February 2011, published by permission of the author
I came across ATDT and consequently, FEAST a couple of years ago. Although I know it is not intended for sufferers of an eating disorder, I have found it beneficial in helping me learn more about this disease and that it may not be entirely my fault. It has helped me realise that I am not alone in this struggle and that I can come out the other end of the tunnel. The forum has given me strength to finally kick ED out of my life; for good.
I have suffered from Bulimia for four years, after previously having anorexia. I was diagnosed at age 14 after friends and my teachers at the time became concerned. At the time I was in complete denial where I remained for the next three years. I rejected help from family, friends and my teachers, which I have come to realise is not my fault but merely a symptom of this illness.
At the time I lived with my Mum who has her own demons in her life and who I believe would not be able to properly help me overcome this. However, I have amazing support from my Step-Mum especially now as I have embraced recovery. I used to feel that I couldn’t fight this alone and I would have given anything for my parents to have stepped in and taken the reigns from me. It took a diagnosis at the end of last year to realise how much this is hurting my body. I was diagnosed with gastritis, esophagitis and a hiatal hernia, but it took many months down the line before I realised I had to stop.
However, I now know that I can lead a happy, healthy life. I do not need an illness to define me any longer, I am my own person and I need to start living. I’m 19 now and at university and I have many things to start living for. Finally, I want to praise the parents, spouses, relatives and friends on ATDT on what an amazing job you are all doing. Allowing your loved one to break free and to be the person they were meant to become is a testament to the love and affection you have for them. The struggle is tough, but if you all have taught me anything, you’ve taught me the finishing line is worth getting too.
Even if they can’t thank you now, they will in the future. Keep fighting the good fight.