I feel like now is finally the right time to address this topic that I have been putting off.
Many youtuber’s have been addressing their struggles with mental health lately. Last week, I watched Caroline Tucker’s video on her mental illnesses and finally felt the confidence and contentment to go through with writing this.
I have talked about my eating disorder on my blog in the past, but this is going to go more in depth into the entire story.
Here we go.
It all started back in 8th grade when I was 13 years old. I was going to a junior high school I absolutely hated. I missed the accepted GPA for honor roll by 0.1. I felt like such a disappointment when I had to go home to tell my parents. Although, they were never disappointed. I had many friends at the time but didn’t feel like any of the connections I had were genuine. All of these things and so much more led to me becoming depressed for the first time ever.
I then started to notice my body.
At first, I started eating healthy and exercising, until I became obsessed with it. I didn’t see results fast enough, so I decided to turn to anorexia.
I started trying to lose weight, not because I thought I was fat, but because it was something I could control. I felt like every other aspect of my life was out of my control and this was the one thing I could keep track of. I found out about anorexia, for the most part, through Tumblr. I had joined Tumblr in 2012 and then in 2013 all of this happened. At first, I would see all of the pictures of the girls who were just skin and bones and feel sad for them. Then, it eventually became curiosity and I started diving more and more into it.
I would restrict my eating. I’m not going to get into specifics because it may trigger people and I’m not here to tell you how to do it- that’s not right.
My mom never noticed because she was at work. The only meal she would make me was dinner. All of my life I didn’t eat much- that was just normal for me. Any dinner my mom gave me, she already knew I’d only eat a little bit of it. She didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. My parents would call me a “bird” because I ate so little.
I was super depressed. All I wanted to do was exercise and sleep. Negative thoughts would plague my mind. I would argue with my parents every single day. I was suicidal, as well. I never attempted suicide, but I would plan it all out in my head. I didn’t go through with it because I thought that the first person to find me would be my sister, and I didn’t want her to see that.
Eventually, I got so fed up with being sad all of the time. I was exhausted with being sad. I wanted a therapist but thought it would cost a lot of money, plus I would then have to explain to my mom what was going on. I didn’t want any of that, so I kept to myself. One youtuber I loved at the time posted a video that night about how to be happy. That video literally saved me and brought me hope.
From then on, I started to change my mind set and worked towards a happier life. It wasn’t easy. It took a lot of time and effort. It was very difficult, but I did it.
Junior year of high school rolls around and here I am again. My best friend at the time was bullying me. I felt so alone. Huge family changes and issues were going on. My grades started slipping. Therefore, I started restricting my eating again.
I would label the things that kept me alive as my “angels“. Taylor Swift was my angel because I had to stay alive for the day I would finally get to meet her and tell her how much I love her. My cat, Kashmir, was my angel because she would be so sad and lonely if I were to die. Sunsets were my angel because they were so beautiful and showed me that although life for the most part sucked, there was something beautiful out there. Finally, Disneyland was my angel because it made me feel such a deep and genuine happiness when I was there.
My close friends at the time knew what was going on, but what could they do? All they could do was check in on me and encourage me to eat.
Again, I was restricting and going on runs 5-6 days a week.
I thought I had gotten better by the end of junior year. Then, I met a guy and before our first date my mind immediately went to “What if he leaves me because I’m fat?”
I didn’t even realize it then that I was still so depressed.
I recently watched one of my old youtube videos from around this time that’s still up on my channel. My face looks so skinny and sunken in, but yet I didn’t see any difference in weight during that time. I didn’t think I was skinny in the slightest.
This was probably my lowest weight.
The reason why I decided to seek help was because of my other best friend at the time. We’ve known each other since 3rd grade, and we’re still friends to this day. At the time, she was the only person I had confided in about this problem. She was by my side through it all and encouraged me to get better. Everyday she would check in on me and ask if I’ve eaten. She would even bring me food to school. I remember she even bought me two boxes full of clif bars to eat at school. She was the best.
We would frequently have deep conversations at night in either of our cars. This particular night we were in my car, parked, and she brought up my E.D. She said something along the lines of “You know, I worry about you everyday? I’m always thinking about you and if you’ve even eaten at all that day. It makes me sad.”
That comment literally broke my heart. If you know me at all, you know all I want is to make people happy. This is why I want to be a therapist. I have such a deep passion for making people happy, especially my loved one’s. For her to be upset and worried about me is the last thing I wanted. I realized that this problem I had was not only terrible for me, but also hurting those I love. It was like a slap in the face and a wake up call for me.
I started bringing those clif bars with me to school. I started slowly getting back into eating again and I showed her. I didn’t want her to worry anymore. It took me a while and it was very difficult, but I eventually got there.
Months later I finally went to a therapist.
I already talked about those two experiences on my blog and my youtube channel if you want to hear about that.
Basically, one of the therapists motivated me to become a better person.
In the light of a breakup and trying to crawl my way out of depression, I started making changes.
I started thinking more positively, going out, and discovering more hobbies. Learning to love rather than hate. For a bit, I was good.
Now, I’m leaving for college. Going to a new place with no one you know and being thrown into it…. is scary.
I fell down the rabbit hole again. I would go on runs at 9PM at night with no streetlights on just because I had to get a run in at least once a day. This messed up my sleep schedule. I would have to wake up at 7AM every morning but yet I was running right before bed. I didn’t get any good sleep that entire semester. I was eating the smallest portions and healthiest portions I possibly could without passing out. I would eat and calculate the calories and then immediately go to the gym to burn them all off. This only made me tired and gave me headaches. The only time I would allow myself to eat was when I was doing homework or about to take a test- although I was anorexic, I still had to get good grades.
My friends at the time were 100% aware of all of this and tried to help me. No one could help me besides myself.
Although my new friends were supportive and trying to help, they didn’t truly understand. They didn’t know my history and my back story with this disorder. I reached back out to my best friend who had helped me get better back in high school. We hadn’t talked for a couple of months. I told her what was happening and that I needed help again. There she was, right by my side like the first time. We would talk over the phone and she would make me send her pictures of what I was eating. She would tell me if it wasn’t enough food or if I was doing well. She was amazing, once again.
I started to realize that what I was doing was ridiculous. The life I was living at the time was already sad enough, let alone adding an eating disorder on top of it. I got on a better track with my eating and second semester of college was 18x better than the first.
Here I am now, summer break before my second year of college. I’m doing fine. I’m not restricting. I try to make healthier food choices. I try to be active.
I still have insecurities and haven’t learned to love my body, but I’m okay. I still have hard days but just try to live in spite of it all. Working towards a full recovery is a long and tedious process.
The thing is (at least in my case) is that this never goes away. I may recover and be fine for a year or two, but then I fall back into it. It always sticks with me. It’s like that voice telling me not to eat and that I’m fat is always in the back of my mind, it’s just that the volume level of it’s voice is only a whisper when I’m doing okay. It never goes away.
Anorexia for me is a coping mechanism. It’s something that happens whenever I get depressed. I do not genuinely think I’m fat and those are not thoughts that lead to it. It’s a way of having control over something in my life when I feel like everything else is spiraling.
I want to be a therapist. You might think it’s ridiculous to become a therapist when I’ve struggled with the same issues as the people I plan on helping. That’s the thing, though.
I want to be a therapist to help people with issues I have personally gone through. I’ve been there. I know how it feels. I know all of the tricks. This gives me some insight on how to truly help someone.
This is why I want to become a therapist and why I am so passionate about it.
I’m here to show you that I do have struggles. I’m here to shed light on these issues. I hope you find some comfort and inspiration from these topics. I hope to encourage other’s to get help if they need it. I want to be open and inviting to starting conversations about this.
If you notice yourself falling into this pattern, please seek help. Talk to someone- anyone. If you notice someone else falling into it, stick by their side and try your best to help them and encourage them to get help.
If you have read this entire post, thank you.
Sending all of you lots of love and positive thoughts. Stay strong, xoxo.