Overview of the Disorder
I am not one who is at ease with idleness. I must at all times be occupied, whether mentally or physically. This has fed speculation over whether or not this may be a contributor to the eating disoder. It could be seen as the ultimate, though ridiculous, solution: providing endless material to obsess over, such as calories to count and sit-ups to execute.
I have moved into the new house, however my future housemates have yet to join me in residence. Rather, they have slipped off to their respective corners of England, to spend time with their families over the summer. I, on the other hand, have declined this option. I am not mentally ready to take on the triggering and explosive dynamics of my family unit. It would neither be healthy for them nor me, should I spend the one or two months with them. Thus, I am, for now, alone.
This has, in part, diverted the course of my eating disorder. May I explain how it has run its course?
It began, as I suspect it has done with many, as a naïve, foolish venture, consisting of reading the Tips and Tricks pages of various forums, and writing angsty entries in a diary. In the beginning, it could be described as a dalliance. In hindsight, I realise I was unaware of how dangerously eager I pushed myself down the slide, or of how quickly downwards I slid. Unhindered, I plummeted to underweight. I was confronted by my parents, to which I responded by eating uncontrollably. I feel guilt for hurting those around me has factored greatly in both my refusal to eat and my over-eating. The following period consisted of restricting, and then ungoverned eating, which kept me at an average BMI, and a relative state of health. When I left home to school in England, the cheap food available and the over-controlling nature of my grandparents, with whom I lived, aided in pushing me into binge-eating, resulting in substantial weight gain. Then came the final stage, in which I moved out of my grandparents’ house. My living situation was such that I ate or rather felt obligated to eat, in the company of the landlady, a fairly large dinner every night (such was the contract – I was a “child” lodger, still in school, expenses subsidised by the government – a dinner was provided). I did not eat during the day, to compromise, yet I was still unable to deal with the large portions. Without the sharp ear of my grandmother, and a larger house to absorb suspicious sounds, I developed a purging habit. This continues today.
My circumstances, as they have in the past two years, have again wholly changed. I now live entirely independently, and completely alone (though this too will change at the close of summer). This has enabled my habits to shift. Whereas before I would binge in the day, and come home to eat supper, my supper has now been replaced by the daily binge. Now, my daily intake is that of the RDA – in calories, not nutrients – though all in the space of an hour. My daily exercise has increased from two twenty-minute walks to two hour-long walks a day.
My hopes are that I will soon be able to whittle down the amount upon which I binge and purge, and begin to incorporate food of nutritional value – not the “foods” that I currently consume comprising high sums of carbs, sugars, and fats. In my case, my ultimate goal is independence from bingeing and purging. I wish to be healthy in body.
As for my mental health, I do not remember a time in which I was not plagued by either anxiety, or depression, or disordered thinking – though the validity of these as a true diagnosis remains undetermined. Thus, it will be harder for me to separate myself from the disordered thoughts and the problems that stem them –such as poor self-image and tendencies to hoard away my feelings and emotions – than it will be to detach myself from disordered behaviours. Or such is my theory; for I’m sure this will be another case chalked up to the old adage “Easier said than done”.
So there you have it: a perhaps not so short overview of the eating disorder. This is what occupies a good portion of my brain, as well as my day-to-day life, even to a considerable extent, my life overall, in the choices I make pertaining my future. Of course I am constantly engaged in a battle with the desire of washing my hands of this ridiculous “disease”. As of late, unfortunately, I find the only energy I have is to attempt to indulge brainpower in other subjects. I have registered at the local library, and am taking out an armful of books to keep my brain occupied in the summer doldrums, what with my schedule being devoid of the daily six hours of school. Poetry, history, and fiction are the order of the day, and I find much enjoyment in learning at my own pace and whim. Perhaps the next step is to buy myself a cookbook and prepare for myself an actual, genuine meal. God knows it would do me as much good as my abundant reading.