I suppose my issues began when I was about 14… I did not know know why but I lost my appetite and stopped eating. It wasn’t anything to do with wanting to be thin! It wasn’t anything to do with that. Quite frankly I couldn’t have cared less about my weight and size at that point of my life.
I remember feeling sick at the thought of food – a feeling I still get sometimes. I don’t think it’s something that will ever go away, as much as I may want it to; I will always have a very weird relationship with food.
By the time I was 16 I weighed 8 stone (I’m not short and I have big bones (no, really, I’m not just saying that…)). I didn’t see how thin I’d got and it took one of my teachers who had returned from maternity leave to bring my attention to it. I didn’t think anything of it; I still didn’t care! After a couple of weeks of ‘observation’ by said teacher she contacted my parents who immediately took me out of school for a bit.
So, following that I stayed too thin and ended up being about 8 and a quarter stone when I headed off to university. Still too thin, basically, and now worried about getting fat.
I eventually figured out that my lack of appetite came from depression. A simple imbalance in the chemicals in my brain. But no one suggested that to me, did they? They assumed that I was not eating in order to get attention. In fact, the only thing I wanted was for people to leave me alone. For good. So I could sleep in a corner and not have to worry about anything in the real world.
The depression hasn’t gone away and I’ve got more (a lot more) to say about that in future posts.
The main point is that eating disorders are difficult. Hard for other people to understand. Hard to explain (especially when even you don’t know why you’re suffering from it) and hard to walk away from.