An old enemy named Ana - Anorexia Nervosa

in #health4 years ago (edited)

I have contemplated writing this post for over a week and I'm sorry I even considered not doing it

I don't really know how to start this off because I don't believe there is a right way to discuss what I am discussing. However, sometimes when you see someone in need and you know maybe just by reading your words it can possibly help, then I think it's okay to let yourself feel vulnerable and share. They may be too scared or in denial to ask, but they'll read. If I can change one persons view, it's more than I could hope for.

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Why I feel compelled to discuss this

While I was browsing the daily messages and looking through my feed, I noticed someone on there who needed help, but I didn't quite get what this person was saying they struggled with until I read their story. They have one of several eating disorders called Anorexia Nervosa or just plain Anorexia. As I was looking through, I noticed a trend that has probably always been there, but was alarming how many of these younger people, people my age, and older suffer from some form of an eating disorder. I also want others to see this is a true disease and not just a diet or models disease
If I can make one of you women or men understand there is help and I am proof, it's all worth it. When I see these people talking about it and they seem hopeless, it eats at me. So from me to you, I understand.

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Lets jump right in, shall we?

Anorexia, one of several eating disorders as well as bulimia and binge eating disorder. All equally important and life threatening, but I will share on the one that has changed my life and I'm sure those of you going through it will understand a lot of what I am saying without even explaining.

My name is Kristan and I am a recovering patient of Anorexia Nervosa or as I used to call her, Ana. I'm sure when we all think about eating disorders, we think models, the famous, maybe some of us will think of a couple girls we knew in school, but I've had friends that had it and I didn't know for years. I was always a bit overweight growing up and as we all know, kids will be kids. Bullying happens and I'm sure we've dealt with it one way or another. Unfortunately, some of us hold onto those words and swallow them as truth because we're well, kids. Not to mention what is actually a sick weight or completely unrealistic is forced into the faces of teenagers and young adults continuously.

So, after years of being commented upon and because I was a cheerleader which didn't help constantly being compared to the smaller girls, I started dieting. I found all these different, but healthy ways to lose weight and would set a goal for myself. At the time my plan was to stop at a certain weight and maintain it. Unfortunately, it only takes some comments and your mindset changing to trigger something very scary. The scariest part about it is you don't even know it's happening until it's there.
As my diet continued, so did the influx of compliments. Yes, I have been called beautiful before, but the attention was overwhelming and to be blunt, very ego feeding and nice. Then reality knocked. I was at the weight I wanted to be, happy I got there, able to fit in and feel good right? Not even close. But there I find myself standing in front of a mirror questioning things I've never noticed before. Okay, we can do five more pounds. But again as time went on, it just got worse and as I was losing weight, I was gaining really terrible thoughts and habits.

What was once exercising to stay healthy now became my job. Everything else would wait until I had completed what I felt was sufficient enough which was usually a long three hours everyday working out. Even when I physically couldn't get somewhere to workout, I'd be on the floor doing crunches. Eating any meal was the worst time of day, sneaking food into the garbage or if unable to, writing down every single calorie for whatever I ate to never surpass a very low intake of 475 calories, on a good day. My mind constantly overwhelmed thinking of why am I not moving around enough and planning how to skip the next meal or at least something with no fat content. Now that I look back, I cannot believe how dangerous I was.
After about two years at age 15, I had hit my lowest weight of 89 pounds. It was scary how this disease within a couple months had completely taken over who I was. I was no longer Kristan. I was a girl who would not be satisfied with myself even when there was nothing left to grab. I was a girl who checked labels on everything, never letting anything that had more than a certain amount of calories enter my body. I was a girl who lost my friends because they wanted to go out and I wanted to make sure I could control every situation. I was a girl who was losing her hair and constantly cold. Finally, I was a girl who was admitted into the hospital after I had passed out in the kitchen and had to be fed through a tube for a couple weeks. I had done so much damage to my body over the years. My heart rate was dangerously low, anemic, and too many others to list..

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Dying to be thin

You would think after everything I had gone through and that only being one time of many occurrences I would have learned my lesson. I thought I did too. I had support from my mom, I felt like everything finally at age 17 I understood the last five years had been scary. What I didn't know was there's things called triggers and one of the biggest triggers I had that unfortunately helped my anorexia progress were internet pages dedicated to this cause also known as "pro Ana" websites. All it took was one afternoon back on there and my mindset was slowly turning back towards where I was trying to escape. Fortunately, many of those sites are now banned and hopefully more will be soon. Thankfully before my kidneys shut down, I was able to get back on my feet and see what I was doing. Finally being able to look at myself and not seeing more I could take off, but just an alive skeleton staring back. I knew it had to change or I'd be dead and it wouldn't matter anymore what I looked like.

Literally dying to be thin

There are too many boys and girls, teenagers, and adults suffering silently. If you are in need of help, but lost, please seek professional medical help. This is not something that is manageable. It is an addiction and even sometimes when you think you're okay, you'll need that help. Find a support group. Find a nutritionist. I do yoga and meditate daily which has helped me immensely to realize this body that carries my soul and true being is just that, a body. There are still struggles at 29 years old, but life has changed as it always does. I have children that need to grow up knowing they are not their shell, but beautiful love and energy. I hope you also take that lesson with you.

Look at yourself right now. You're amazing!
Facing a dilemma makes you so much stronger when you go in head first and even stronger when you're not scared to say I need help.

Let me be honest with you

I am not a doctor, but I am living proof you will get out of this. You are stronger than your mind allows you to think you are. You're amazing. You're beautiful. I may not know you, but I care. I genuinely care about you!

Wishining all of you amazingly wonderful, beautiful, incredible beings of love and light a lovely evening!

With love always,
Kristan 💖


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Yes u r right, anorexia is not a diseases its addiction, addiction to just fulfil ur physical goals at all cost. But as i can see from above post now if we have wish and will to get out of it and we try, we can get out of it. When u asked my opinion on writing this post, i said no but it was my mistake sorry, u r helping and motivating a lot ppl out there who just want a hope to be out of it, and this post provide that hope and like ray of light u can say in the darkness.

The sufferings and pain u and others have went through or are going through right now, i dont even have complete idea of how it is. But just by imagining it and putting myself in ur shoes, i realized how weak i am and strongly u are dealing with all this.

And not only this u have inspired, motivated and helped a lot of ppl including me too before and i appreciate and love that.

In the end just want to stay, be my strong girl as always u r. You r stonger than any other women i know even my mom. You always have your bot(human too) by your side who will not leave u no matter what. And anyone reading this post and this comment and suffering through all of this, just listen u r a strong soul capable of doing anything so nothing to be sad or and worrying a lot you will be out of it soon.

Love you Mrs.Botty :]

From,
Mr.Botty

No I'm glad I waited a bit to gather my thoughts before writing this so thank you. As always I appreciate your opinion as it is one of the most important ones. Thank you for being wonderful and trying to understand and care because this can be a lot to deal with as I'm sure you've heard. Thank you again.
Love you always 💜

Thank you for sharing this very private part of your life. I was 30 before I realized I was anorexic. Thankfully, not to this severity, but I maintained a very low, unhealthy body weight through high school and into my controlling marriage. I had no idea what I was doing or why until during a crisis in my life I went three days without food. I turned on Sally Jesse Raphael and the show was on anorexia. I watched and listened with climbing horror as the skeletal girls shared their inner dialogs and I thought... that's me! I called a support line and confessed my eating habits. Thankfully, I was able to recognize what I was doing and began to force myself to eat. Sometimes I gagged over normal food. I'd self-talk and advise myself *you will get sick. You are a mother. Eat. And although I occasionally fall into abstaining from food when under extreme stress, I've learned to eat more healthy. The time frame was long, though. At least 15 years of not eating well. The aftermath carriers on. Last year, at 54, I was diagnosed with osteoporosis. The poor eating is most likely the key culprit. I'm on meds to rebuild bone, but it's slow going. It's so much better to prevent this as soon as possible. Anorexia is slow suicide and a lack of understanding our true value. I'm so glad you are better. Resteemed.

I swear beautiful it's like we're two souls sharing similar lives...so similar. You're amazing

So are you! Thank you!

However, sometimes when you see someone in need and you know maybe just by reading your words it can possibly help, then I think it's okay to let yourself feel vulnerable and share.

I completely agree. I think that's part of the reason why I'm so open here on Steemit, a part of me hopes that whatever I write will end up resonating with someone out there who needs to hear it to know that they are not alone.

Thank you for sharing your story of your struggle with anorexia, @kristyyd. I am glad that you were able to rise above it and become truly healthy. I definitely know what it feels like to be made fun of for being "fat" and the severe negative and lasting effect that can have on a person's psyche.

I was made fun of for being fat, too, growing up...and for the longest time, like literally up until very recently, I never saw myself as an attractive man because of that, I never liked looking at myself in the mirror because I always had this mentality of being fat and being ashamed of being fat because I didn't think I looked good at all.

I have since then been able to overcome that mindset and I now love the man I see in the mirror and I know I am attractive. Granted, I had to get fit and healthy before I finally started to see it, but the important thing is that I made that decision to get fit, not for anyone else, but for myself.

Thank you for sharing!!

Thank you for that my dude 💜 You sir are one of the reasons my day is a bit brighter on here and always contribute to some part of happiness I feel when I'm on here. That's amazing to me. You always are open and honest and whenever even now reading how open you are with your life, it inspires me. Thank you again for sharing oh and pssstttt our secret- YOURE RIDICULOUSLY HANDSOME! 🙃 See you soon !

Omg thank you so much!!! You are too sweet! I’m glad that my presence here helps to make your day even just a little better 😁 but shhhhhhhh you’re making me blush!! 😊😝

Mission accomplished 💜😋

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I am by no means anorexic and cannot wrap my head around the concept of not eating. I'm probably on the other side of the equation and I'm sure I probably have an eating disorder where I eat too much. Oddly, Yoga and Meditation can help in that circumstance as well... concentrate and reset. That is one thing my wife and I are implementing next year.

This is a dangerous disease, though, because it takes to extremes before it's discovered. If you hadn't waned down to such a low weight, do you think anyone would have discovered it and gotten you help?

Thank you JJ and i don't quite know why the yoga helps, but the meditation just to clear the clutter that causes us to be overloaded flows out and it's nice right? I don't think I realized how dangerous it was because there was such a fog over me and when it happens, you go into body dysmorphia and can't see what others see. So what others seen as scary was normal to me. I think any illness that has the power to reshape your mind like that with no effort is beyond scary now. My mom had tried to get me help..many hospital visits, but as many doctors said its up to the patient to do it..much like an addict. It won't stop until you're ready so unfortunately it took feeding tubes and being bones to see that.

Yeah, it's like that with almost everyone that has any obsessive personality. He/She must want to change and want the help.

I always found it interesting how one event connected with a certain feeling can rule our life. I don't know whether calling it an addiction or not but once our brain connects two dots it might be hard to break this connection, it might not even be conscious.

For the brain it's a simple logic like "Being skinny must mean being beautiful must mean being happy". On top of that, we have some voice or memory looping in our mind that triggers some negative feeling. It's simply the survival instinct we all have of "Avoid pain seek pleasure" hit from both sides. From one side we have the thought that triggers the negative feeling and setting us into a survival mode to avoid this pain in all cost, from the other side we have the thought that if we do something we will feel better. Before we recognize it we fall into a spiral of "Wrong Ideas" ruling our life.

Anorexia is a good example but it could be anything! all a person needs is the wrong idea with some emotion attached to it and he can go to dark places! But I still believe that the best cure for those things is self-awareness and I think your little story here can actually help people!!!
The power of words is amazing and if are able to change perspective or bring awareness to one person you might even save and change lives! On that note, I believe that your story is able to do it so I choose to resteem it.

Btw it takes a lot of courage to write that and share personal feelings! I'm thinking a lot lately about something called "the comfort zone" and I think that you had to leave yours to write this piece. You are amazing, thank you for sharing! ♥

Thank you for your beautiful words 💜 And making me smile

Thanks so much for sharing your story with us all @kristyyd, it's not always easy to do so. It shows alot of strength on your part. But in sharing it you have shed much needed light and hope on this illness.

Thank you for reading. You're awesome and I'm extremely grateful. See you soon!

Being able to share this and hopefully help others see the light and that it is not something you need to do on your own, that there is proof you can come out on top, that is real strength and admiration.

Being living proof is all anyone needs and just shows even more how amazing you are to be able to continue forward after battling through it darling.

<3 <3 <3

Your words truly make me emotional. Thank you for being an amazing person, but more importantly an even better friend. You're incredible and I appreciate the time you take talking. You are one of a kind sir 💖

Always for an amazing person and friend. <3 You deserve the best in life darling. :)

Good of you to share and speak out! Glad to hear you are recovering/recovered and I hope you can help others!!

Thank you sir 💜💜

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The last sentence look at yourself you look amazing is what people who are plum want to hear. Lol. Anyways they know they need to train/exercise. Until next time thanks for the post and have a nice day.

Good post and btw i like the black and white photo a lot! A lot of people are struggling with issues like this and it is sad. However, what helped at least in my case, was to get in touch with people that went over it. The mistake that i have seen a few of my friends making, was to join communities of people struggling with the same problems as themselves. Getting in touch with healthy people that have a lot of positive thoughts and good advice to share, is the best thing someone with this problem or with something ever worse could do, in my opinion. Great job on helping and noticing people in need! Keep it up!