30 year old Rebecca struggled for years with anorexia.
This is a summary of her story from the Greek site ‘Lifo’. (I used Google/Bing translate, so it’s pretty crude), but you can find the original here.
The first time I lost weight my periods stopped. At first I thought I was pregnant and immediately did a pregnancy test which came out negative. … I became convinced that even a shred of chocolate, a spoonful of honey or even a spoonful of sugar I put in my coffee were the “enemy.” Little by little, I reduced the amount of food I ate. In my eyes I was fat. It was too late to stop.
But then things became more complicated … I don’t know how many pounds I wanted to lose, or at what weight I would feel good. I was studying at university… as the time progressed I could not see anyone. I had become obsessed with two things: to pass my exams and to lose so much weight I could go no further! …I thought if my stomach was empty I could read more…I walked into the vortex.
I was losing weight. Now I knew that nothing could defeat me. But even Super Heroes have dizziness. Weakness, vomiting, unsteadiness, dark circles, cold hands, and no period. Crying without knowing why.
These were the first signs that something was amiss. My mother tried to make me eat a bowl of “Kellogg’s All Bran” with milk. A tiny little bowl. She fell on her knees and begged me to eat a spoonful. I threw her out of my room. I screamed ‘you hate me and you’re jealous and you want to make me fat and you don’t want me to go to university’. I heard her crying behind the door. ‘Rebecca’ she said ‘you have anorexia … Please! I beg you! Come to defeat it now!’
I cursed her with the worst words. Why did she want me to eat? She was trying to hurt me, to fatten me. I remember shaking from nerves, from an inexplicable shame and fear. I lost consciousness and fell to the floor. After a few hours I woke on my own..
After that I withdrew. I hated everyone.The number on the scales fell. If I didn’t feel dizzy I felt that I was getting fat. I cut down and my weight fell again. That was the first time in my life I felt like I was having an orgasm. The anorexic does not make love. She feels nothing but disgust for her body. Sex hurt. I would not share my body. It was mine! MINE ALONE.
– Listlessness, weakness, unsteadiness. Feeling sick. Malnutrition.
– I stopped socializing with people
– My nerves were broken
– Unexplained crying
– No sex-drive
Here I am alone. Completely alone. I started to become a monster. I hurt my head, I could not see well. I went to the toilet to urinate many times during the day…
Winter passed and then spring. I remember it was the coldest spring that had ever been. I was always freezing. I shouted, ‘turn on the heating: it’s like the North Pole’. My parents took me to hospital but I fooled the doctors.
I sat my exams. My mother sat on the sidelines in case I needed an ambulance. They begged me to eat a tiny piece of food. I was about to faint. But I would not eat it. My brain was starving and nothing made sense.
I went into my second year of uni in Crete. I had a scholarship but it meant nothing.
…I WAS A NOTHING.
Time passed. That September, I managed to trick my parents to trust me and send me to study in Rethymno: “a normal life like all students!” I told them I would never do it again and I would see a psychiatrist. I came and went with closed ears. With a closed heart. I ate a little and gained a few pounds.
I did not want to get well. I wanted to leave to pursue what I do. ..
The first half of that year was miserable and lonely. The second half I made friends. I relaxed and felt accepted. I even had fun. My friends were in the year above me. They graduated, and left to myself, I relapsed. From August to December I didn’t go home. My parents were banned from seeing me and I refused to see them.
I met my parents at the airport on 27/12/2003. What did they see ? A shadow.
(I’m sorry, I cannot write).
I was admitted to hospital on 27/12/2003. I was fed through a tube in my hands. I still have the scars.The pain was unbearable. I refused to eat unless they took this fucking thick stuff out of my hands . I endured the next 17 days. I saw no-one. I took issue with the doctors and said, this will not happen again. I wanted to be good. The emergency goedkoop medicine had done its work and public hospitals in Greece could not deal with problems like mine – at least then. I was an adult: I could do it myself.
I lied. I left the hospital.The first thing I did the day I got out was TO GO GET SLIMMING PILLS AND diuretic.
There was nothing my parents or anyone could do. The psychiatrist said it was my decision. I was an adult.
A few months after my father fell ill and could not hide it anymore – he had become the focus. I gained a few pounds so I could see him and be close to him. I did not trust anyone.
I swore I would get my degree. And I did. In an examination I passed 14 courses with very high marks. NOT BAD.
..I decided to do a Masters. I promised I’d go to a nutritionist, gynecologist and a new psychiatrist. I’ve seen them till today. From 2008 I did not relapse. But writing my dissertation last winter I began to lose weight. It has started again.
– I have hypoglycaemia
– If I eat meals steadily I have fluid retention and swelling. I need to eat. But I feel fat.
– I get dehydrated much more easily than in the past and I am at risk of a heart attack.
– The doctor says it will be a miracle if I ever get pregnant
– I have pernicious anemia
-I have many health problems like drug users and alcoholics. I have to take many different pills, including strong painkillers, because I am in so much pain
– My teeth are eroded due to starvation and vomiting and I’m in the dentist for fillings, root canal, etc.
– I have osteoporosis
Luckily however, I have not lost my hair. This is the only thing I like about me. My wonderful brown, long hair …
As for HOW MANY TIMES I HAVE TAKEN AN OVERDOSE, ASK MY MOTHER AND MY SISTER …
THIS IS ANOREXIA NERVOSA.
Rebecca-ANDRIANI Athens, 12/6/2011.
Rebecca died shortly after uploading this document.
Anorexia and Bulimia Care:
Sufferers Helpline: 01934 710679
Parents Helpline: 01934 710645,
www.anorexiabulimiacare.co.uk – Support, information, advice, befriending to sufferers and families. Can put parents in contact with other parents of sufferers. Christian organisation run by Christians for sufferers, families and carers.
b-EAT(formerly the Eating Disorders Association) Helpline: 0845 6341414, email email@example.com;