So, this episode was unplanned and completely impromptu. After putting it off for the best part of a year (if not longer), I woke up on Friday morning with a compulsion to share my story. I resisted talking about it at any length primarily due to fear; of shame; of embarrassment; and of guilt. But ironically, these are the feelings that allow eating disorders to grow and thrive. The illness is by its nature, a very secretive one. So, no more. I'm releasing this shit from the deep, dark chamber within me that it's been locked in until now. I'm sharing my story in the hope that it can help somebody out there who currently finds themselves in the pits of anguish, suffering from an eating disorder. I've hit the bottom and I know exactly how it feels to be overcome with a feeling of helplessness. I want those people to know that there is a way out. There is a path to recovery and there is hope. I want this episode to serve as an example that it is possible to start the healing process — no matter where you are in your journey. There is help out there. There are ways to mend your relationship to yourself and your body. You can learn to love yourself exactly how you are. I now understand that is the key. That is the beginning. Removing all of these layers of shit and conditioning that's been put on us all from society. In the episode, I share my own personal story in a linear fashion, about how my issues with food began, how they developed, how they evolved over time, and how I started the slow, uncomfortable, yet absolutely essential, process of healing. I used to define myself purely by how I looked to the outside world. It was all of my identity. I used to think that I was just my body. In fact, all of my self-worth was wrapped up in it. But now, I understand that we are more than these meat suits we operate temporarily. So much fucking more. Challenging that unloving, authoritarian bastard of an inner voice telling me I was never good enough was a massive part of the puzzle for me. My brain and I are beginning to coexist in harmony. Dare I say it, we're now mates. Thematically, we talk: Body image, body dysmorphia, anorexia, bulimia, recovery, relationships and eating disorders, counselling, orthorexia, restriction, control, the diet industry, the fitness industry, health and wellness, bodybuilding, obsessional thinking, changing your inner dialogue and learning self-love. This is a really big one for me and it still feels uncomfortable talking about it all, but I know that the more I talk about it, the less power it has over me.
For a great resource of information and support about eating disorders, head to BEAT's website, here. — BEAT is the UK's eating disorder charity.
For links to contact BEAT, including a helpline for those in need of immediate support, click the link, here.
You can also find out a load of helpful stuff over at the National Eating Disorders Association website, right here.
To find eating disorder support in your area, a link to the NHS website can be found, here.