My name is Kate, I’m 14 and have been struggling with anorexia for over a year.My whole life I have been struggling with body image, anxiety, and depression, but last summer was really when things took a turn for the worst.

At the beginning of summer 2012 I developed anorexia. My body quickly shut down and I was admitted into hospital by the beginning of January 2013 where I spent almost 3 months. Those were the hardest days of my life but I was finally discharged from hospital. I was then sent to a program within the hospital that would help to work on my thoughts and symptoms. I have been in the program for seventeen weeks and am set to graduate this Friday on July 5. I am not recovered and still have really hard days but I am trying my best to continue my journey and stay on the path of recovery. I wish all of you who are struggling the best of luck. Just know that no matter how dark it seems it does start to get better. 

http://its-ok-darling.tumblr.com/
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Hi, my name is Alix.

I’m 16 and have been struggling with anorexia for a year and a half (or two, I’m not really sure).

Today, since 1 month I am in recovery because I relapsed.

Last summer (2012), I was diagnosed with depression, I self-harmed secretly. I felt alone, I was alone, no one understood. I desperately wanted someone to see through my smiles, my laughs. I wanted someone to realise that I wasn’t well. I wanted someone to see that I was sad, I was depressed, that I felt so alone it actually hurt physically. That sounds impossible, but that’s what if felt like. Darkness was always present, day after day, nightmares during my sleep, the dark tunnel never ever seemed to end. It was a living hell. 

I had started restricting but without actually realising it. I saw the school counsellor. I would never be where I am now today without her. I don’t know how I would have kept on living without her support. She was everything at that time. 

She told my parents I was severely depressed. She saw through me, saw that I was restricting. Summer holidays came and I couldn’t see her anymore as we were all in holidays. I left for France to join a few old friends. I went there for 10 days. Again, without realising it I restricted. I started feeling physical anorexia symptoms; cramps, no period and binge eating.

When I came back from France, my parents where shocked. I had apparently lost so much it was noticeable. I didn’t believe them, but somehow I felt ashamed. Weird, but I can’t explain why. Summer continued, and my restricting became excessive and living became even more of a hell. I thought “how could life get even worse?”

I lost so much weight, I could barely walk, family meals were a horror. I felt so bad for making my parents and sisters go through this but I simply couldn’t eat. It wasn’t even a matter of body image. I didn’t see myself as fat, I still don’t. It wasn’t even about that. What it was about, I’m not even sure yet. I’m still working on finding that out, although I have a slight idea of what it was about now. 

My parents took me to see a pyschiatrist specialised in eating disorders. By the start of new term, I was in such a bad shape and in mortal danger I was admitted as inpatient in a psychiatric hospital specialised in eating disorders. 

That helped. A lot. I desperately wanted to get out of there and I knew the only way was to start eating again. Slowly, eating became a pleasure again. I stayed 5 long months and when I came out I was in perfect shape for about 10 days. Then I saw an adjoint psy of my main one and it was bad with her. I started restricting again, relapsed for about 6 months. During these 6 months including these summer holidays, I slowly lost all the weight I’d managed to gain as inpatient 6 months before. I got an intestinal occlusion and life was a living hell again. I was hurting my sisters, parents, friends. My school counsellor helped me so much. Today she is even more of a friend then a counsellor. I don’t know how I would do without her help. Her and her colleague nurse. I was badly self harming again, tried purging but that didn’t work for me. 

1 month ago I was admitted to a psy hospital but this one was horrible. I felt like in a real prison. There were teens screaming in the hallways. The atmosphere was real morbid. Carvings in the walls, carvings in the windows. Yells, pains, screams. It was prison. I lost even more weight there.

I stayed a week and got transferred to another psy hospital, but this time, a real good one. One where you make friends. One where nurses are friendly. One where you are really take seriously. With a park outside.

Tomorrow will be my 3 week here. Nearly one month free of self harm. I’m still struggling, I’m still fighting depression, anxiety, restriction, but I’m fighting. 

Because MY LIFE IS WORTH SO MUCH MORE.

My life is about smiles, friends, helping others, my personalty, having fun, being beautiful and happy from the inside. And NOT FROM THE OUTSIDE.

My life is mine. My life, it’s my life and I am the one who get’s to decide what I will do with it. EITHER GOOD EITHER BAD. And I choose GOOD.

Because Good is worth it. Life is worth it. Love is right there. I am loved, and whatever I do, there will always be someone to love me. Whatever happens. Whatever I think. I am loved. This is my life. And fuck what others think about me, about my body. If you keep basing your actions on what you think others will think of you, you will keep living in this prison. Living in a dark, no-ending tunnel. F*** what others think. You are you, WHO YOU ARE IS WHAT YOU ARE AND WHAT YOU ARE IS B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L. 

You are glitter. I am me. And I choose recovery. I choose happiness. I choose Life. MY life. 

http://standuptallandsmile.tumblr.com/
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My name is Amy. I’m 16 and struggled with anorexia for about a year.

I know it’s not that long compared to quite a lot of people who have struggled for years, but I still went through it. I was sick of not being noticed. I used to be seen as smart but then my best friend was the one who everyone joked as a ‘nerd’. Noone acknowledged me anymore and she started to even challenge me in my best subjects which were her worst. Of course she beat me. My other friends stopped hanging out with me.. I didn’t know why but I recently found out it was because of her. So I stopped eating. I wanted to be skinny because of the compliments they gave everyone else on their body.

I went through hell. But I only intended to lose weight, not become stick thin. But my boyfriend forced me to go see my counsellor. Who asked me to ring up a nutritionist. I did. I started to try but of course I was in bad moods and delicate. My boyfriend-25months- broke up with me and dated someone else. I was devastated. I gave up. I was depressed, suicidial and self harming. But he was still there for me secretly. I told him. I had noone- but everyone was nice. I met a girl who encouraged me to recover. My teacher who is closest to me talked to me. I tried again. I started to socialise and fit in with my old group (although my best friend doesn’t talk to me). Guys treated me well. I was happy. My boyfriend wanted me back. Now I’ve got my period back and am I fraction of a bit off my target weight. I am happy and loving my life. I still struggle at times but I NEVER have such a bad day that I don’t complete my calorie target.

I’m happy. Everyone deserves that.
http://leg1timate.tumblr.com/
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Hi, my name is Brittany. I’m 18 years old and just recently conqoured my eating disorder.

I started making myself throw up my freshman year of high school. I was strugging with school, I had no friends because I moved towns, and there was a certain boy over the summer that really messed me up. I didn’t feel good enough. I felt worthless. I felt stupid. I felt FAT. I would make myself throw up after pretty much every meal. My family would always ask why my voice was always so raspy, but I lied and said it was because I had really bad sinuses.

When sophomore year started, I had gotten close to a few girls. One started to notice, told the others, and suddenly they were all on my back. I was pissed about it because I felt like they were gossiping about me. After refusing their help, they told my parents. That was a huge mess that I won’t even go into.

Now, the end of my senior year, I can finally say that I’ve BEAT this. After the help from my parents, friends, an amazing boy, and getting involved with church, I feel much better about myself. I haven’t made myself throw up in almost 6 months now, a HUGE accomplishment for me. I finally feel beautiful, comfortable in my own skin. We should ALL feel comfortable with ourselves, because we are ALL beautiful. If I can beat this, all of you can. (:

http://morethanalive.tumblr.com/

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Im now 16 years old and I have struggled with eating since for the last 3-4 years. Im not going to list my whole story, because its long, there is a lot of it im not proud of and if you are out there struggling you probably know first hand enough about it anyway. 


I Just want to say hang in there. I have wasted so much of my life worrying about other people. I always knew I wasn’t fat, it’s not really about that though. I just wanted to impress people, to live up to all the expectations and standards set for me. There are always going to be those people out there who are more athletic, far smarter and prettier.  I just kept comparing myself to them and putting myself down. I used eating as something i could control, to allow me to finally be the best at something, the skinniest. I shouldn’t have.

I am clever and people will not put me down about that anymore, if i dont live up to their expectations then fuck it, they should lower their standards. Im not the prettiest, but i dont care, this is what i have got and im going to work with it, and the confidence this gives me is far more attractive. And still, after all the wasted years i am not the skinniest, and i never will be, and you know what, why would i want to be? Skinny isnt attractive, it doesnt show self control, i mean i was least in control when i was affected by my eating. Being skinny isnt an accomplishment, and its not worth wasting all your other AMAZING qualities over.

The point im trying to make is that dont worry what people think. Life isnt worth it, and neither are they. Live for the moment and for yourself, because trying to live up to what other people want you to be and trying to achieve the impossible standards you set for yourself will not make you happy.  Things are going to be hard, and its not going to be a straightforward journey, but it is possible. Don’t beat yourself up if you have bad days, and dont try and change everything at once. Take small steps and gradually even the biggest of tasks can be completed.

Do it for yourself, because you deserve better than this. 

http://just-sayinn.tumblr.com/

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My eating disorder began when I was eight years old. I have always lived in a chaotic family and I used food to cope with the chaos. My parents divorced when I was young and both of my parents struggle with addictions.  I became very overweight and by age eleven I was going on crash diets and started taking diet pills to try and get rid of the excess weight. At age thirteen I got my first gym membership and my disorder took off. I have gone through cycles of different combinations of overeating, restricting, purging, and over-exercising throughout the last fifteen years. I have been through many different traumas since age fourteen and each one affected my eating disorder in one way or another.  My disorder led to eight hospitalizations and brought me to a point where I had no hope, I could no longer see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I eventually ended up in treatment in February of 2010.It has been a long and trying journey over the last sixteen months as I have navigated through the craziness of recovery. My insurance pushed for me to go inpatient last year, but I wasn’t ready to take that step at that point. So I tried every other form of treatment from outpatient to residential and ended up inpatient anyways last November. Now I am getting to the point where I am going back to school, looking for work, and slowly taking steps back into my life again

http://recoverynos.blogspot.com/

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My name is Elodie. I am 17; I try to think about when it started. Sometimes I think it was when I was in fifth grade, that’s when I stopped talking about food and stopped eating candy and junk food. I felt like I couldn’t talk about food because then people would think I was unhealthy. However, it was in seventh grade that I started limiting food. I wouldn’t eat breakfast, then I’d have an apple and a few pieces of lettuce for lunch and then I’d eat as little dinner as I could get away with. It wasn’t hard to get away with it. My dad never really lived with us, he and my mom officially separated in 2001, but I can’t remember him ever sleeping in our apartment. My mom works a lot, she’s rarely in New York during the week. So it was just me and my brother after my older brother went to college and we ‘out grew’ nannies.

Things spiralled from there because they could; the bulimia wasn’t far behind. I then found the internet and all the other girls ‘just like me.’ They made me worse, every time I was at my weakest they pushed me on. I knew I couldn’t eat because I’d have to tell them and they’d judge me.

Along with the eating disorder there was paranoia, social anxiety, obsessive habits, self-harm and depression.  

I was first admitted as an in patient during eighth grade, they discharged me speedily because I was so young, but I was still in out patients through the summer. Ninth grade was really bad. I was pushing my friends away as hard as I could, thankfully they stood by me, crazy as they are. I was hospitalised twice that year, but never admitted. Sophomore year I was admitted for 3 months at the start of the year and then my mom found a different center outside of the city. I was there for three months as well. The summer wasn’t so bad, I can actually remember having fun. However, by the end of summer it was apparent that nothing had changed. I was back in treatment for all of Junior Year, except for a 3 week stint near mid terms and an 8 week stint towards the end of the year. I got my SATs and scored well because I was working on school while in an in patients clinic.

It was during Junior Year that I realized how bad things were. I wasn’t a little girl anymore; I was 16 and had never had a period and probably never will. I’ll never have children and who wants to fall in love with somebody that damaged? I was also shocked into recovery by stories of things and then being shown how close I was myself. It had got to a point where I couldn’t deny that I needed help anymore. I could see what my friends had and I wanted it so badly. I wanted to go out and have fun and not to worry about being in bed by 10 so I could be up by 5. I didn’t want to have anymore ‘bad days’

I still don’t accept my body and you’ll notice I’ve barely mentioned it. I still hate myself and don’t like taking my clothes off. But now I don’t hurt myself. I don’t eat what and when I like - it’s still a battle. I have menus for each day, but things are getting better. I can eat food. I still haven’t managed cake or chocolate, but twizzlers are something I can do – I ate 8 over the weekend. I ate bread a few weeks ago; I eat noodles once a fortnight. All of these were things I was too scared too eat this time last year. Senior Year has given me confidence to be myself and become healthy again. This time last year I had my mom, my brother, and three friends. This week I’ll be graduating high school and going to a party afterwards with about 40 people who care about me.

I was sure that the flaw was with me and that I needed to change. I dreamed about how I should be. How I would have to be to be happy. All of that made me miserable. I was unhappy at 104lbs, but I wasn’t any happier at 72lbs. It’s OK to dream so long as your dreams aren’t the thing killing you. I’m still recovering and it’s still an effort everyday to get up feeling positive and ignoring the voice telling you you’re fat, but making the decision to recover has been the best thing. I’ve had a wonderful last year of high-school I’m way more confident heading to college and I like knowing that people will remember me as I was this year. 

Don’t give into your eating disorder - it might feel like part of you, but it’s the only part that’s not worth loving. 

http://elodieastor.tumblr.com/

____________________________________________________Hello.

Well, I thought I’d post my story, see if it can help or make somebody understand what bulimia is. I’m not, and never have been, underweight - in fact, I’ve almost always been average or overweight for my height. This doesn’t mean I am any less ill because believe me, I suffer with this illness every single goddamn day. It destroys my life, my relationships and my self-esteem. I hate it.

I don’t know exactly when it started, but I know I was about 10 and have always had appalling body image. I have self-harmed, starved, but mostly binged and purged for my entire life. Every good memory I have is tainted by a memory of food, or loss of control and pain. Every birthday, Christmas, celebration has a memory of binging and purging somewhere inside it. My digestion is non-existent these days, blood pressure very low, heartbeat slow, periods are erratic and absurdly heavy to the point of anaemia, my teeth are intensely sensitive, I have scabs and scars in various places from self-harm. I have been suicidal, not something I’m proud of nor something I want to discuss too much.

I am in recovery, or so the story goes. I’m on AD’s, and they’re doing a certain amount. My body image is still through the floor - I have worn a skirt exactly 4 times this year. I don’t show my legs as a matter of course! I hate even showing my arms.

I hate that I feel this way, and I would do anything for it to all go away. It doesn’t, I’m constantly fighting it BUT I am still here, and still fighting. And I think that’s something to hold onto. I can’t say that I think larger bodies are beautiful, I can’t say that I agree with a lot of the things on pro-sites. But I do agree with the sentiments and ideas, and I think it’s right even if I can’t see it. I will get there. It’ll just take time.

http://anartlikeeverythingelse.tumblr.com/

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Hi there,
Weight issues have been apart of my life sinceI can remember. I was always overweight as a child, and my parents made sure I knew it. I don`t think they meant to hurt me, but in the long run they did. I never tried to lose weight until the summer before highschool. I had lost all my friends (I thought it was because of my weight) and I wanted to be pretty when I went into grade nine. My mom told me I should limit my calories, and so it began. I started to become obsessed with counting and was technically starving myself for a year. I remember the first time I purged. It was before I had lost a single pound, but I felt guilty for eating pizza when I was supposed to be losing weight. Afterwards I was disgusted with myself and said I would never do it again, I wasn`t that type of girl. A year later, and a significant amount of weight lost (I won`t say numbers but it`s alot), I was starting to feel great about myself, I finally had boys interested in me, and I could fit in the school desks and into skinny jeans. I was seeing a personal trainer at the gym and she thought it would be good to do weigh ins (she had no idea I was starving myself). I would lose so much weight and she seemed so proud. I guess that`s why when I binged before a weigh in, I felt like I was letting her down. Letting myself down. I had come so far and the thought of being fat again was terrifying. So I started purging. At first it was only once and a while, if I slipped up. But then, when I was reaching my goal weight, and losing became so much harder, and starving became more and more tiring, it increased to daily. And for the last four years of my life it`s been four to six times a day. What started as a way to let myself have the food my body was craving, turned into a monster. Bulimia became apart of me, it took over my life and told me that I would never make it on my own again. Over the years I bought self help books, saw a psychologist, and nothing seemed to work. I guess I was never ready. It got to the point where puke would come out my nose every time I threw up (sorry! gross.) because the stomach acid has detiorated the tissue that connects my mouth and nose. Three weeks ago, when I looked in the mirror and saw my teeth not as white or strong as they could be, my eyes red and watery from purging, and the horrible taste in my mouth and burning in my nose and throat I decided I`d had enough. Bulimia could take a hike, I didn`t want her in my life anymore. I was terrified, and still am today. I pulled out the self help book I had been ignoring, made charts and inspirational walls and pledged to end this. Once and for all. It`s only been about three weeks, and I have definietly already had my ups and downs, relapses and retries, but Ì know I can`t let bulimia control my life anymore. I was at the point where I knew it was either give up life all together, or get better and be happy. I know it`s going to be a long, long battle, but I know my battle scars will be worth it in the end. Sometimes it seems like bulimia is easier, and it is in the short term. But recovery and happiness take work. Nothign happens over night. And in the end, when I`m better and full of smiles and happiness I`ll be able to look in the mirror and be content with my life. I know that there`s more to my life than what I see in the mirror. And everyday that I win the battle, even if it`s in baby steps, I feel so exilerated and proud. I feel strong. Stronger than you can feel starving yourself, or purging yourself of life. I just want anyone reading to know that it`s not easy, you`ll feel like shit before you`ll feel better, but it`s worth it. And you will feel better. Just don`t give up. I never thought there was hope, but if you can look past your weight in the mirror and see the strength you have inside you (because you know you have strength to be hanging on and dealing with what you do) you can do this. You can conquer this. You can win.

And to finish my story, I`ll leave off with my favourite motivational quote.

“I am beginning to measure myself in strength, not pounds. And sometimes, even in smiles.”

Thanks to everyone that has shared their story, it keeps me going.

http://findingthewritewords.tumblr.com/

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I’m 14, and struggling with bulimia. Today is my full day in recovery and I’m trying to get the most of it.

http://please-smile-more.tumblr.com/

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my name is Pippin, and I’ve been recovered from binge eating disorder for 2 years now. I used to do it, well, for the opposite reason, I wanted to gain weight, and I couldn’t. Now I need to remember when to eat, because my appetite’s messed up, but I’m so much happier that I don’t have the compulsive need to eat everything, next I gotta tackle my pica, but one step at a time. I can’t thank my friends enough for being here, I really can’t.

http://testprotocol.tumblr.com/

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I am Cameron, 16 years old, and I have struggled with EDNOS for 5 years.

It all started when I was 11. My parents had just divorced 2 years earlier, and I was just a mess. Plus, we had moved into a neighborhood that had a bit more money laying around, and things that once seemed stupid started to matter. Like, my weight, and my jean size (which was nonexistent at the time.). Around this time, puberty hit too. I had always been very thin and lanky without really trying. And all of a sudden, my thighs are touching, my butt is coming in, and I am suddenly getting curves that were never there. These curves became the target for my stress.

I started restricting my food and counting calories, and sneaking out to go running. I kept this up for a few weeks, but I was just so damn hungry all the time. So, I would binge. Cookies, cereal, 2% milk, sodas, leftovers; I would eat everything in sight. And I would feel so guilty for failing my “fat-ass” diet that I would purge it up and run it off. This cycle went on for years. 

And then, I fell in love for the first time. I had this beautiful, wonderful boy telling me that I was beautiful and worthy of him. My symptoms subsided for a while, and I gained 20 pounds without even thinking about it. I was healthy. I was happy. But then, he left. I was weighed at a doctors office, and I was horrified. And my family drama escalated, again. So my focus shifted to my weight, again.

The cycles started coming back. But this time, people noticed. I was getting tons of compliments, and that just fueled me even more. I almost got down to my lowest weight again before my friend caught me purging at my house. She threatened to tell my parents if I didn’t. So, I had no choice. I told them. They weren’t mad, which really surprised me. They sent me to a therapist to diagnose me. She decided that since my symptoms were not too extreme, I would not be sent to IP. But I was forced to go into serious, intensive outpatient therapy. My parents were watching my like a hawk. But my mom stood by me every single step of the way. She was there for me for every single bad day and I owe my recovery to her. 

I’m not going to say that it is easy, or that it’s going to go smoothly, or that it’s going to be fun and filled with smiles. It’s really hard, and you will hate it at the beginning. But once you see that you’r making progress, and how great truly living is, it will be worth it. If I can do this, you can do this. It is possible; you’re strong enough.

Good luck :)

http://inhaleexhale-repeat.tumblr.com/

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I’m Aly, I’m 21, and I’ve been mostly recovered for 2 and a half years. It started when I was 13 with restricting and purging, I didn’t really realize that it was an eating disorder and I didn’t why I did it. It just felt natural, like I NEEDED to do that to myself to be happy. It didn’t get too bad until I was 15, I was completely focused on having the lowest weight possible and I loved when people told me how jealous they were of how skinny I was. If I went a day that someone didn’t mention how thin I was it was that meant I was a failure. I had a sweet and loving boyfriend that helped me a lot, but I eventually became too much for him to be able to take care of by himself and we broke up. I don’t blame him now, I was a wreck but I thought that the only way to make someone love me was to convince them that I was sad and broken and they had to fix me. It took me a long time to get out of that mindset and had a couple terrible and damaging boyfriends during that time. My parents tried to help, but I have three siblings all with bipolar disorder and my issues got pushed aside and I mostly relied on my therapist for an outlet. I missed half of high school because I didn’t have enough energy to get out of bed, I ended up graduating from an alternative school and not going to college because I didn’t have to grades for scholarships despite having once been an all A student. After I graduated I lost my health insurance so I couldn’t go to therapy anymore, but I finally realized that I had let my disorder control my life for the past 5 years. I didn’t want to be the sad broken thing anymore and started taking steps on my own to get through the bad thoughts and start loving myself.

At the time everything felt like such a mystery, like there was some strange and beautiful reason that I needed to hurt myself like that. I’m glad that I can look back at it now and understand that I did it because I needed to feel like I could control something. I’ve always felt like I wasn’t ‘good enough’ in everyone’s eyes. My older sister is the smart one, my younger sister is the cute one, and my little brother is the baby, it’s Middle Child Syndrome at it’s finest. My disorder was a way to make myself feel like I could eventually be good enough for the attention I never got. I wanted to be perfect, and I wanted someone to love me and give me attention.

Sometimes I still have urges to restrict or I get upset with myself for eating too much, but it’s a rare occasion and when I do I have to remind myself how far I’ve come from the empty, dark feelings I had when I was in the depths of my ED. I’m trying to have a better relationship with my family, but I’m afraid that I resent them too much for how bad I felt as a teenager because of them. But I’m honestly really proud of myself for how far I’ve come from how I used to be, I’m happy with myself and I’m making plans to steadily become happier with my life. I have a wonderful boyfriend that loves me because I’m fun and life-loving, not because he wants to help me. Thanksgiving is coming up and for the first time I’m actually excited!

For anyone that is beginning recovery, or is getting ready to be- I completely promise you without a doubt that you can do this! It takes time and it hurts and it’s hard, but it’s completely worth every bit of effort. Life without constantly thinking about my disorder is amazing compared to how I was living before. I am not an eating disorder, I’m Aly and I’m healthy

http://fuckshitjesus.tumblr.com/

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hey. My name is Brianna I am 14 years old i have had an ED for 4 years . yes i know it began at the age of ten ! . my recovery just recently began on October 14th,2011 . I struggled and still struggling with body acceptance and ENDOS . there has been alot of crying and emotions since the 14th but i am coping slowly and in a healthy way !  

http://butterflykisseswithlove.tumblr.com/

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Today,

I’m sad because my doctors told me the medication overdose, the pills, the bulimia, laxatives, and starving have hurt my stomach and liver astronomically.

The doctor told me if it doesn’t get better, if the results of the tests I will go through in the next month don’t show up better, I have up to 10 years left.

I just want to tell everyone out there, that this is the result of poor dieting, mal-nutrition, starving, and wanting an eating disorder.
It doesn’t get more brutal than this. So everyone out there, recover while you can!! Life is beautiful, and don’t let a number out there define who you are. I wish I could hug everyone out there who goes through these horrible things. Because it does get better, but sometimes it has consequences.

I may never get to work in wildlife-preservation, Biology, Physics, and photography like I dreamed. I may never make it past 26, but you know what, I’m hopeful.

I’m torn up, I’m trying to heal, and I’m eating well again. There is so much beauty in the world and I may never even see it.

But that won’t stop me from trying.
Bless you for reading my post.
Stay safe, forever and always. x

http://up-in-the-t-r-e-e-s.tumblr.com/

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My name is Jasmine Gilgosch and I am 18 years old. I struggle with Bulimia and Aneorexia. I started at age 14. I have a heart problem and I can’t have much weight around my heart but I am so limited to the exercise I can do. I am also 5 feet tall so when I gain weight I gain weight. I was always told by doctors and my mother that I had to be a certain weight and I understood for my health but on top of them and what the ideal image was for girls my height I felt bad about myself and felt I had to be that perfect image. I started with bulimia and threw up after I ate all the time. My mother never caught on. I would look in the mirror and see the most disgusting figure ever. I also told myself I was gross and disgusting and whoever was my friend was only my friend because they felt sorry for me. I was utterly disgusted with how I looked. Then I switched back and forth. I would go days without eating. And then when I did eat I would throw it right back up. No one ever said anything. It was a long battle. But then came age 16 and I wanted out. It wasn’t healthy and I was scared. I went to my best friend and told her what I had been doing. She just cried and told me that I didn’t need to do any of this. She told me I was beautiful in every way possible. Part of me believed it and the other half didn’t. I tried to get better. And whenever she was here or I was at her house she would sit outside the bathroom so if she heard me puke she would rush in and stop me. She was my rock. But it didn’t end. I still from time to time would go days without eating and would throw up after meals. Along with this I used to cut. And the more I threw up or skipped a meal the more I cut. I would go out to dinner and be scared to order because I would think everyone was secretly calling me fat. I would hate Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner because I didn’t want to eat too much, but not eat too little because I didn’t want the family to find out.

Age 18 rolled around, I turned 18 in March and went on a vacation with my family. We went to Key West. I was slowly starting to feel good in my body. I was starting to realize I’m perfect just the way I am. I don’t struggle with my heart so my weight is fine. And if I feel like I need to lose a few pounds I can do it in a healthy way. Well we were on Duval Street and I saw so many skinny girls that were gorgeous and the bad feeling came back around. One night my mother, brother, and his wife went out. So me and my nephew were alone in the hotel. He went to the hotel pool before me and I threw up our dinner. I went down to the pool and felt light headed ‘cause I hadn’t thrown up in a while and I literally threw up until I “knew” none of the food was left in my body. My nephew could tell was something wrong so he made  me go back upstairs and he tucked me into bed. He held my hand and said, “I hope you feel better. I love you and don’t want you sick. You’re too beautiful to be sick.” He thought I was just having a stomach ache but he knew I was really sick. That was the moment I knew I needed to stop for good. I needed to stop for him because we had such a strong relationship. And we’ve told each other countless times we couldn’t go on with life if we lost one another and he’s 13, but we had that conversation when he was 11. He’s literally my world and I could never leave him and I knew if I went back to my eating disorders I would leave him sooner than planned. He is the reason I stopped.

I still have moments where I want to go into the bathroom and puke. There are times where I want to not eat for a few days. But I still eat because I know it’s what is best for me. I still struggle with cutting. I haven’t cut for almost a month now. But it’s hard. But I do it all to stay around for that little boy because he is my everything. I keep telling myself I am beautiful. I am good enough. Some days I don’t believe it, but I am more confident with who I am now. I am still working on it, but I am making it happen.

http://sparrowstarstrukk.tumblr.com/

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I am 16 years old, and have been dealing with an eating disorder for about 9 months. I know that in the scheme of eating disorders, thats absolutely nothing. But, i’m here to share my story in hopes that it will help another who hasn’t been struggling for many years either, or maybe even somebody who has.

My eating disorder began with a diet. An attempt to lose some weight for ballet, and plummeted into skipping meals, and working out for hours a day when my diet didn’t get results. My eating disorder rapidly turned into flow blown anorexia, and later on i began purging as well. Because my eating disorder started at the end of a school year, it got stronger over the summer and eventually took over once school started again. I started getting heart palpitations and started falling over from lack of nutrition. I had already been suffering from depression and when my ED worsened so did my depression. I would leave every single class crying and eventually had to talk to my school social worker. She asked me if I was starving myself, and i denied it at first. But after seeing her for a few weeks I decided to let her help me. It was the best decision I ever made.

Right after my mom found out, I thought I was stupid for getting help. I thought I wasn’t sick enough. I didn’t believe myself when I met the weight criteria, or lost my period, or fell over. I didn’t believe myself when I started getting stress fractures. I never would have believed myself. I thought I would eventually if I kept going, then maybe I could just get help later. That I shouldn’t have told someone because I wouldn’t have gotten caught. Turns out, the next morning my dance teacher called my mom and told her about his concerns and they made the decision to pull me out. I have to recover to dance again.

And thats where I am. I’m just beginning recovery and it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. But i’m doing it. I’m doing it to get my period back so I can have kids. I’m doing it so I can concentrate, and so I can hopefully be allowed to dance again. But most of all, I’m going into recovery so I can finally learn to love myself.  I hope one day you can love yourself, too<3

http://mindovermeals.tumblr.com/

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My name is Kaitlyn, I’m 19 years old, and I’ve been in recovery from an eating disorder for almost 2 years. I struggled mainly with bulimia for about 8 years and I used to feel like my eating disorder had become who I was and that it would never leave me alone. I thought I didn’t even want it to go away because whenever I tried to recover, I’d run right back into its cruel yet seemingly comforting arms.

I just want to say that there is hope no matter how long you’ve suffered from an eating disorder, whether it be 10 days or 10 years, you can take your life back. Believing in yourself can be really difficult and I still have trouble with it sometimes, but I’ve learned to separate the voice of my eating disorder from my own voice and I found that I actually have some great things to say.

Your body is wonderful, you are important, and your thoughts and ideas are worth listening to no matter what your eating disorder says. Recovery isn’t always easy, but it can feel really great.

http://writtenliving.tumblr.com/

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My name is Kaitlyn, I’m 19 years old, and I’ve been in recovery from an eating disorder for almost 2 years. I struggled mainly with bulimia for about 8 years and I used to feel like my eating disorder had become who I was and that it would never leave me alone. I thought I didn’t even want it to go away because whenever I tried to recover, I’d run right back into its cruel yet seemingly comforting arms.

I just want to say that there is hope no matter how long you’ve suffered from an eating disorder, whether it be 10 days or 10 years, you can take your life back. Believing in yourself can be really difficult and I still have trouble with it sometimes, but I’ve learned to separate the voice of my eating disorder from my own voice and I found that I actually have some great things to say.

Your body is wonderful, you are important, and your thoughts and ideas are worth listening to no matter what your eating disorder says. Recovery isn’t always easy, but it can feel really great.

http://writtenliving.tumblr.com/

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I’m aged 16 now and well it started about 3 years ago, I basically realised that I wasn’t happy with body I was 13 and had just hit puberty so obviously EVERYTHING was changing & I didn’t like it. I started dodging meals and throwing away packed lunches in school, it eventually got so bad that I would eat as little as 1 banana a day, I also started doing excessive exercise until I had burnt off every calorie I had eaten! I went on holiday in 2009 and because my family were there watching me eat as we out for a meal most days I couldn’t dodge meal time I HAD to eat then I started to realise that I could throw it back up so I’d secretly go to the toilet and stick a toothbrush down my throat, it got so bad that I’d do it in public toilets like in pizza hut, I only threw up meals that I had throughout the day though I wasn’t bingeing at this point.  I then started having episodes where I would go all shaky and dizzy then collapse and find it hard to breathe, the first time it happened I was rushed to hospital I had to stay overnight while they assessed me – I was never officially diagnosed with bulimia. I then lost my periods for about a year and became incredibly skinny! everyone started to notice and my friends and family let me know how worried they were but realised that it was a difficult thing to talk about so they stayed out of my way (I look back now and think ‘ew how could I not realise how horribly skinny I was and how ill I looked’) This still wasn’t enough to make me realise what I was doing to my body, I carried on being rushed into hospital and had to live with the guilt of worrying my family and friends. The doctors told me to eat and would tell me how silly I was for eating so little my family also told me to eat and would give me disappointing looks which made me feel very guilty but I wouldn’t listen, I continued to skip meals or throw them up. I’d eat so little that I’d have no energy to do anything. It started to hit home when I read on the internet how serious your diet is especially when you’re a teen as it messes with your hormones, I read horror stories about what it can lead to. I also realised how serious not having my period was and read that it is very unlikely I would be able to have a child, that hit me hard and I cried myself to sleep that night as I had always dreamed of having 2 children and a family. That’s when I knew I had to start recovering I had a tricky year of trying to recover but then relapsing as soon as I got stressed or unhappy but I had got back to a healthy weight and got my periods back :D the day I got my periods back I was so happy I felt normal again and hoped that  it meant I could have children. The first step was to overcome my fear of being fat. I had to realise that the media is unrealistic and most images are modified to look ‘perfect’ I wrote down all the good points of my body and learnt to love myself the way I was – it was hard but I got there in the end. After about 5 months of not purging I realised that I could tense my abs and throw up without forcing it using my gag reflex, I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong and didn’t realise this was still bulimic behaviour. I’d go to the toilet after dinner, tense and throw up. I then started to think I might as well eat more of the things I like and then throw it back up, so I started bingeing usually on things like ice cream and biscuits and chocolate. Sweet things really but it could be anything I didn’t care I just wanted to eat anything I could and then throw it back up! It was mainly at night because no one could see me and if I was left home alone I’d do it for hours I did every day for a few months. It was whilst I was bingeing and purging that I was most unhappy and relationships broke down because of all the secrets I was holding back and the lies I was telling, I hated life and hated myself for what I was doing. I also had a constant sore throat and heart burn that I was on medication for. I then started to realise that this was ‘bingeing & purging’ the main trait of bulimia and realised that I had relapsed and was not on my way to recovery at all, even though I wasn’t losing any weight what I was doing was so unhealthy. I had to start my recovery all over again and once again realise how great my body was learn to love myself :) I wrote down my thoughts and tried to stay positive all the time, I never entered treatment I used self help tips to recover. (ask me for any tips on how to recover or the steps I took) this was only a few months ago but here we are now. Now; I love my body I love life and I appreciate everything more than ever. I love helping people because I have been through it and completely understand bulimics without judging. I feel the best way to overcome it is being ‘cruel to be kind’ you have to tell yourself how stupid what you are doing is and think why would I do this to myself it’s silly!! I have missed little detail out to cut it down a little even though it’s still quite long haha but yeah, this is my story and it has made me who I am today :-)

http://stay-strong-xox.tumblr.com/

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My name is Lucy. I’m 15 and when I was in 7th grade, I was anorexic.

7th grade started out as a great year for me, then everything seemed to slowly go down hill. I was dumped, not doing well in my classes, distancing from my friends, and was diagnosed with ADD. I felt lonely, stupid, and ugly. My parents were unhappy with me and my grades so I spent most weekends at home, grounded all by myself. I was sad, so I started to skip meals. It started with lunch, then breakfast, than my after school snack, eventually only eating a small dinner every night. When my friends asked why I skipped a meal, I blaimed it on my ADD meds, saying they made me not hungry. This was true to a certain extent, but I wanted to skip meals to lose weight. I can remember becoming used to the feeling of being hungry, not noticing the aching in my stomach.

Then, my grades were making an improvement, so I could go out on the weekends. I had fun with my friends and started to be happier, going out and eating meals. I eventually was eating regularly and feeling better about myself because of the love of my friends. I opened up and told my best friend about it, which helped, and I prayed to God every night. I went to a Catholic camp that summer and it helped me realize that God doesn’t want me to hurt myself by not eating and I came closer to my faith and quit these bad habits.

Although I never sought professional help and my struggles did not last too long, it still was a challenge for me. But, now I have never been happier and I love my body and life so much and couldn’t ask for much better life!

http://icanbarelysaay.tumblr.com/

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For five years, I have, not once, believed I was beautiful. I have been told it left and right by many people, and because of it I starved and tried to make myself beautiful. It wasn’t until a man named David Buczkowski, of the band Action Item, told me I was beautiful. three different times, he did. After that, I’ve finally started to believe and I’ve stopped starving. I hope everyone who struggles with eating disorders finds a way to believe that they are all beautiful, whether it be from someone important to them or standing up to the rude person calling you ugly or throwing the scale away. You are all beautiful, strong women (and men). I love you all. <3 

http://myperfectwords.tumblr.com/