Do I Really Deserve Help For This?

“To lose confidence in one’s body is to lose confidence in oneself”

The 25th February this year, marked the start of eating disorder awareness week. This wasn’t just here in the UK, but something that went on across the globe. Charities from all over the world ran campaigns to raise awareness and understanding of eating disorders. I, like many other people, knew absolutely nothing about this. You see, the only reason I became aware of this awareness week was when I heard it on the tv at my dad’s. It wasn’t on the news as you might think, it wasn’t even a charity campaign either. It was in fact a live broadcast from the houses of parliament here in the UK. MP’s from across the country was talking about it and highlighting just how important an issue it was.

As I tuned in and listened to what was being said, I found myself thinking about some of the things I could relate to myself, but I just shrugged it off. MP’s would be reading out stories from their own constituents and I was both shocked and amazed at just how bad an eating disorder is. Until this point, I had only ever heard of anorexia, and I was surprised at just how many different eating disorders there where. Surprised at how it doesn’t discriminate by age, gender or religion. After the MP’s moved onto another subject, I spent some time reflecting on what I just heard.

Thinking back over the last year, I recall the few times I was accused of taking drugs or being anorexic because of my weight loss and looking pasty. I also recall the amount of times over the years that I had to take iron tablets because I was anaemic. I recall the times I would constantly weigh myself, sometimes several times a day. I would recall the obsession with exercise and making sure I always do at least 10,000 steps a day. I would recall the obsession with certain types of food because of calories. I recall the times of taking diet pills and going on keto diets. I recall the constant restricting and binging habits and the throwing up after a binge. And just how much my weight constantly fluctuated but stayed within normal ranges. So surely, because my weight is in a normal range, it means I am okay right? I don’t have an eating disorder?!

I decided to reach out and contacted an eating disorder charity here in the UK. I explained everything to them, and they asked me a lot of questions and they told me to contact my GP to make an appointment as it sounded like I did have an eating disorder. At this I just went silent, I couldn’t respond, and after a few minutes I explained that I couldn’t talk to my GP because I have trust issues and I don’t yet know them well enough. He then told me that I could call the NHS 111 service and explain it to them, to which they would put a report forward for my GP, so I took this advice and called.

After almost an hour on the phone to NHS 111 I was told I needed to call my GP within 24 hours for an appointment, I was also told they sent a report over and a referral form for my GP. I was now in a state of panic, it was looking more and more likely by the minute that I had an eating disorder and I could not accept this. I tried to find any explanation possible for it all. I knew that it must be a mistake, maybe the charity I spoke to misheard something I said? Maybe the NHS 111 service misheard something I said? I just tried so damn hard to find some explanation to things, an explanation to say its just normal what I go through and that it is not an eating disorder.

The following morning, I was in the doctors having a blood test to which I had a follow up appointment with my GP the following day. I don’t really remember much about this blood test, but I’m pretty sure I was dissociating at this time. When I seen my doc the following day, my anxiety was going through the roof. I could feel my heart racing, and every beat felt as though it was about to break through my chest. After a few minutes of trying to calm myself down, my GP looked at me and told me I was anaemic and needed to start iron tablets again. She read through the report sent by the NHS and started to fill in the referral form. She told me I definitely had an eating disorder and it may take some time before I hear from the referral process.

I still can not accept what is going on, I even regret to some degree calling the charity that started all this off. I don’t feel like I deserve any help with this!

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6 comments

  • You do deserve help! It’s hard to accept but if this was any of your children or your best mate, surely they would deserve help? You are no different.

    It can be so daunting finding out you have an eating disorder, especially if you weren’t intending for it to happen. I, for one, am glad that you called the charity and spoke to someone, otherwise, you may not have realised until it was too late. Now that you know what it is you can start getting help towards a healthier lifestyle.

    I know it is hard but please engage with whatever treatment they are going to give you. Take the supplements, go to the meetings, meet the calorie requirements (as best you can).

    Please remember that you are worthy of help, you are deserving of help just like everyone else, and that you are so, so brave for making the step to call the charity in the first place.

    Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery, and I am so proud of you for taking that step.

    Liked by 2 people

  • It is a disorder like any other disorder….and needs to be kept in control.
    I don’t ever consider myself as having an ED but been told I do have.

    When I was in my teens, I was a very late developer, and even my menstrual cycles did not start til I left school, at 17.

    I was very under weight always, picky eater, and couldn’t put weight on.

    Always looked pasty. It wasn’t until I was married in my mid 20s, that I started putting a bit of weight on and filling out more. Suddenly knew what a cleavage was. 🤔 lol!

    I was in the habit of weighing myself regularly, sometimes more than once /twice a day. Didn’t think nothing of it.
    I never grew many of my adult teeth. So at 41 I still have baby teeth still going strong, but I also have gaps where no adult tooth has come up. I lost a baby tooth about 5 years ago, and have an adult one growing…

    I would sometimes restrict my eating if stressed, because it felt like only thing I could control, but then I would binge eat in secret, but thought nothing of it. I’ve never thrown up though, only because I am an emetaphobe.

    I have had B12 injections before. Not nice. I’ve been on iron tablets since I can remember, and my blood count got very low at one point. So the dosage had to go up. I also had a vitamin D deficiency lately.

    I eat better now, but I still rush food, and don’t really take time to enjoy it. I still easily miss meals.
    I’m always bloated, because I don’t chew my food properly and take down a lot of air with it.

    I am right weight for my height and everything now, but lack energy a lot. I try to do exercise and was going to gym. But with iron and Vit D levels low, it was making it difficult. But then I worry I’ll get fat.

    Sometimes I completely lose my appetite and can’t eat. But then it will come back again.
    But I hate having to force bits of food down.

    Back when I was 18/19, I had 6 months of clinical depression and was anorexic. I was so thin, you could see all my bones. But my anxiety was to such an extent, from having to live at home with my abuser, that I could not eat anything. And even the smell of food made me feel sick. I drank full fat milk, and that’s what I survived off.

    Anyway, basically an eating disorder is all about control. And from what I’ve read about your life, and what’s happened, it makes perfect sense to me at least, that food has been one of the things perhaps that you could feel or gain some sense of control over.

    Yes you do deserve help with any disorder.

    And when you said earlier in a tweet about your relationship with food being not good, or words to that effect, I knew we were similar in that way.

    Except now I am in a household, where meals are done for me, and so I don’t have to cook or anything. And I am kept an eye on with my eating habits.

    But I don’t think nobody is keeping an eye on yours, and that is what worried me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When i was with my ex and we lived together i was very secretive about a lot of things relating to food, always had excuses. But now i live alone i guess i don’t have to hide things as much but i do often avoid situations like going visiting family if i know i’m going to be offered food. I sometimes even say i have already eaten even if i have not.

      Liked by 1 person

  • You absolutely need and deserve help! That “I don’t deserve it” is such a classic eating disorder distorted thinking pattern. And realistically, if you didn’t need the help, probably the last thing you’d be doing would be devoting mental energy to worrying over whether you deserve it.

    Liked by 1 person

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