Eating Disorder Awareness Week.

This week is Eating Disorder Awareness Week. So many people, both men and women suffer with an eating disorder in silence. A lot of people think of an eating disorder as Anorexia or Bulemia but it's not. Not to me anyway. I wanted to take today to share my story. A battle for me that is still ongoing. 

Food for me has never been fun. I'm not someone that enjoys going out to eat or trying new foods. I love to cook, I love trying new recipes and coming up with fun and exciting dishes for my family. I just don't like to eat what I serve. 

It started off as a control issue. At the age of 12 after suffering through sexual abuse and years of mental abuse it felt like the only thing that I had control over was my food intake. I never thought that I needed to loose weight. If anything I was already underweight and could have done with gaining a few pounds but instead I just refused to eat. My Mum took me to the doctors, I was prescribed medication and sent to a therapist. Although both of those things helped, I still didn't up my food intake. I hadn't dealt with the real issues so I masked it by restricting my food intake. In hindsight, a really stupid thing to do but I was twelve and didn't know any better.   

Between the ages of 16 to 18 I ate like a horse. Something inside me clicked one day and I felt hungry, like I've never felt before. For those two years I gained weight, I enjoyed food and no one would have know that just a few years before I was literally a mess of a person. 

Throughout all of this I had also been suffering with Emetophobia. Throughout my childhood though I didn't know that there was a name for it nor that other people also suffered from the same thing. I just figured I was a weird kid and something inside me was broken. 

When I was eighteen I was surfing around Google, not for anything in particular but I came across Emetophobia and realised that this was me! It described my fear down to a T... My eating by this point had already started to suffer again but I had managed to maintain my current weight. Then two years later I got a stomach bug. I passed out in my kitchen at 3am, I came round and made a frantic phone call to my Mum asking her to come and get me. I was petrified. Long story short, I spent two days at her house suffering from this stomach bug. Afterwards though I started to associate food with vomiting. In my head if I didn't eat then I wouldn't vomit. When I was thinking like a normal person I knew that my theory was flawed and for lack of a better word, stupid. In moments of panic though, it seemed completely logical to me. Slowly I began dropping weight again. I would try and force myself to eat but after a bite or two I was feeling myself begin to shake. My palms would start sweating. I was sure that it would be this meal that would make me vomit. On the few occasions that I did manage to eat a meal, for hours afterwards I would be plagued with anxiety attacks. The feeling of food in my stomach was the worst thing. 

I had good periods and bad periods. There were times where Anthony would literally beg me to eat. My Mum and Sisters would try to talk to me. At it's worst I was having around 20 anxiety attacks a day. I didn't leave the house for weeks at a time and when I did try a wave of panic would send me running back home again. 

Eventually I went to the doctors and they refereed me to an Eating Disorder Clinic. At my appointment I sat there and explained everything to them and they were lovely. The problem was that because I don't have a classic eating disorder, such as Anorexia or Bulimia, they couldn't help me. I was suffering from a phobia which was affecting my eating. I agreed with them. I never thought that I was fat. I knew that I was underweight. I wasn't in denial about it. I wasn't hiding my problems with eating.  

In the end the thing that saved me? Emilie.. I fell pregnant with her and suffering from 24/7 nausea for 28 weeks and then on/off nausea for the remaining 9 weeks of pregnancy was the best thing that could have happened to me. I still hate the idea of vomiting. It's still the worst thing in the world to me but I don't let it consume my life anymore. I still suffer with the whole eating side of things. I don't think that I will ever be able to sit down and eat a massive plate of food in one sitting. I still have days or even a whole week where the idea of food makes me break out into a sweat but the difference now is that I am in control of how I respond. I always saw food as the enemy but really it was me. I was the one letting food control me. I was the one choosing not to put the food in my mouth. I never want to be in that place again. 

If you yourself think that you may be suffering with an eating disorder then please talk to someone. A partner, friends, parent, doctor, teacher.. There are so many people out there that can help. You do not need to suffer in silence. 

1 comment

  1. Hi Liane! Just wanted to say hi and introduce myself as your newest follower! I was actually reading your post before this one about baby sign. I'd like to start that (my late grandmother was deaf and I feel like teaching my Ava how to sign would carry her on in our lives...) Hope you'll come over to my blog and follow along with our little family in south FL.


    The McGuire Family



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