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Anorexia Recovery Story (Male Anonymous)

That’s when it hit me like an express train – I needed to change this!

When I was 16 I started losing weight while playing football. At the time I was a good football player but very unfit. So I started running 3 times a week. I didn’t change my diet much. I would still eat takeaway on Friday or Saturday and just ate beans on toast for breakfast or cereal. Before football matches I would have a massive bowl of porridge with bananas or cereal. I was playing awesome and everyone was commenting on how good I looked and how fit I was. I had lost weight and was perfect physique for my age and I was really happy.

I had mates a good job; my life was where I wanted it to be. I was happy.

When I was about 17, 6 months later after being named player of the year at football, my diet and running went out of control I dropped weight in about 3 months. I simply wasn’t eating and was doing daily 3-5 mile runs.  It started affecting my work and I was let go about 2 months into this rapid weight loss.

I lost my job and that made me feel worthless. Although I sort of knew why they let me go I just felt so unwanted and wanted to shut myself away from the world.

My mates stopped calling around for me in the end due to the fact when they used to come round and say you coming out I would either hide because I was probably thinking or making my tea at the time or tell my sister to tell them I was out.

They new I was lying maybe they thought I just didn’t want to be mates with them.  It’s been five years now and they haven’t called me since.

Anyways, back to where I was…I would get up for breakfast and weigh out Rice Krispies and some milk and eat it but spit out well most of it then get rid of the excess food into the bin later before going for a run. I’d come home absolutely shattered (tired) and just think about my dinner. I’d sit down to eat it and eat half but leave the rest and chuck it away.  The same thing would happen at tea time. I would always eat away from my family and pretend I had eaten loads and that I was stuffed when I got rid of it into a bag in my room and would dispose of it later.

When my weight was at its worst at the start of December 2007 I remember my Dad must have gone to the doctors and told them where my weight was and that they where worried about me. I was referred to a local hospital. When we got there I was scared they where going to take me in, but they didn’t. I pleaded with my Dad and he agreed heat broken I think that he couldn’t do it. I promised to get better at home. Two weeks on I was worse so he went to the doctors and the doctor refereed my to another, better Hospital.

I’d had tests done before this so the doctor knew that I was bad. I’d also been hospitalized after waking up with kidney stones and they wanted to keep me in then because they where concerned about my weight.  This was in November and my weight was really low at that point. But again I kicked off and after staying two night went home.

Anyways I was admitted to the Hospital’s mental health unit. The day I went in three doctors came to my house to take me away. I remember them standing behind my bedroom door asking if they could come in and I was like “no, go away!” I did consider jumping out of the window and running away but didn’t. Even if I had bolted there were two other people stood outside.

You can see how bad it got.

So I got changed and they explained where they where taking me. I remember saying to my Dad what have you done to me you bastard and got into the car. I remember eating a pizza and chips before I left the house kind of my way to try and show them I was ok when I wasn’t.

When we got to the hospital my Dad and I waited in the waiting room in total silence there where other patients there just sat with their families. Then a person from the unit came and took me to look around and explained whom everyone was and where I was going to sleep.

The unit was full of older patients and I was given my own room. In the room was one window which was locked with a bed and cupboard for my toiletries and a wardrobe for my clothes. So, I put my belongings in and went out to say bye to my Dad. He said he would come back and visit me with my mum at 6 at night visiting time. I said ok as I started crying and he was in floods of tears also.

That’s when it hit me like an express train – I needed to change this!

At around 5 pm it was dinner time so we where all got together and walked down to the canteen. I will never forget this meal; it was mashed potatoes and sausage with gravy and vegetables. Well that’s what I chose. There where a few options but this was something I had when I was a child. Mashed potatoes and the sausages headhoges I used to call them (don’t ask).

I gulped it down like I hadn’t eaten in weeks. I hadn’t obviously eaten like this in a long time. And for dessert I had bread and butter pudding and custard it was gorgeous. I was stuffed for obvious reasons.  My stomach had shrunk a lot.

When we got back my Mum, Dad and sister had come to see me. I cried a lot and so did my Mum and sister. I said sorry and that I was going to sort it out. I asked them to bring me some American cookies – the big ones white chocolate and doughnuts from Greggs the iced ring ones. I don’t know why I just craved them.

Every day was the same; wake up, breakfast, lunch dinner. In between all these meals they would give me an Ensure plus drink. Sometimes I really had to drink it and force it down but I always finished them even if I was nearly gagging, I also ate cookies, chocolate bars – anything I could get my hands on snack wise. I just wanted to get out for Christmas that was my goal. After two weeks they let me go home.

I had picked up weight in just under two weeks. They where impressed and so was my family. I was on the road to recovery. I knew I had to eat and was relived. We got home and it was about December 17th 2007 or something. I continued to eat normally and eventually got my weight up and was kind of happier in my life again. After Christmas I got a job when I turned 18 and tried to get on with my life, but I always had the eating thoughts. I have been in this job for 4 years now and I shall start part 2 soon. Thank you for reading my story so far.

Part 2 is when I relapsed at the age of 22 after losing a friend who meant so much to me she was like my second mum and mate Patty she died of cancer and I worked with her for 4 years before she passed away also in the same year I lost my nan she was in hospital for 2 months and I visited her everyday if I could get there and not working watching her health deteriorate and not being able to help her really got to me especially after losing Patty, she was only 58.

It all went downhill from there.

I was forgetting stuff at work and became depressed and anxious again. I started to hate everything my job my life. I just began to think what is the point again. Everyone I love seems to leave me.

I was losing control again and my weight spiraled from a healthy 65kg where I had been working out and keeping myself in good shape to a skinny 45kg 5ft 7in and struggling to cope with life again. I became obsessive over my food and running everyday. I reduced my calories meal portions skipped meals I became angry and aggressive again and snapped at stupid small stuff.

I became what I had been when I was 18 anorexic and depressed again. I did not want to give my job up. I remember it was just before Christmas 2 in 2012 and I had just opened up for the day. I was on these new tablets for the depression and had just been dropped of at 8am for work by my mum she was already concerned about me and had seen my weight had plummeted again. I looked like a skeleton and had a gaunt face people who didn’t know me on the street in town and shops probably either thought I had AIDS or was a drug addict when I was in shops.

I don’t know if it was me being paranoid but I always thought I was being watched. I probably was but I couldn’t work out if it was just people thinking “God, look at him” and maybe concerned about memory just watching me making sure I didn’t steal anything because I looked like a drug addict.

I knew I had gone back to my old ways of thinking and restricting food again. Back to the job situation it was about the 4th of December and really cold in the shop probably not that cold but because I was so thin I could feel every little draft and it really got to me. One nice customer lent me a heater he was named Dougie and was about 70 a really nice guy the type of man who would do anything to go out of his way to help you an absolute diamond. I had this heater on full blast right underneath my counter and was still freezing.

Every minute was like an hour that last day and my biggest fear was telling my area manager I had been told by the doctor to take some sick leave and try to rest my mind and concentrate on recovering myself. I did not want to take time of I was committed to the job and don’t like letting people down but that day was my breaking point. I rang the area manager at around 10 just 2 hours in to my 14 hour shift and broke down in tears. I had to go in the back room and was talking to her saying how I was really struggling my weight was down I wasn’t coping with the loss of Patty and had just lost my nan.

She said she would find cover and let me go then I told her I had a doctors note for 4 weeks off. I really didn’t want to use this because it also meant I would lose my attendance bonus. It was only an extra 250 at Christmas but when you haven’t missed a day of work all year it just kind of becomes a goal that you don’t want to give up when you have come so far. Also they would take the half year bonus off you from you pay in this month so I would lose the 250 full year and 125 half year. So annoying but I knew I couldn’t go on. The thought of having to do anymore of these hours was leaving me in despair.

My mum still has the texts on her phone from that day I had been texting her minutes before my call to the area manager saying how I wanted to get better and stop putting her through the pain of me practically killing myself.

After my call to the area manager I was home for 3pm my mum picked me up and I went home I broke down in tears in the car I couldn’t control it. I did not want to cry in front of my mum because I knew it would set her off.

She stopped the car and hugged me and said it was ok. I was saying stuff like I want to get better for you and I know I’m not eating enough I feel cold all the time and cant cope again.

The weeks after this I was stills struggling and my levels of anxiety where becoming uncontrollable my OCD got worse the depression got worse my tablets went up in mg and I was tired all the time I remember the first 4 weeks I was just asleep a lot. I had no energy and would just shut myself away in my room.

Then I was admitted to the priory for therapy and began seeing multiple people there who where trying to help me get better. They where great and I still see them 2 years on but I just couldn’t break the OCD and anxiety I struggled even more than ever had had manic episodes and would be happy and feel like I could take on the world with ideas rushing about in my head I was going to this that and everything else. Then a bit later I would crash and they whole world seemed like it was crashing around me that is the only was I can describe it.

It’s horrible and something I have to live with all the time. Its very hard to manage it from day to day because people don’t know what I’m going to be like so when they see me in the morning now they just let me approach them if I say hello etc. they know I’m ok but usually if I don’t say anything they just know from my face or reactions that I am not in a great state of mind that day and just leave me.

But I really struggle to deal with it and I just feel so guilty that I do this it must be so hard living with me.

I’m now 24 and after 2 years since leaving my job that day I have began to try to put weight on again my moods are still mad and I cant get past the OCD anxiety and depression bi polar episodes complicated. All this I have written above is all a bit fast paced. My writing is probably a bit all over the place.

I have just been writing what I can remember so please if I sound like I have repeated myself it was not meant to. I could write more on the part 2 bit talking about the therapy and seeing the nutritionist stopping running making a YouTube channel and starting my blog on where I get continued support from the members there who have been great.

If you would like to contact me about this which I hope you do I would be happy to chat to you about anything and just hope if my story can be read my just one person and make a difference to there like and give them the strength to overcome this and realize that there is hope and it is a long old road but that there are others out there who struggle also. Just to save 1 life then I would think that all the pain I have gone through and suffering I have done to my family putting them though seeing me nearly kill myself and saying I did not want to live anymore then I would be happy to see that my story has helped someone. Thank you for reading I could write more but I think that that’s enough for now still a bit to read so thanks for reading this and hope to hear from you soon I also have pictures from when I was 15 young and happy you won’t believe what I used to look like to what I look like now it really is shocking.

I have pictures from then and from now also when I was at my fittest and had great muscle definition and was happy at about 20-21 at the time. I have before and after pictures as well to support this and medical history.

I’m now 24 and on the road to recovery seeing how many years I have wasted to my eating disorder makes me so mad at myself I don’t want others to waste there life with this.  I hope when they read this something just clicks in their head because it takes the little things sometimes from the strangest of places to make you realize that you do have hope of recovery and can beat this.