Just a post, been listening to a YouTuber over the last couple of days I like and relate to, they had a video about their eating disorder and made a song to cope with it. I’ve wanted to for a little while make photo compositions with a messages about mental health.
Listening to the YouTuber’s song over and over has given me a sudden realisation, financial struggles in my first year, actually brought about an eating disorder. I have never thought about it. I always thought about it only being about control but control of physical appearance, I’m a little self conscious, but gradually I’ve numbed my mind to this. But the lack of financial control, and my continued (although not starving now, but probably eating far less than I should, even today) ideas about financial stablility and anxieties can contribute to a similar feeling of a lack of control.
In first year it was terrible, I don’t even know how it started, I was really poor, transitioned for weeks and weeks without break eating only tinned food, then trying to cut costs changing to cheese, butter and pasta and then just to butter and pasta.
It’s hard to explain, thought processes that still occur in my head, ideas like in my first year where “oh, I am eating butter and pasta, do I need butter?”.
Then I started starving myself, started off to save money I barely had. I didn’t have. And what I did have was financial help from parents which I appreciated but felt a burden (despite knowing they’d rather I be okay but yeah, never will tell them).
I guess trying to take control of the situation, even thinking now, it sounds a nice idea, but yeah, not a good one. But then it morphed further into wanting more control, not only the financial but trying to push the number of “days without eating” greater and greater. Like the feeling with video games wanting to get a higher “score”. I wanted to push the limits of my body. To show my body that my mind has control. The YouTube video addresses this and finally it has hit me. Something I never thought.
Not going to lie, have had urges to try and go back. I lost 10kg when I went home for Christmas after a couple months of this at most, and my family were worried about my weight loss. Even to this day looking at the memories, I saw I lost weight which I liked. I was and am still glad. But I didn’t see myself looking as “thin” as my family said.
It got so bad once in first year, where I was getting up in a lecture after sitting, and I immediately sad down, feeling faint, dizzy and out of breath. I recognised then it wasn’t sustainable but didn’t have financial control and couldn’t.
Did I “get over this”? Truthfully, probably not. If circumstances with getting a job I would almost definitely have continued this. Even now my mind can put itself back, I can hear my mind saying “and if I did I would show my body how I could go further”.
Conflicting, how the mind can see something wrong but also see it as right and okay.
Reminds me of something I can’t explain.
Always kinda known I had Autism, but ignored and tried not to think of it between like 7 and 22 because it “wasn’t curable” (my mind at 7).
Anxiety, someone described behaviour I explained as anxiety and I had never thought of it as such. I always thought the feelings of it were (as described to me) as death, like a heart attack (not how I feel it). So I thought my thoughts were normal. Although thinking now, clearly they were not. Like a mind, brain, eyes, all running at 300 miles per hour, focussing on everything instantly all in a moment but not able to do anything as anything takes more time than the instant. My mind raging, thinking, swearing and hating. I probably should have seen this as not normal.
Eating disorder, I didn’t see it as normal, but something I had to do. Easier because of less parental presence when I moved to Uni. I never thought of it as a disorder, probably for the same reason, it is a disorder but a choice to regain control. To show my body my brain was in control. Even until now I have always thought of it as a choice, I even now find it hard to think of it as even potentially an eating disorder as it wasn’t really about my weight (even if weight loss, even as I see it now) was a bonus.
Even thinking, the financial stress was higher again (nowhere near as bad) in my 3rd year also stress with post-Uni life and decisions and workloads and my own unhealthy obsession with forcing myself to work harder and harder. All got me to try to starve myself again, luckily for me I never made it past 4 days consecutively a couple times over a month. It is not a nice feeling, the hunger, but it gets easier to ignore. But it is somewhat addictive the feeling of control. I finally understand things from a new light I have never seen them.