A girl with too many thoughts...

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Accepting Your Illness

I think a really important and maybe even the first step towards recovery is accepting that you have an illness. After all, how are you supposed to recover from something that you don't fully believe you have?

I ask this because it's a thought process I struggle with a lot when it comes to my eating disorder. I've spent over a year in this kind of limbo where I am just about functioning, but not actually getting any better when it comes to my eating habits or health. I've never made much progress towards fully recovering since I first started suffering from an eating disorder at the age of 17.

Perhaps a big contributor to this is the fact that I don't fully accept my illness - I kind of deny that I have an eating disorder at all. In my head, I don't fit the 'description' of somebody with an eating disorder and therefore convince myself that I'm actually fine and don't have anything to recover from. I've been officially diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa and yet to me, I am so far from anorexic. At first, I couldn't even imagine applying that label to myself.

When I'm struggling to walk up the stairs without getting out of breath? I'm fine. When I wake up after 12 hours of sleep and still feel exhausted? I'm fine. When I barely have the energy to make it to lectures, let alone socialise with my uni friends? I'm fine. I'm fine, I'm fine, I'M FINE!

And yet, I've come to realise that no matter how ill I get, I'll always deny that I have a problem. I could keep losing weight and chances are, I'll never see myself as anorexic. So surely the better thing to do would be to listen to the professionals, the ones who see this kind of thing every day, and accept that maybe (just maybe) I have an eating disorder. Rather than putting so much energy into denying this fact, I should be putting that energy into focusing on recovery.


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