Life without Anorexia

My motto is
'Dont let the sadness of your past & the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present'

My life at the moment is completely different to how it once was. I spent 5 years sick with anorexia nervosia and depression as well as struggling with self harm and overexercising. I spent 2 years in different treatment centres.
And since 2012 i have been declared healthy from my eating disorder.

I have been blogging for 7 years, and my whole journey is written in my posts. I now represent healthy and happiness. I want to show anyone struggling that it is possible to recover, no matter how hard it may seem.

I now blog about recovery, my life, veganism and positivity!

If you have any questions leave them in the comment section as i am much quicker at answering there, otherwise you can always send an email: lifewithoutanorexia@hotmail.com

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

My life before anorexia

I meant to write this post a few weeks (?) ago, but life got in the way so the draft was just sitting there waiting to be written. I got asked about how was my life before an eating disorder and before all the struggles happened in my life. I think i have written posts about this before, but i thought why not make a new one, i am sure you all know about my struggles and how my life is right now but what about before i became sick?

I began struggling in 2008/9, so its been 8 years and i can say that i really cant remember so much of my life before i became sick - my memory is not that great. And even the years i was sick was very much a blur and the years just blurred into one.

This post might be long but i will try to keep it as short as possible, just write a bit about my life before mental illness.

So... i was born in Ireland and immediately after being born i had an operation on my stomach due to being born with Cystic Fibrosis. I was also born a month to early and had to spend several months in an incubator due to being very sick as well as prematurely born. Then when i was 6 months old my family moved to Sweden, as my mum is Swedish and the health care for patients with CF was much better - and thats where i spent the next 4 years. Then when i was 4,5 years old we moved back to Ireland and lived there for almost 10 years before we later moved back to Sweden because of my anorexia and that there was better treatment for eating disorders in Sweden.

So, those almost 10 years... i went to school, i had one best friend who i unfortunatly dont have so much contact with anymore but we were very close and she was and is one of the best people i know. Unfotunatly my illness and moving to Sweden made keeping in contact very hard and we grew apart.

How was school? I loved school... and i was always ahead of everyone else and there were plans of me moving up a grade as i was so far ahead of everyone else, however as Swedish was my first language there was the language barrier and it was thought best that my sister and I didnt go in the same grade. I also kept asking for extra homework as i would always finish my homework so quickly, and i cried the times i didnt get homework....  Now i want to cry when i actually have "Homework" hahahaha.

I used to play the flute and the tinwhistle and the harmonica. And i didnt like playing sports - however i loved going for walks and jumping on the trampoline, but any type of team sports or ball sports werent fun. Until i started high school and started playing basketball and realized i was good at it and enjoyed it!

I used to play alot of chess as well and won first prize (for my age group) at a chess competition. I also loved maths and used to play math computer games and loved playing suduko.

I was always curious about how things worked so i was always tempted to break things apart and see what was inside of them (my mum would never let me and i think she was scared that she would one day come home and find that the computer or TV was broken into pieces hahah). I couldnt understand how computers or telephones worked, it amzed me so much.

I loved doing puzzles and used to mix 3-4 different puzzle pieces into one box and then sit on the floor and try to do 4 different puzzles at once.

I was addicted to Nintendo and gameboys and had so many different games.

I loved to bake as a child but was a rather picky eater.

I loved being on my own even as a child, i loved when my mum would drive into the city (90 minute drive there and 90 minute drive back) to do the weekly food shopping and i would just sit at home and watch tv or play nintendo. However, i used to sleep in my mums bed until i was rather old haha. And i also sucked my thumb for far too long (i still dont know how i actually stopped... i think i just decided one day and then stopped?)

I loved reading... i read so many books. I could finish a book in 24 hours (especially as i was sick/at home so often.) There reached a point where my family didnt even know what books to buy me as a present as i had most likely already read it.

I also loved writing. At first i wanted to be an engineer but was told by a teacher that females couldnt be engineers (how awful... she completely crushed my dream), and then i wanted to be a writer. If i had my harddrive from my computer back in 2008/2009 i would have found many outcasts of books i had begun to write. 100's of A4 pages of stories i wrote... of course i am sure they werent so great, but i had a wild fantasy and creativity and had goals of writing my own book and series.

I also won a prize for writing a small mini story for a competition - i wont first prize for my age group and there was more to the prize (writing lessons or something like that, but i cant remember it now, haha.) And to continue with the self boasting, i also did the SAT test when i was 14 and was one of the top 100 teenagers in Ireland at the time with my score and was given a prize and offered a summer class at the Dublin university. Though a few days/weeks (i really cant remember) we moved to Sweden... and how i managed to do the SAT test and get a good score when i was extremely malnourished and had barely eaten anything i have no idea.

I always saved money and was very economical - and still am. I dont spend alot of money, i always save up money for something i really want. I would never say what i wanted, instead i would save up and then sneak away when we were in the city to buy what i wanted.

Much of my childhood was spent sick or in hospital. Most years i had 50-70% absence from school due to being sick. Every 2nd or 3rd month i would end up spending 2 weeks in hospital with IV anti biotics and often spent 2-4 weeks at home before that. So i was used to doing alot of home studying but also used to spending alot of time on my own. Back then there were no phones (like there are today) or social media to keep in contact with friends. So i used to find it very difficult to return to school after 3-6 weeks and pretend like "No time has passed". I was never bullied or left on the outside, people have always been so kind to me but i remember being 8 or 9 when i first began to get anxiety about returning to school... it was always the first 2 days, but then everything would feel fine again... until i ended up sick again.
Despite being so sick and spending so much time in hospital i was a very happy child. I was positive and just took things with ease, i was fine with being in hospital, i was fine with being at home (i enjoyed it infact), i was fine with the long travels to the hospital and having to study on my own or only seeing my parents a few times when i was in hospital. Its kind of crazy to think how positive i was as a child despite how sick i was at times.

Of course now a days you wouldnt think i spent so much time in hospital or that i was so sick as a child, but that is because i take care of my CF health as much as possible. I make sure to workout and eat right and eat enough for my body, i make sure to take my medication and to take care of my body. But of course the illness does affect me daily and that isnt something i write about here, and each time i go to the doctors they talk about me getting IV antibiotics, but i refuse because after spending my whole life in hospital for either my CF, anorexia or depression i refuse to be an inpatient if it isnt absaloutly necessary.

Anyway, my childhood was actually a very good childhood. My parents split when i was 4 or 5 but that has never affected me negatively. Instead i loved spending time with my dad during the weekends, i liked my step mum and my half sister and of course my half brother who is growing up so quickly! I didnt mind the long travels, and despite being sick so often i was happy. I loved our two family dogs, i loved running around and being outside and smiling and i loved food!!

I actaully really loved writing this post and thinking back about my past, but it also makes me sad to think about how i changed when i began to get sick. The hours spent doing puzzles on the living room floor turned into hours on the infoor bicycle, the hours i spent doing maths and suduko and reading turned into lying on my bedroom floor feeling exhausted and not being able to concentrate due to lack of energy. And the digestive biscuits with nutella or soda bread with butter turned into glases of water and half apple pieces or mini weetabix. Its so sad to think about.... but i cant change the past, instead just be proud of who i am now!!




4 comments:

  1. Awe Izzy this post made me so happy to read!! I love how positive you were as a child despite being sick a lot. I'm so glad you have these memories to cherish forever <3

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  2. This post was so beautiful<3 I wish one day I could meet you and share with you my story. Thank you for being here for me and everbody else, I know that I have told this so many times but you really saved my life.

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  3. Awwww I love such posts ;) and i am also like you according to this topic ;) I loooooove looking at old pictures of my childhood and remembering me of how it was like ;) going on holidays with my family and even though just as you say there is this chapter in our life we can´t change, lets make the best of it and move forward ;) it is the only right thing we can do ;) Lots of loooove xxxxxxxx Ange

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  4. Beautiful post - its amazing how positive and resilliant you were as a child despite spending so much time sick.
    I love the photo of you, your sister(?) and your mum sat together holding a forked sausage (?) to your faces - that picture speaks volumes about the sort of childhood you had and your relationship with your mum - that's a keeper for sure!
    Thankyou for sharing your story :)

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