If you’ve been following my mental health journey over the last few years then you’ll know that I’m currently battling a binge-eating disorder. Weight has been a demon of mine I’ve battling ever since I was a teenager.
Before I carry on with this post, I’m going to pop a TRIGGER WARNING right here.I will be chatting a little bit about my BED history and therapy so don’t want to trigger anyone. You’re more than welcome to read some of my other random blog posts.
Where did all my problems with eating begin? This post will explain all about my nightmare with food and what caused me to lose all kinds of control with it. Even to this day I can’t read my own post due to being triggered by it. It’s something I’m working on in therapy.
Late last year I contacted a local eating disorder charity called First Steps to be assessed for possible therapy. I’d already done general therapy but these guys would focus solely on my eating disorder. The assessment was an experience for me since I’m still trying to learn how not to feel guilty. Guilt is a major thorn in my side.
That’s where my brain is at right now.
I started my ED therapy on 13th January with another wonderful trainee called Lisa. I was pretty nervous on my first session with her because I had to have my camera on. It’s something I try to avoid whenever possible but I’m kind of not allowed to. They understand that it’s difficult for sufferers but it’s one hurdle I’m managing to overcome. It’s a little easier on the phone because the camera is pretty teeny so I don’t have to see my face. Haha.
You’re probably wondering what my sessions have been consisting of.
It has mostly had a jumble of usual therapy stuff (chatting about my past and my emotions) and also focusing on my relationship with food. If you’ve suffered with either a binge-eating disorder or any kind of eating disorder, then you’ll understand how awful it can be to think about food.
It’s crazy to think that something vital to our lives can also have a negative impact. I feel so many different emotions when we chat about my week and food diary:
Over the first 4 sessions we’ve spoken about my relationship with bread and how my disorder is almost a type of self-harm. I never thought about it that way before but it makes sense. Every time my ED has flared up, something traumatic has happened in my life. Whether it’s after being bullied or a death in my family. I gained a whole bunch of weight after my dad died, then went down to 8st after my GP said I was morbidly obese at 12st and then put all the weight back on after mum died.
So many little connections.
Something I love about therapy is that you’re not judged. You can literally talk about anything (within reason) and not have to worry. My brain does worry about what she’s thinking but I have to let those fears go. I have 15 sessions left to go with Lisa and I’m really hoping to finally make some progress with this. I’m tired of these thoughts and need to take back control.
Even though I’ve lived through these 4 sessions, I literally can’t remember everything we talk. A lot of it is just talking on the spot, sometimes sharing my mood tracker (which Lisa really seemed to love) and going over my mood. One day I could be okay and the next I feel like I want to disappear. I hate having to think about myself when I know others are struggling much more than me.
We did come to the conclusion that my eating habits and body image may be genetic. Both my parents struggled with their weight so it was a sure thing that I would as well. I guess it just depends what happens in a person’s life to kick-start a particular way of thinking. Mine came in the form of bullying, genetics and life. One of my dreams for doing all this is to not only eat what I want without thinking about the consequences and feel comfortable in my body.
The other things I can do with First Steps are some workshops. These are group activities and carry on for as long as I want them, even when the therapy is over. These are some of the workshops I can take part in:
- Dance Movement
- Skills for Carers
- Art Creative Workshop
- Eating Disorder in Student Services
- Waiting Well Support Group
- Thursday All Ages Support Group
- Body Image Workshops
- Stand Up (Comedy) To Mental Health Recovery
I’m excited to work on my body image because it’s an utter nightmare right now. I can’t look at my reflection in anything without wanting to cry or avoid. It’s my goal this year to think at least one nice thing about myself and I will do it! I had been planning to do a diary entry post about my therapy sessions but I’m not sure how well this one will do. Let’s see!
If you’re struggling with any kind of eating disorder, don’t suffer alone. There are more of us out there than you think and, like First Steps says, ‘eating disorders are not just about being underweight’. They come in many different forms and your feelings are justified!
Have you ever had to deal with a binge-eating disorder personally or through family?