Goodbye, eating disorder.
I remember the first time you, my eating disorder came into my life in November 2014.
I have always been a positive person towards others, I try to make all bad situations good and I have always been that friend that understood everyone but never understood myself.
You slowly grew.
It started with self harming, only eating certain foods, restricting, lowering the calorie number, over exercising, weighing, measuring and many other habits.
You consumed me.
You were the first thing i thought about when i woke up, you were there all day and you were there when I went to sleep, I even had very vivid nightmares about you.
I have always struggled with general anxiety and PTSD.
I have always been very well liked, but in grade 9 something changed and I started to get bullied and my anxiety became more severe which developed into depression, which led to my self harm.
I felt hopeless, unwanted and numb nothing made me feel better.
I felt like I had lost all control but I was able to control what was going into my body.
But really, I had absolutely no control.
You were controlling me.
You stayed with me for two years, just when I thought you were going away you would come back as soon as everything else came crashing down.
I started getting worse and skipping multiple days and even months of school.
I was isolating myself from my friends and I started self harming again.
My panic attacks increased and my health started to get bad. I would feel so weak my hands were shaky, my heart felt slow and everything was so much effort even walking up one stair made me so dizzy.
I was unaware of how bad I had gotten because you made me feel like I was in control.
I felt sick and looked sick but that didn’t matter I was following your rules your perfection, guilt, shame, lies and control.
I still continued with your rules until one day I was so weak I tried to push through and do my regular riding lesson and my workout and I couldn’t handle it. My head was spinning, my whole body was shaking, my ribs hurt and my vision was blurry.
I instantly panicked thinking I was going to faint.
In that moment I realized how unhealthy I was and that scared me more than anything, I didn’t want to die.
I lost myself, I forgot who I was and didn’t know who I was supposed to be after all that had happened.
I was previously talking to a counselor and youth worker about my anxiety and depression but opened up about my eating disorder.
I realized I needed to get rid of you but how?
My family and friends made me eat with them no matter what excuse you gave me I had to eat.
Everyday was a constant battle between you and me—I wanted to follow your rules but I knew I couldn’t anymore.
There were days where you did control me but those days started to fade more and more over time.
I became a vegetarian and explored some amazing vegan and veggie meals which made me feel safer, less anxious.
I started to relax more and you weren’t always there.
A lot of the time I would have to tell myself “it’s okay to eat and it’s okay to enjoy it”.
Dinner outings and large family dinners were usually followed by a panic attacks and strong urges to exercise. Sometimes these urges would take over, but over time it became easier.
I lost so much with you in my life I lost my friends, relationships, education and the worst is I lost myself.
I struggled to find myself in the process of getting rid of you I knew I would not be able to go back to who I was.
Here I am two years later at a healthy weight in a healthy mindset without you in my life, I didn’t go back to who I was but I am someone better.
You made me understand how rough life can get but no matter how bad it is, it will always get better.
I have made many accomplishments the last two years I graduated, started my acting career and competed at high levels in show jumping.
Sometimes you still come into my life the hardest part has been not to over exercise, I have limited the amount of exercise I do to keep a healthy mindset.
I am ready to say goodbye.
You hurt me for a long time.
I lost things I will never get back but this is it, I am ready to continue a beautiful life in a healthy mindset without you.
I will continue fighting and I will always win the fight no matter what becauseI have hope that through the darkest days, I can still fight you.
I will not let you control me and you will not control me.
About The Author: Belle Messier
Isabella (Belle) resides in Vancuver, BC.
Belle is finishing her final year of high school and will continue to pursue her acting career.
As a Project HEAL Ambassador, Belle is dedicated to improving education, changing the stigma and empowering people who struggle with eating disorders and mental health. As someone who has struggled with eating disorders and anxiety In the past she would love to be a voice to show that recovery is possible.
Belle is passionate about Acting, dance, and equestrian she is always working towards her goals and competes at a high equestrian level. Belle also competes in pageants where her platform is centred on eating disorders/ mental health.
Belle’s favorite ice cream flavor is cappuccino by coconut bliss.