(image: book by Katy M)
Hey, my name is Katy – thanks for publishing my blog Be Ur Own Light!
The reason I am here is I have recently released a book about my own experiences through OCD, Anorexia and Anxiety and I want to help people out there who are suffering the same illnesses.
I felt very much alone is my illness and I want to help people who are feeling the same as I once did.
So, here’s my story. (Trigger warning, discusses mental illness, eating disorders)
When I was younger, I knew I didn’t think how other kids thought. I was paranoid all the time, constantly worrying, doing rituals to somehow counter act my bad thoughts (as I called them). The subjects I worried about changed all the time – from someone I love dying to fixating on a pain in my body and thinking the worst. After several years of this, I eventually told someone and got help when I was in my teen years. It was then where I was diagnosed with OCD (intrusive thoughts and paranoia).
Although I received help, my intrusive thoughts didn’t miraculously just disappear (they never have), and my OCD started to fixate on food. Little did I know that in time I would develop an eating disorder because of this, which would ruin me and my life.
When my eating disorder first started, I remember everything was getting on top of me. There were a lot of personal things happening in my life. I felt like I was drowning, and there was no way out, I started to feel like I had no control over anything. However, exercise and food were something I could control; no one could dictate that part of my life. I would do anything to exercise and eat as little as I could throughout the day.
A lot was happening, and when things got too much or seemed out of my control, I jogged off my thoughts, I wanted to forget everything and focus on becoming fitter. My exercise became more and more and my eating became less and less. I felt so lost and it got worse, I was spiralling out of control.
I remember after a while work was not helping, I couldn’t focus on anything, let alone conversations with people. It was worse even trying to socialise with my friends and family, as all my mind could think was “don’t eat that, don’t give in, don’t be weak”. Everything felt like a blur. How did eating suddenly feel like a sin? I didn’t understand. And that was my life for at least 5 years.
People always ask how did you get better, how did you ‘defeat’ this illness? It’s hard to say really but there was a time in my life where a lot of change happened, when certain people were no longer in my life and it felt like a weight had been lifted oddly enough. But there comes a time in your life when you think enough is enough, and I had that, I had a realisation. I had lost friends, hurt myself, and I was slowly disintegrating.
I was exhausted and drained that I couldn’t continue anymore, this illness took so many years of my life, so I was going to take my life back.
Of course, it’s easier said than done, in fact it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. I would be here forever if I described each day to you. But in time I did it. I gained a healthy weight and could eat again.
To help me, I read a ridiculous amount of self-help books, did worksheet after worksheet, went to my doctor to get weighed monthly and went to see a private therapist. This helped in ways I didn’t think it would.
I opened up about things I never thought I could; it’s amazing what you can tell someone who has no idea who you are or what you’ve gone through. And I wrote. Journal after journal after journal. I could let it all out, the things I felt and did daily, the things I kept in just poured out onto those pages. I learnt that in order to heal, you must be honest.
Finally, there was Yoga, in which I am extremely grateful for, as it showed me what my body can do and how I should appreciate my body. Everyone’s body is remarkable and can-do remarkable things. Someone once told me that your body is the most complex, amazing and intelligent machine you will ever own. And they were right.
During my journey there were a few people in life that helped me massively. Certain members of my family, close friends and my fiancé – who I met whilst I was going through all of this. They were my rock. When I crumbled into a million pieces, they were there to pick up the pieces with me. When I felt like I was drowning they pulled me out.
Now, I can go out for meals and finally enjoy them. I love to cook and be in the kitchen now, and I actually eat what I make. I don’t over work myself to the point I want to pass out, I can do activities like walking for miles and boxing without the fear that I might break. I have my life back again. The basic thing I learnt from this is, food is fuel, if we do not eat, we cannot survive. Food is meant to be celebrated and enjoyed.
I look back and see all the challenges I have faced so far have made me a stronger person. I want to turn my wounds into wisdom. I want to help others who are going through what I have, which is why I wrote my book. Nobody should suffer alone or in silence. If I can use my experience for anything it will be to help.
Here’s the link to my book
I hope this helps you in your own journey.