Focus on recovery

The diagnosis of an unspoken illness

As I sat in my room, confined by the four walls blocking my vision of the outside, dwelling on my position in this strange world, I could not help but think of how my life had suddenly came to a halt. I was always one for going out with friends and having a smile painted across my face, but now that smile had been replaced and the tears could no long be contained. Receiving help for something I could not even recognise was a strange feeling, but every therapy session seemed so normal. It was not the fact I was being told to eat that got me down, nor was it the anger she projected through my inability to comply, it was knowing that I couldn’t get myself to step forward and reveal how I truly felt.

She sat there using her methods clearly read from a book, describing how food is a must to live and I must increase my meal plan. All I could hear was that voice in my head that had appeared long before this day. “She is lying. You will gain weight, do not eat that.” This had just became a part of life for me and the voice my only real form of support. No matter what other’s said the voice always prevailed. Sure, I ate some food during the day, but it never felt like the right answer.

I recall sitting there, constantly pulling my T shirt, wondering why it clung to my body like the skin covering my back despite my low intake. My psychiatrist seemingly quite relaxed but her face saying otherwise, “we are going to admit you to a local hospital in the Newcastle area, they treat mental health related issues including anorexia.” I remember being told that day I was two weeks from death, but I didn’t see it, I could not feel it and my mind was certainly not satisfied…why? Not why did I not feel underweight, why was I left two weeks from death before they acted? They sit there wrapped up in their own methods, stereotyping and basing referral on body weight! They could have acted sooner, but BMI came before my life.

I say this with an open mind with only my voice giving the orders, I will not sit around and let mental health professionals wave away thousands just like myself. Weight does not define your needs as a person, so why does it define your life in treatment?