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Do I Have an Eating Disorder?

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I just wanted to share how I feel. I have never been diagnosed with an eating disorder but every day, I ask myself: What’s wrong with me? Because my behaviour isn’t normal.
I just want advice on what’s wrong.

I’ve never been popular. In fact, I’m far from it. I’m the type of girl who focuses entirely on her work, concentrating perhaps a bit too hard, sitting at the front & ignoring the distractions around me. A geek if you like. Teachers tell my parents every year that I’m doing well, that I’m achieving highly. In some subjects, I’m even over achieving! But I can still do better can’t I? I mean, what would the world be like if nobody settled for perfection? Nothing’s okay if it’s not good enough. Nothing’s okay if you got one grade less than the highest. Sad, isn’t it? When you know others are going out & having fun & you end up, stuck indoors because you don’t want to have fun. You know the hard work will soon pay off.

Of course, as expected, I passed all of my GCSE’s, pretty much with flying colours. I always knew what I wanted to do. Work with children. I knew how to get that qualification. I had to attend college & study but at least that meant I was learning.

Once again, I just happen to be the girl who focuses on her work, rather than messing around & having a joke in lessons, with her so-called friends. I even remember getting a diary task back one day, with having a 5 being the highest. It was out of four criteria’s. I suppose you know the result? 20 out of 20, of course. Nothing different there. Well, that was at least until the girl next to me whispered to another friend: “I’d hate to know everything.” Know everything? Of course, she meant me, that was obvious having scored the highest grade in the class, but I didn’t know everything, I still don’t. Does anyone? But once again, the hard work paid off. They all received C grades in the exam. I didn’t quite make the A but I got the B.

Mum convinced me that they were jealous that they can’t work as hard as me, or get motivated. Jealous? Of me? What have they got to be jealous for? They’re confident & know how to go out & have fun. I don’t do that. I keep myself to myself. I only try to have a few close friends which is better than lots of ‘acquaintances’ who mean nothing. I was supposed to be one of their friends in college, but I guessed not.

Even going shopping is a nightmare. I see gorgeous clothes that I fall in love with & want to punish myself for even thinking I can walk in, try them on & buy them. No. I’m not good enough yet & I won’t be until I lose more weight. And that’s a lot of weight.

I hate eating out. A nightmare. I order the small dish, something healthy, whilst my family are digging into chicken wings & everything else that makes them look greedy, I genuinely hate picking food up anyway, but especially in a restaurant when everyone else is watching.

Perhaps that’s why I have low self esteem? The rest of my family are confident, just not me. I even had to attend self esteem classes! Not that it did anything for my self esteem.

But how about we go back to the start? When I can recall it all beginning?

I left Primary School & began at Secondary School. I had always been happy & pretty confident back then. When I started in year 7, I didn’t really know anybody. Therefore, it was up to me to make the effort to make friends. I got in with a group of about 10 girls. They never really included me much but at least I wasn’t on my own, right? Wrong!

“We’re not your friends. You can’t hang around with us.”

I guess it just pushed me away from the group. I wasn’t good enough to hang around with them & I had to accept that. Instead, when I reached year 8, I joined another group & got friendly enough with them instead.

I guess the group I first hung around with began to tease me more than anything, silly things. But then they began to dig deeper & said I was fat. Me? Fat? I never could have been fat back then. But even so, I decided to diet, healthily. I did a lot of exercise anyway, swimming three times a week, karate once a week, & as time progressed, trampolining once a week. So, in the morning, I would have the breakfast my mum used to make me, a bowl of cereal with a juice. At lunch time, I had a sandwich with a drink and maybe even a piece of fruit, rather than a packet of crisps. Our dinner’s have always been healthy, generally a nice, home cooked meal. Very rarely did I come home to something & chips. So I would eat dinner normally. I cut back on cakes, crisps, chocolate, sweets, desserts & biscuits.

So I began to lose a few pounds & it felt great. Did it stop the bullying? No. I still wasn’t good enough. So I decided to take drastic action on my body. I threw away my breakfast in the morning without my mum’s knowledge, I threw away at least half of my lunch without my mum’s knowledge, sometimes only eating fruit at lunch time & I would eat my dinner in the evening. I could leave some of it so as it didn’t look obvious but I was destroying my body by eating food. I was getting fat.

But surely I was controlling my body, the one thing possible in life? I couldn’t control or stop the bullying & I could only work as hard as I could to get my desired grades at school.

So of course, after dinner I asked to be excused. My mum always nagged that meal times is the most important part of the day seeing as we can talk properly as a family. Anyway, I remember being so scared when I got to the bathroom. I locked the door, forced my fingers down my throat & just let anything come up. Of course, once I got the hang of it, I was on a roll.

But night after night it became obvious & my mum noticed. She followed me up one night & knocked on the door & asked me if I was okay. I lied, of course, but she wasn’t going to listen. Instead, I finally admitted to making myself sick.

The day after that, my dad already being informed, they watched me eat & I couldn’t go to the bathroom until at least another hour later. It was practically torture.

Anyway, a week later, it just subsided. My dieting continued of course, losing more weight here & there. It was on and off, but not obvious enough for my parents to notice. I always remained to think about bringing it up again though.

It got worse yet again when I went into year 9, aged 14. It started again & I got quite scared so I told my best friend & she was really supportive of me which was great. However, I began to really, really like this guy & I began to speak to him. Unfortunately for me, after getting close to him, my best friend told him everything & so he kept tabs on me & wanted me to eat in front of him in the library. He was an ex student & helped around the school, kind of working there but wasn’t exactly a member of staff.

I wondered why he made such a big deal out of my eating until a girl who walked into the library one day came up & spoke to him.

“You have a girlfriend, don’t you?”

Once she said that, I basically zoned out. Him & this girl began talking about who his girlfriend was, what she was like. He never mentioned the most important thing though until a lot later, which kind of made sense why he was making sure I was eating. Eventually, he opened up to me & told me that his girlfriend was anorexic.

Not long after that, she dumped him. My best friend started dropping hints & saying that I was a lovely girl & he should be with me. Eventually he agreed he would be with me, as long as I was on the understanding that if his girlfriend ever wanted to get back with him, then they would.

I am not a !**@!, honestly, but I was so desperate to be loved by a guy like him, that I agreed, stupidly. He had said because he was technically a ‘staff member’ we had to see each other in secret.

Didn’t that technically mean, “I don’t want to be seen in public with you?”

I guess it does. It definitely seemed like that at the time anyway.

Well, my teachers were informed at the school just I was suffering from an Eating Disorder & without my knowledge, contacted my parents. To them, I was attention seeking. I could never have an eating disorder in their opinion!

This made it worse. The fact that my own parents couldn’t see their daughter had a problem. Had they forgotten about the time when I was 11? Obviously, they had. From then on, I have never been comfortable discussing any dieting issues with them so I don’t bother, in case I am accused of attention seeking once again.

I’m now 17 & still feel guilty when I eat. I’m always dieting, technically fasting, trying to plan meals. Obviously it’s difficult as I live at home with my parents but I do try to make myself sick if I have eaten too much.

Take for example not so long ago, I had spaghetti on toast for breakfast because I was so hungry. I was so disgusted at the mere thought of it, seeing as I only usually have a small piece of fruit for breakfast. Anyway, I took advantage seeing as my family weren’t going to be home until a lot later & I induced vomiting & it felt amazing that I can still do that & control my weight.

Throughout the day, I drink water or tea & only eat fruit. I have recently been surviving on one piece of fruit in the morning, one in the afternoon & a cooked meal in the evening. I am cooking food at the moment in the evening seeing as it’s my holidays. I go back to college in September & am taking advantage where possible.

If we go out as a family & there’s nothing prepared for dinner, I try & encourage them all to have a ready meal, because if we go shopping to buy one, I buy a weight watchers meal.

The guilt & shame I feel when I eat is unbelievable. I feel fat, useless, worthless.

This is an ongoing problem for me & I know it’s a problem but who do I talk to? If I talk to my parents, they won’t take it seriously & accuse me of attention seeking. I can’t talk to my GP, seeing as my mum works there & will be interested to know why I am there. I know there’s something abnormal with me. I just don’t know what to do.
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replied July 11th, 2010
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Hi Confused1701 and welcome to ehealth: Yes, you do have an eating problem and one that is serious...You need some professional help...You are punishing yourself with not eating to try to find acceptance in life...Honey, life can be cruel...Kids can be cruel...Growing up can be cruel...It is a popularity contest where cliques rule...I sometimes wonder if some of the home schooled children are the lucky ones...Get to a doctor...If your Mom finds out then so be it...You cannot let this go any longer...Anytime you wish to talk we are here...I send you my best wishes...I, too, walked your path in life...Take care...

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replied July 17th, 2010
Hey, the best thing about all of what i have just read is that you can say it...i am in a similar position to you- never been diagnosed with anything and have hidden things from my mum and boyfriend, they are both my rocks and they are hleping me through things at the moment. I always know the calories in everything, I count throughout the day, and worry days and days before i go out for a meal-sometimes ill look up the menu before i go so that i can really think about the lowest calorie dish to have.

I think you have to think why you are doing this, is it really becasue you are unhappy with yourself, or is it becasue you feel you can control that aspect of your life when everything else is out of control? The thing is, eating starts to control you- you will start thinking about how many calories you are eating while the person you are eating with may be talking....

You have to move on from everything you have been through and think about what you really want. Do you want to move on, have a healthy diet and not think about you once did? Becasue I know that I do.. and if that is true, you need someone who can help you-it might not be your mum, GP or anyone like that but there are people that you can talk to online-councillors and then progress to face to face if you think you need to...

You have to think what you want to happen and be determined to make it happen....

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