Hey, I am Sophie, I’m 18 years old and fell into eating disorder behaviour around a year ago. I thought: “when I am skinny and muscular, I will be happy”. However, I learnt that happiness is not related to our bodies. If someone had told me that I would be happier with more body mass I would not have believed them.
Today, I can tell you that I am happier than ever before. I am able to socialise with friends again. I can visit restaurants, spend an evening with my sports team while eating pizza, go for a drink and eat cake at birthday parties.
I learnt that the eating disorder stole all of this from me. It reduced my personality to my body and appearance. I forgot what my strengths are, and the worst thing was that I lost my optimistic, carefree and not-too-serious approach towards life.
Recovery helped me finding myself again. It was not always easy but it is definitely worth it.
In the beginning, I did not see the risks and affects of the eating disorder behaviour on my life and health. However, when I lost my period, I realised that my body was not healthy anymore and could affect my future because an eating disorder can lead to infertility. My dream was, and still is, to have a family of my own one day. That’s when I noticed that I had to change something.
I needed the help from a therapist, nutritionist and doctors in order to find the underlying reasons for my behaviour: I used the eating disorder in order to cope with the isolation due to the pandemic. I learnt that through the pandemic, school, sports and food where the only things I had. In order to get some control of my situation, I started to control my body. Sure, it helped me though the tough time, but as I know now there are healthier ways to cope with difficult situations. For example, drawing gave me a purpose and a way to relax when life is too turbulent.
In addition, during recovery I searched the internet for self-help resources from professional eating disorder websites and I read a lot of real life stories which helped me believing in recovery and myself. During recovery, there were good days on which I felt like I was moving fast towards a healthy life. There were also bad days, on which thoughts started to reappear and eating became stressful. Everyone has these days where they feel too overwhelmed with what life throws at them. The bad days do come between the good ones and I know you can tackle it! For that, we sometimes need the help from friends, parents, therapist or doctors. That’s okay. We deserve to get the help.
While I recovered from my eating disorder I used the real life stories on this website as hope and motivation to keep going. Now that I am in a state of recovery I would like to share my story with others in order to support them in their recovery journey.