Anonymous woman’s story highlights how eating disorders can be a constant battle
Every once and a while you hear a story that seems to encapsulate eating disorders in a unique and succinct way, at once telling an incredibly personal journey while seemingly speaking for countless others who share their pain.
That’s exactly what happened with a recent encounter between the photographer operating the popular Facebook page Humans of New York and a young woman who says she’ll “always be recovering” from an eating disorder.
“My first time was October 18th, 2013. I was a freshman in college. I was alone in my dorm room and I’d just eaten a…
Like many, the young woman says the first time she experienced binging and purging was during her freshman year of college.
“My first time was October 18th, 2013,” she said. “I was alone in my dorm room and I’d just eaten a bunch of Halloween candy. So I purged it.”
Rather than recognizing the dangers of this, she says she felt “great”, and thought that she had “discovered a new tool.”
“It seemed like a way to stop gaining weight,” but it quickly developed into something more dangerous and addictive.
“My second time was two days later,” she said. “Soon it became most meals. I became addicted to watching the numbers drop. I lost all power over it. I was dizzy and depressed all the time. I couldn’t focus in class or go out with friends. For five months, I lost all control.”
While the eating disorder festered in secret, the woman learned she had to start seeking help and slowly began talking about her problems. This gave her to power to regain control over her life.
“The eating disorder lost its power when it stopped being a secret,” she said.
But, this young woman’s story isn’t a simple tale of a woman overcoming her disorder. She recognizes that it is something she will be fighting for the rest of her life.
She admits that she had a relapse “a few weeks ago,” but she isn’t letting that set her back.
“Even though I was disappointed, I reminded myself that it wasn’t the end of the world,” she said. “I haven’t lost all the progress I’ve made over the past four years. I just need to stay positive. And keep talking about it.”