Secret Story No.2

Foreword from Hermia: This is the second installment for the Secret Stories project and it really makes you realise that you can be close to a person and still have no idea what’s really going on.
We’ve had a surge of entries for the Project, which is fantastic and please keep them coming.
I’m going to run two stories a week for the forseeable future so if your story isn’t printed immediately, don’t worry because it’s on file and I will use them all.

I have wanted to tell someone this a while now, but I just can’t do it. Mainly because it’s in the past and I’m pretty happy with my life as it is right now so I just don’t see the point in dragging something up that happened nearly two years ago. I know my friends had their suspicions, but I was pretty good at hiding it, and I know my parents didn’t have a clue, and my boyfriend – we shall call him Bob – would be totally shocked, and baffled. Basically, I had an eating disorder for about two years.

It took me ages to come to that conclusion. I was only making myself sick about once a day, occasionally twice, and as far as I was concerned, bulimics threw up like twenty times a day so I was only a little bit bulimic, if at all. On the other end of the scale, I ate only as much as needed to function, but I never went an entire day without food, so I was only a little anorexic, if at all.

I never ate anything that didn’t have nutritional information on the packet, so that I could keep and exact record of how much calories and fat I was eating, and then I write it all down religiously every day. One of my worst habits was flushing my entire plate of dinner down the toilet (we don’t eat round the table in my house).

I won’t bore you with two years of my dreadful diet, but I remember the moment I knew I’d hit rock bottom: I ate four jelly babies (yep, four whole jelly babies) and panicked and rushed to the bathroom. Altogether, I went from 9 stone 6 pounds to just under 8 stone at my lowest, and I’m about 5 foot 8 inches. My periods also stopped for about fourteen months. (they are back, and I’m back up to eight and a half).

I started going out with Bob about two years ago, and I credit him with a big part of me getting better, even though he has absolutely no idea. I think I was just really unhappy, and used it as a way of release … if that makes any sense. People would comment on my weight loss (although looking back at pictures I was never fat to begin with), and it felt pretty good to know that I could do this and no one knew. I also think i was very young – I started controlling what i ate at about sixteen, and by seventeen I had definitely developed a problem. This continued to about nineteen, when I met Bob, and after a few months … I honestly don’t know, I just gradually stopped. I think I just copped on and grew out of it. I’ll admit it never totally goes away – I definitely do still watch what I eat, but I haven’t made myself sick in a year, and I eat filling, healthy meals, and there’s no point denying yourself chocolate because you’ll crack eventually and just scoff
loads of it.

Bob only knows me as a healthy, happy, confident person, and I like being that person. I don’t want to condemn anyone who might have a problem with food, but in my eyes, it’s a really, really silly thing, and anyone with an ounce of intelligence knows that it’s not healthy, and detrimental to your body. I think that’s why i don’t ever want to bring it up – because I don’t ever want to be known as being that stupid. I think people would think less of me, particularly Bob and my mother.

I’m also quite proud of the fact that I overcame it by myself (although I’m not advocating this – get help if you think you have a problem), and I think that’s what makes me feel strong enough to put it behind me. You know when you remember things from when you were younger and you laugh and you’re like, “god I was so silly at that age! Thank god i grew up!” Well, that’s how i feel about this. It does feel really good to get it off my chest, but this is where its staying – in an anonymous post on the internet!

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19 Comments

Filed under Secret Stories

19 responses to “Secret Story No.2

  1. I am sure a lot of people can relate to that!

    I am in love with this project

  2. Laura

    Wow!!! I have a friend who also has problems with eating disorders, and I’ve been trying to help her the best I can, but it’s really hard and stressful seeing as I’ve never experienced anything like it. It’s inspiring to hear from somebody who went through the same thing and was able to overcome it!

  3. Well done for getting through it and for getting it off your chest. I also have friends with eating disorders and I also think you should be proud of getting through it yourself, as I know from my friends how hard it is.
    xx

  4. emilycross

    Well done for both telling us your story, realising you had a problem and dealing with it.

    I’m sure there are lots of people who can relate to this post, so i think you deserve a thank you for talking about it 🙂

  5. Sahara

    Well done for being able to write this and overcome it.
    Truly inspiring.

  6. Glad to hear you got through it! My best friend had an eating disorder 5 years ago and I can’t even begin to explain how hard it was on everyone but especially how hard it was on her. She got better eventually but with a lot of help so you should be proud that you overcame it by yourself!

  7. well done for sharing this x

  8. Eve

    What a story! It must feel great to be able to tell it without telling anyone in particular!

  9. To whomever this was, thanks for sharing. I wish I could agree that “silly” is the rest word for body issues, but unfortunately, I can’t believe that. it’s not silly. It’s human, it’s real, it’s at the root of so many self-esteem & self-worth issues. And the world promotes it, lets it happen, encourages it. Nothing silly about that, or about falling prey to it.

    • It is a disease with a lot of things causing it which might not be obvious. But I just think she meant that the basic issue of starving yourself is silly as it can’t possibly achieve anything good…I’m sure she’s not making little of the problem!

  10. Dora

    Well done for getting better, I know it’s a hard fight getting there. I had anorexia nervosa for seven years and almost didn’t make it. (I’m better now, though).

    You say in your post:

    “I think that’s why i don’t ever want to bring it up – because I don’t ever want to be known as being that stupid.”

    Please don’t call yourself stupid, it’s a disease, you didn’t CHOOSE it, and you’re not stupid for getting it. You are, however, incredibly strong for dealing with it.

    Thanks for sharing!

  11. Amy

    Well done to the 2 secret story writers & for sharing their insights.
    Both brave people.
    I hope it inspires people to be stronger, braver and know that going through tough times and learning from them really does make you grow up & make better decisions.
    A housemate I lived with for 6 months had an eating disorder and even though you try and talk with them it has to come from that person to acknowledge it and change. Luckily she is now on the road to recovery and is dealing with her problems.
    Thanks for telling the story XX

  12. Wow well done to your secret poster, it is such a difficult thing to go through, and fair play to her for coming out the other side. I can understand what she was trying to say, obviously starving yourself is illogical, but she should never see herself as being silly. If she ever felt she wanted to share this with her mother or boyfriend, they would not think that she had been stupid. They would understand that it is a terrible illness.
    Over the years I’ve seen a few very close frinds suffer from this awful sickness, it nearly destroyed them. Thankfully they came through it, but it’s so tragic and difficult to deal with. It was really heartbreaking to watch and try to help someone through.
    I have every respect for the girl who posted this, and the braveness she has shown in writing it.

  13. Truly, truly bravo to you girl. x

  14. sarah

    Wow, thanks for this great and honest post.

    Feel like I wrote it myself, I went through that exact thing and in pretty much the exact way.

    Know what you mean re: feeling stupid and not wanting anyone to know…that was a big reason for me being so secretive about my E.D: I was absolutely mortified about the whole thing. I am an intelligent person, and quite logical, so my behaviour made no sense, and I was really embarrassed by bulimia and anorexia. I wasn’t a moody teenager or desperate to be a model or anything I’d associated with eating disorders, I was just desperate to be in control of myself. I couldn’t even talk to my best friend, even though it was patently obvious what was going on. It was a taboo- the only thing we never spoke of.

    Thankfully I’m better now. I still have bad days/weeks but on balance I think I”m doing ok.

    Thanks so much again for posting this…opening a dialogue about eating disorders in our society and un-tabooing E.D.s is the best thing we can do for this nation, and age-wide problem.

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