What my Eating Disorder has cost me so far

This was a therapy task, but here seemed like a good place to share it.

When I'm in a logical frame of mind, I can see that anorexia has cost me in some way or another in almost every area of my life.
As a teenager my body didn't develop like everybody else. While friends matured physically, I fought against the fact I was changing and have now missed the chance to develop alongside my friends and learn to feel comfortable. They are all accepting of their bodies, are all different shapes and sizes, and all have a relationship with food that allows them to be spontaneous, have energy, and build relationships. Because of my obsessions, I've never had a crush or felt interested in love the way other people are. In many ways I feel like an outsider when it comes to romance.
Unlike my female friends who have proper periods and experience a normal cycle, I don't. I've now reached a point where having periods scares me as I feel unable to cope or accept what that means.
Anorexia has cost me money, too. All the times I've bought expensive food because I couldn't make an alternative choice, or I've bought food I never ate simply because having it there felt comforting. Bulimia also made me waste money on foods to binge on, which I only felt guilty and ashamed about later. I spent money to get to NHS services which I didn't engage in, and I missed out on classes to do so.
At sixth form, the anxiety caused by my eating disorder took me out of classes daily, as having several panic attacks a day was my normal state.
Anorexia has also cost me in confidence and self trust. I have no idea anymore if I'm even thin, if I'm even truly anorexic, or if i should trust anything I think whatsoever. It's taken up hours of my time; time spent worrying, time not spent doing things because they involved food, time spent changing clothes several times until I felt able to leave the house.
On the outside, I've had people tell me they see me as highly successful. I was an A* student, a school prefect, member of the highest level orchestras, achieved highly in my dance and instrumental exams, and often received praise from teachers throughout my education. Despite what people see, anorexia has added to my perfectionistic tendency to see things as not good enough. The A that wasn't an A*, the 2 marks off Distinction etc etc were seen as failures. In light of these small events, anorexia took the opportunity to make me believe even more strongly that being thin is an important consistency that I need to feel good enough at life.
Anorexia has cost me my health (maybe) although I can't think of one key point. Perhaps people on the outside would say they don't see a healthy individual. (Here goes the me not trusting myself again!)
More than anything, I'm sad that anorexia has cost other people their time and energy. I feel guilty for how much worry, frustration and exhaustion I've caused for my loved ones. All those endless, repetitive conversations, all the times I've ignored people or taken out my feelings on them.
When something affects me, I can handle it, but seeing people I really love suffer gets to me much more. Anorexia has made me choose it instead of the people I care about.

9 thoughts on “What my Eating Disorder has cost me so far

  1. It makes me really sad to read how much anorexia has taken from you.The thing about the past if that we can’t change it,the best we can do is learn from it.Only look back to see how far you have come.Anorexia may have taken so much from you but the illness does not have to take any more.
    I hope you can keep finding motivation to stay in recovery and hopefully leave this illness behind completely.❤️

    • When I wrote this, I set out with the attitude that I didn’t even want to use the word anorexia because I think I’m too big, but once I began writing, loads of stuff came to mind. In spite of spending many years being confused and struggling with it, I have achieved things in my life. If I can get better, I will be able to look to a future of having a family, and enjoying the bits of daily life that are currently difficult.

      • Using the word anorexia has been hard for me in the past too.Its seems too big and too real.Using it means we accept that we have struggled or are struggling with anorexia.I completely understand feeling “too big” or “not sick enough” .These are lies the ED tells you and anyway anorexia is much more about what goes on in your head than your size.
        You should be proud of all you have achieved despite having anorexia.It must have taken a lot of strength and determination.
        I believe you WILL get better (not if!)
        I am sure you have so much to look forward to ,such as having a family one day.

    • Also, it won’t let me comment on your comment on your blog post anymore grrrr. I was trying to type and say to write whatever you feel like writing! Maybe what you’ve learned while away, any cool stuff you saw or did, or just get your feelings off your chest. Whenever I write, I remember that I can write again any time, so it doesn’t matter what I choose to write about really 🙂 thanks for your comment- it was really lovely x

  2. Yes… I commend you for writing this. I don’t dare write what it’s taken from me, at my age. It’s my opinion though that even if we don’t fully recover from the damage, it doesn’t mean we can’t live our passion. 🙂

    • I think it’s sometimes an illness that takes things slowly but surely. You don’t always notice until you look back. Looking forward, I know I’d like children, and I know already that my ED has stopped me having romantic relationships. Obviously that’s something that has to change for that family future to happen

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