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I don’t want an A for anorexia



Well-known member
Mar 23, 2009
“You haven’t scooped all the butter out. Finish it all.” The nurse’s stare invaded from across the table, and her words continued the assault. She had finished supervising my breakfast, but was hell-bent on discovering any trace of leftovers, any hint of my illness now showing its mark in the almost empty flora pat beside my sticky fingers. They were sticky because – bowl of full-fat milk-soaked cereal, cup of tea, glass of water, glass of orange juice, two pieces of toast with butter and jam down – I had not been allowed to wipe my hands. Or my face for that matter, which was now sopping wet with tears. “You’ll just try to secrete your food in the napkin. You can clean yourself later.” Good bloody morning to you too, Nurse Ratched II.

As far as life ambitions go, this wasn’t one I had ever had in mind. Achieve highly at school, get that much-toiled-for degree from Cambridge. Add to that the all-important master’s in journalism, which with luck led to a job as a reporter at a local newspaper. In that world – my world – where grades, words and bylines meant absolutely everything, things were going swell. But delve between the lines, and under the increasingly baggy clothes I chose to hide my shrinking frame, times were getting tougher. Edith (as I came to call my illness), was growing inside me as I lessened in her presence. And before I could hear the alarm bells myself, I heard instead my friends, family and colleagues screaming in fear. I was pulled away from my path, and, before I knew it, had been pushed down the rabbit hole of recovery. First stop? The eating disorder wing of a psychiatric hospital in central London.

Admittedly, the warning signs had been there for a long time. The subtle marks of sickness that tied knots in my stomach, in place of hunger, and stopped me from eating. The discomfort I felt, like the itch of a well-worn woollen jumper, when a friend would choose a restaurant, dreading an inscrutable menu. The panic I felt not in heart or head, but deep-set in my gut, whenever I felt stressed, angry, upset, or scared. In truth, any emotion whatsoever had no chance to be processed, but would quickly spread from the mental to the physical, stunting my appetite in its tracks.

I don


Well-known member
Oct 14, 2013
I don't think any type of accomplishment will surmount for a lack of feeling loveable or worth something. I know for myself, no matter what I accomplished in life it didn't seem to matter. Once I found new relationships, that is relationships with people that made me feel loved and worth something. That is when everything turned around for me. I remember when I struggled with eating disorders, the people I had in my life at the time never really made me feel this way, which was part of the problem.