How would you explain your identity differs now from when your ED voice was at its loudest?
The biggest difference for me – when I think about me now and me then – is my voice. Rather than being internalised, I’m now able to actually say what’s on my mind, without being afraid of what my mind might force me to do as a punishment behind closed doors.
I guess it’s also about having the physical and psychological capability, and strength, to put mind to voice that you don’t have when you’re starving and dehydrating yourself.
Did you still feel like there were parts of yourself (hopes, dreams and passions) throughout the time you were struggling with your ED?
I was diagnosed when I was in my first year of university and the entire time I was ill, I knew I wanted to get my degree.
My parents and doctors tried to take me out and my university even advised that I leave, but I told them that wouldn’t work and I had to finish my course with my friends.
It was the one part of me that kept going – my desire to get my degree and finish what I’d started.
If you could give advice to someone experiencing something similar to what you experienced, what would you say?
That, in the end, you have to talk to someone. You have to find the strength to talk to your friend, your parents, your sibling – whoever. Without that, it’s never going to get better.
While it’s true that in the end it’s only you that you can make yourself better – it’s also true that in the depths of anorexia, you are not yourself and if you don’t get some help…you’ll keep going and going until there’s nothing left.