.
My financial situation was completely now a mess, how can an illness cause this much anxiety and stress.
Rent and car payments are a constant worry, thank God for my mum’s kindness as she tells me there’s no hurry.
A young woman with no money who’s always provided for herself, it’s barbaric what anorexia can do to someone’s mental and physical health.
All routine and structure to my life was now non-existent, wishing my life away anorexia’s power was extremely persistent.
My fractured life now felt like it wasn’t worth living, the anxiety and depression I felt was truly unforgiving.
Avoiding every mirror – they were my enemy, a distorted enormous image of my body I would see.
Such a complex illness where people’s lives are in your hands, a stigma still surrounds it that no-oneunderstands.
Hospital admission and a Section was on the cards, a gift from me to you love from anorexia – kind regards.
As my body weight got rapidly lower and lower, my driveand motivation to live became increasingly slower.
By the skin of my teeth I escaped this situation numerous times, a prisoner to my own head – you need to be locked up for these horrendous crimes.
Restricting myself to minimum amounts of calories to stop me from dying, I had no fight left in me from all those nights of crying.
Supermarkets’ own brand of Special K was all that I could eat, and although I hate to say it I almost accepted defeat.
It was the only thing my head and body would tolerate, at this point I couldn’t remember the last time I ate from a plate.
Now relying on medication to keep me alive, this is when I knew my anorexia was in full thrive.
A situation my eating disorder put me in – never experienced before, my physical and mental health became increasingly sore.
wishing it would just disappear as it’s becoming a tiresome bore.
“You’re days away from cardiac arrest” said my dietician with great regret, the feeling that came over me is one I will never forget.
Horrific shock and disbelief was quickly what I felt, the unforgettable look on mum and grandad’s faces made me want to melt.
Same old shit on a different day the months now justflew past, wishing my lightbulb moment would hurry up and arrive fast.
Severely struggling with my food and mood I knew something had to be done, this is how my massive breakthrough finally had begun.
I’d heard of ‘the click’ that happens in troubled peoples’ heads, and one morning it hit me in the face as I got out of bed.
It really was the strangest day, the thought of trying different foods just wouldn’t go away.
Experiencing a cocktail of so many different emotions, all whirling through my head causing a number of commotions.
Wise words from my grandparents after multiple cruel breakdowns, you’ve come so far our gorgeous girl – you’re not in hospital gowns.
Of course they were completely right, my anorexia is overwhelmed as I’m putting up fight.
I never wanted to look at a bowl of cereal ever again, I’ve had enough of my eating disorder starving my poor brain.
I felt stronger than my eating disorder – my lightbulb moment had arrived and way down deep inside somewhere the old me had been revived.
Slow and small steps was how it ultimately started, hurdles would be overcome as the power of my anorexia departed.
My taste and smell senses were surprisingly enlightened, I had to keep telling myself I won’t be fat and don’t be frightened.
Textures in my mouth had never felt so different, I knew my strength and will to get better had to be consistent.
I can’t remember the last time I used a knife and fork sat at the table, I wanted to do this again as eating ‘proper’food on knees can often be unstable.
The time had come, I tentatively placed cutlery onto my napkin, I set the scene where overcoming my next hurdle would begin.
It’s the small things you miss when you have that drive to be dangerously thin.
My first bit of food at the table in over a whole year, I couldn’t decide if the excitement outweighed the mortalfear.
I’d been strong and achieved it – to me it was a massive thing, the support from everyone close to me was very overwhelming.
Other slow changes now are starting to be made, I would never eat in front of anyone as I’d be afraid.
Embarrassment and judgment are the things that I would feel, I hated the thought of anyone watching me as I ate a meal.
I now allow my mum to come and sit with me, however she knows not to look at me as I eat my tea.
This has now become a regular part of our routine, and feeling more relaxed around her blinding her now seemed kind of mean.
I now have set meal times and a snack plan that I follow, a crazy experience in my life that has been a hard pill to swallow.
Slowly but surely the pain’s starting to go away, and as time goes on I’m pleased to say I have a brighter day.
I’m only at the start of this crazy rollercoaster ride, I wouldn’t have come this far without services and loved ones by my side.
I can’t believe after my monstrous year of hell, the progress I’m making and slowly starting to feel well.
I’m on my way to getting my normal old life back, something that would never have been possible was I still refusing to snack.
Physically and mentally recovery is tough, but once you’ve got control of the demon enough is enough.
I know this difficult journey is going to take time, but I feel stronger than ever and I WILL be back in my prime.
I know ups and downs will come along, relapses will happen but I have to stay strong.
Each decision I make to now fight back, is one step closer to stopping anorexia’s attack.
Strength and determination is what I need to pull through, I will be happy in myself again I promise you.
The day will come when I don’t use food to cope with all my issues, it’s going to be an emotional one – I’d better get a box of tissues.
Mental health is so important please always be kind, and never underestimate the power of someone else’s mind.
It’s a long road ahead and this is only the beginning but in the battle between anorexia and me I’m definitely winning.
By Gabriella Difalco