Monday, April 30, 2012
My name is Julia. I’m seventeen and have been through a life of complete hell for very personal reasons. I’ve been diagnosed with anorexia binge/purge type. One of the questions I hear the most would be when I realized that I needed help. I was in Texas and it was in 2011. I’d been purging since 2009 and restricting occasionally. We were in the car on the way to pick up some dinner and my mind was focused purely on my eating disorder. I looked outside of the car window and upon seeing a tree, the first thought I had was “I can get skinnier than that.” Yes, I compared my weight to the size of a tree. My mind had become so consumed by my disorder that I couldn’t even think clearly. It was that moment where I told myself I had a problem. Demi Lovato had just been released from treatment and I made the decision that I should finally tell my mom that my disorder had never really gone away, although I had told her it had a long time ago. At the time I was placed in an academy where I was doing my junior and senior year in one in order to graduate at the age of sixteen. One day at school as I sat in one of the classrooms cuddled in a blanket while the other students ate lunch, I wrote my mom a letter. I told her everything I’d done to myself and how much control I had taken over my body. I told her that I’d been purging and restricting nonstop and that the reasons I had self-harmed all led back to my disorder in one way or another. I admitted that the reason I was hospitialized during the holidays of 2009 because of dehydration was really my eating disorder. I admitted everything and spilled every secret I had kept from her. I simply told my mom that it was time for me to get help because I was tired of being sick. So we began to search for help. We found a place in Texas that claimed they treated eating disorders. I was excited. I thought I’d finally get a grip on everything and be okay. I figured that the hospital would help me cope with my depression and anxiety and basically send me on my way to recover. But I was wrong. To sum things up, my mom cut the meeting with the doctor short because he told me my eating disorder wouldn’t kill me quickly and that there’d be bathrooms wherever I went so I shouldn’t worry about my disorder for the time being. Then we found a psychiatrist and a therapist. The therapist completely disappeared and to this day we still have no idea where she went and the psychiatrist was charging far too much for far too little progress. We finally found another place for therapy ran by a husband and wife. Everything seemed really well at first. She told me she’d weigh me every visit and I was excited about that because we didn’t have a scale at home. However, she told me that if I lost weight two visits in a row, she’d stop seeing me. So that scared me. I felt like my control was being taken away from me. I attempted suicide in August of 2011, after only a couple visits with her. I kept seeing her after that but the suicidal thoughts continued and she never did any real therapy. She just kept changing my meds and her scale broke so she stopped weighing me as well. Then my mother and I moved back to Georgia. I was so happy about moving back to Georgia that I felt in control and went into a phase where my eating disorder didn’t control me. I ate. I didn’t purge. I didn’t cut. And then I gained. My church started an exercise group and a fast and I quickly became obsessed with my weight again and the control I had over it. My intentions in both the fast and exercise group were not pure and as a result, I relapsed. I began purging constantly, this time doing it in public places. I started cutting again every time I ate as a way to punish myself. This continued until I eventually purged and saw blood. I was taken to the ER that night and forced to admit to my mom that the disorder had come back and I was suicidal and self-harming again. I was put in an inpatient hospital for the first time in my life and I began to see hope for my depression, but the purging continued even while I was in the hospital. While in inpatient, I slept-walked and purged for the first time in my life. I’ve done that at least once more since, but that was the first time I’ve ever been so consumed by my disorder that it took control of me in my sleep. I got out of the hospital and nothing changed for me. If anything, my thirst for control grew more than ever before. I lost over 10 pounds. My mom kept a close eye on me so I couldn’t purge, but to make up for that I restricted and went back to cutting. Things got so out of control within two weeks of being discharged from the hospital that I overdosed. My mom came home and got me and took me to the ER and I was admitted to the hospital while they got rid of the acid in my stomach and waited for me to be transferred back to the inpatient hospital. As sick as it is, I remember the ambulance ride back to the center almost made me feel proud. I’d finally taken complete control of my body, but it didn’t end the way I wanted it to. I was still alive and part of me hated that. I went through the motions in treatment again and was discharged once more with no change in my mindset whatsoever. As I write this, I’m in the partial program of that hospital and I spend half of my day every week day there. They’ve tried to do everything they can to get me transferred to an eating disordeer clinic to finally get me the help I need but there are too many factors against it. I’m still sick, I’m still struggling. My mind is consumed and I can’t get a grip on it. The insurance company is making it far too hard for my family to afford to get me the help I need and most clinics won’t even accept me until I turn 18. So in the mean time I’m left here waiting for something to save me. All I can do is pray, trust God, spread awareness, and hope for the best. This is my story. I’m not wearing a mask anymore. This is who I am, but not who I will be.