Pulling myself out of my eating disorder

By: Marta Tena

Since I was very little I felt that I did not fit in. My tastes did not match those of society, of what was expected of me. I felt out of place.

The summer when it was time for me to go to college, I was nervous and bewildered.

How could others want to be my friend? Doubts and fears entered me, I didn’t trust myself.

I started to think that if I lost weight, if I had a body accepted by society, then if I would fit in.

How wrong I was!

I got slim, yes. I ended up weighing a normal weight, but I didn’t see it as enough. I stopped being in control of my life. Food was the only thing I could control and I stuck to that. As you lose weight you fall into a deeper and deeper hole. Emptiness, tears, obsession, insecurity, loneliness, cold…

There came a time when I stopped losing weight. This helplessness made me eat very little, and I was very hungry. Thus came the binge eating and vomiting. When you do, you feel worse, as you have failed, and you are hurting yourself.

I decided to ask for help and started going to see a psychologist. That time of the week was my salvation. I felt free, understood, and listened to.

I didn’t stand up as I got dizzy, and I didn’t have the energy to get up from the couch. My stomach had become so small that with a glass of gazpacho I wanted to burst. I felt cold, cold in the summer. My body began to change, my organs began to fail me, my hair fell out, dark circles grew under my eyes, my skin was pale, among many, many other things.

On a psychological level, I stopped feeling. No joy, no sadness, no emotion; I felt nothing. I was uncomfortable, insecure, frustrated, and guilty for making those who loved me suffer. I needed to compensate, and I had excuses for everything, and fear, especially a lot of fear of everything.

It was time to change, to turn around. I started going to the psychiatrist. At first I felt that he did not understand me, that I was a stranger, and that he did not know anything about me. You think that person has no idea. You reject that help.

There comes a time when you realize that you can’t handle your struggle by yourself and you start to give in. Now you want to recover, to be you again. However, you cannot. The disease is so deep inside you that it is impossible, so you have to fight against yourself.

You have to face your fears, those fears that you have been cultivating for a long time and now you have to overcome them, eat them, you have to take the step and be brave. Little by little you are introducing food, you are experiencing flavors as if it were the first time. It’s a second chance to re-experience everything, but this time you have to fight for it and grow along the way.

People around you do not usually understand what is happening to you, so you feel alone, confused, and always want to throw in the towel. It seems easier to be sick than to come out of the disease. That is why it is important to see the end goal, focus on the things that fulfill you, that you like.

Little by little I started making friends, I started telling others about what my eating disorder. That helped me a lot, to externalize my problems and thus let them go.

It’s a process that you relapse into, but you keep going. A process in which the steps backwards do not have to demotivate you, but rather serve to gain momentum.

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