I always get asked how I realized I had an eating disorder.
I think anyone who suffers currently or has suffered from one can agree that it’s not easy to pinpoint the exact moment the eating disorder happens & takes control of our lives; it spirals downwards so quickly & denial is a common precursor to the actual stage of acceptance of the illness.
In truth, I don’t think it was so much about realizing I was sick because I knew it for months before I accepted help. It was more about finally opening my heart & accepting that I reached a point where I could no longer “get through it” + “be OK” on my own.
It was about realizing I needed help if I wanted to stay alive.
I finally accepted help when a few alarming & harsh reality checks hit me.
Unfortunately, I had to hit rock bottom to realize I had to turn things around.
I knew it was time to get help when:
- I took medical leave from my job as a lawyer because I couldn’t focus on anything but my eating disorder, I was too weak to take the train without getting dizzy + having heart palpitations going up stairs.
- I needed layers of clothes & a personal standing heater 24/7 because my bones were so brittle & body temperature was so unstable.
- I felt depressed 24/7 days, barely left my house & was so anxious around others so I isolated myself & basically hibernated.
- I had osteopenia after doing a bone density test (in a waiting room full of a seniors above the age of 65). Osteopenia is decreased bone density, but not to the extent of osteoporosis + makes you more fragile + susceptible to fractures.
- I had bradycardia (abnormally slower than normal heart rate). Our hearts at rest usually beat between. 60-100x/min. Mine was beating at 49-50 (& it’s not because I was athletic).
- When my therapist looked at my family & told them I was a ticking time bomb & it wouldn’t be long before they walked into my house & found me dead on the kitchen floor.
In retrospect, I wish I accepted help sooner so I could’ve prevented all of this & recovered sooner.
But, I also know that living with regrets is unhealthy.
If you’re suffering, you’re not alone.
I hope to inspire you to accept help from those who love & reach out to you. You deserve to live a fulfilled & happy life but you have to want it & let it happen.