Updated: Nov 27, 2020
Anorexia kills. It is the mental illness that is most likely to result in death. Suicide, heart attack and organ failure to name but a few.
For anybody who lives under a rock, Anorexia Nervosa is not a result of admiring thin supermodels or envying the skinny girls at school.
Small aside here...isn't it odd how society finds it acceptable to judge a girl as a skinny bitch, but frowned upon to judge a girl as a fat bitch? Both terms are unkind and born from ignorance. Just don't.
Eating disorders are cruel and unforgiving prisons in the mind.
I know this because I have lived with an Eating Disorder since I was 15. This was around the time that I first started to experience Bipolar mood swings. So that was a fun time!
I started this career with Anorexia, which then led to Bulimia, Binge Eating, Compulsive Eating, and finally ended up with what medics term as a Not Otherwise Specified Eating Disorder (so informative).
In short, for me this means that I live with my Eating Disorder hiding in the shadows, threatening to invade my rational thoughts whenever it sees an opportunity, a vulnerability. And no, it won't matter what my BMI is. We're all familiar with BMI right? You know the one, the unhelpful and ill thought through government measure of who is healthy or unhealthy, a good person or a bad person.
There is no cure, no specific medication, and sufferers have only a 30% chance of going on to live a decent life.
I will not feed the Eating Disorder demons with talk of weight, calories or size, lest I trigger nightmare obsessions for other sufferers who may read this.
When I hear of a person who is suffering from any type of Eating Disorder, my heart shatters for them. I would not wish it on any person, and would give anything to show a sufferer that there can be another way to shun the obsessions in favour of a more peaceful mind.
Unsurprisingly, my Eating Disorder, like all my other mental demons, is now intrinsically linked to my Yoga journey. It took many years of abusing Yoga for weight loss purposes to finally discover that the real benefit was learning a high level of respect for my body. More than that, I eventually noticed that long term Yoga and meditation practice was quietening my thoughts and giving me enough space between these thoughts to really listen to what the Eating Disorder was attempting to do, see through it's evil plans, and tell is to piss off.
The physical practice of Yoga makes up roughly 15% of the whole Yoga thing, but it is the most common starting place. Many people start attending classes seeking physical benefits, and this is great, because any way in is great. In time, this will lead to a deeper appreciation of our bodies, and then our minds, and soon enough our entire way of living come under the microscope.
These days, my main therapies for my mental health are, in no particular order, medication, Yoga, my family, and even more Yoga. Now that I am a qualified teacher, I include spreading the word about Yoga in my list of therapies. Nothing feels quite as good as helping another human being to love themselves, even a tiny bit.
Wow, it feels soooo good to say that stuff out loud. These are strictly protected secrets of my mind, and it is a small victory to expose them. I encourage all of you to do the same. Nasty thoughts hate nothing more than to be exposed for what they really are.