A lot of people tend to think that you can ‘get over’ an eating disorder. It’s like breaking your leg, right? Simply wait for it to heal, and it will go away!
These expectations are, however, unobtainable. Mental health is not bound by time or place; it takes over the human mind like an organ riddled with cancer, and is there until you are able to set it free. The name of this blog reflects a journey; my journey. A journey that I have had to complete with my demons. I feel that mental health as a whole is frowned upon, especially in the Jewish community. I greatly felt that my issues were ‘brushed under the carpet’, so to speak, and felt entirely alone. After my school contacted my parents, I was dumped. I was left to deal with my ED on my own, and ‘support’ consisted of a councillor sharing my confidential information with all the students who came to her. News of my crazy habits soon travelled around the entire school, and having my so called ‘friends’ feed the fire did not do me any favours.
Soon, the entire school and beyond knew about my issues. I felt like my world was closing in on me, and that everyone would treat me differently, which they did. I had told three or four close friends, and soon the trust that I had put in them had been smashed into pieces. I was breaking. I began to have prolonged anxiety attacks, some lasting for more than an hour, some for ten minutes. My mum would shout at me, telling me not to let ‘some stupid boy dictate your health’. She was right, of course, but at the time it felt like the end. If boys would view me as a freak, as a weirdo who couldn’t get skinny though she was trying so hard, then what would it all be for? If I didn’t have guys to validate my beauty, then how could I know I was beautiful? I fed off of compliments, they became my opium, but they were now dwindling.
Once, the rumours became so bad that I cut my own skin. It was a stupid thing, granted, but the worry of my image took over. It was small, but prominent, reminding me that I would never be enough. I would not wish that feeling on my worst enemy. The rumours sparked when one of my friends asked a group if I “smelt of puke” when they were around me. The group was made up of a bunch that I used to hang out with, but left when I realised that they were, for lack of a better word, ass holes. Another said that I “tried to look anorexic by wearing tight clothes”, but “failed”, because I looked too fat. She was another so-called friend. Soon, I had no true friends left; everyone was either creating the rumours or spreading them, and I was at the centre. The lies soon expanded to epic proportions – I was once asked if I’d been in rehab.
SO, back to my question. Are eating disorders curable? Can you ever get over depression? The answer is yes. I am realising that although the road to recovery is long and winding, making many twists and turns, the end is there. There is, if you’ll excuse the cliche, a light at the end of the tunnel. When I was diagnosed with depression, it all made sense. The low mood, the lethargy. The purposelessness. The black cloud that seemed to constantly rain on me had suddenly created lightning and thunder, just to add to the mix. Not only could I not even look at myself in the mirror, but I couldn’t even see a way out. Depression is difficult – it comes in many shapes and sizes. Mine, however, came in the form of a woman (and I don’t mean my mother). After my own thoughts would turn dark, I would tell myself, day in, day out, that I was fat. A whale. A monster. When you hear a thought so many times, it becomes true. However, one day, the thoughts stopped being my own, and became the voice of an old woman. I know it may sound crazy, but depression can do that to a girl. This woman, who I named Catherine, would constantly tell me how crappy I was, and that I did not deserve anything good in my life. Pretty heavy stuff, I know. Looking back, it was no wonder that I was lashing out, hurting those around me. Not only did I have vicious rumours circling, but I also had constant thoughts about my own worthlessness. Depression can be linked to, what I like to call, Lonerism (copy rights please), however this was not the case. If anything, I was more bubbly, more outgoing than before. This was all a cover-up. I needed to hide the truth – that I was a nothing, a nobody, just like Catherine would tell me.
I can now see that ‘Depression’ did not mean that I was an emo; it altered my thinking, made me crazy, and alienated me from the people that I loved. Depression, Anxiety, Anorexia and Bulimia all worked in sick, twisted harmony and made me forget who I was, who I am. They made me snap at any given moment, made me rely on friends who were ultimately using me, and made me hate myself. But no more. They aren’t there for my best interests. These four want to bring me down, and for two years, I allowed them to. Just like an abusive relationship, I made excuses for them, and allowed myself to believe that they love me. Only once I stepped back, took off the glasses and earmuffs that were my depression, could I see the life that lay in front of me. A life of laughter, love. A life where I could make a difference to people’s worlds, a life where I could be happy, because I wasn’t normal – but because, due to my triumphs and setbacks, I am unique, different, exquisite. I am learning not only to love my body, with all it’s ups and downs, but also learning to love my life, and all that it has to offer. So, Bulimia, Anorexia, Anxiety and Depression; I WILL NOT LET YOU TAKE ME DOWN. I am strong.
This is my contribution to the women’s march, as my anxiety of big crowds got the better of me.
This Girl Can beat anorexia
This Girl Can beat bulimia
This Girl Can beat anxiety
This Girl Can beat depression.
We can all beat the bumps in the road, if we open ourselves to love and happiness. This is what I am trying to achieve, and it is what I hope we all can; one world, one love, one aim – happiness.