Today we welcome The Recover Clinic graduate, Christina Cameron to our blog to talk about why that first step of asking for help is so important for your recovery…
I was approached recently by a friend who told me she tried to make herself sick.
I had noticed some disordered behaviour with her and food before this point, but she has not yet come to the realisation herself that she has an eating disorder which means she has not yet sought help.
If you are a friend or family member of someone who is suffering with an eating disorder, or you are someone suffering but haven’t yet sought help, there are a few things you need to know:
- Every eating disorder is different; some manifest themselves in over exercising, some bingeing, some restricting and some obsessive meal planning and even within those categories they vary depending on the person.
- Food is not the problem. Food is just the coping mechanism; the same as drugs, alcohol, shopping, gambling or any other addiction.
- Despite the different types of eating disorder there will be commonalities: how they relate to others, a lack of boundaries, past trauma, feelings of shame, insecurities with their body etc.
I noticed these behaviours in my friend because that is exactly how mine started. Long story short, it started with an insecurity with my body and an obsession with diets, meal planning and over exercising. I would plan my week’s food out, spend 2-3 hours a day in the gym/exercising and constantly be thinking about what I was next going to eat and when I was next going to exercise. Meal planning turned into bingeing because I wasn’t allowing myself the food I wanted, and bingeing turned into restricting to overcome the bingeing; this cycle went on for a while.
I tried many solutions; bootcamps, new diet plans and nutritionists on numerous occasions. I knew something was wrong but I didn’t know how to get better. I went to the doctor and he said I couldn’t possibly have an eating disorder because I wasn’t underweight and as I was young, I’d probably grow out of it. I quit my job and went travelling as I thought that would help but, wherever I went in the world, I would still be carrying my problems with me.
My mother found The Recover Clinic online but I was reluctant to go to a consultation as I didn’t think she knew what I needed, I didn’t think she understood, I thought I was the only person in the world experiencing what I was going through. It wasn’t until I’d been on a 6 week bootcamp to Phuket, exercising every day in paradise and losing the weight I thought would make everything better, until I realised my methods didn’t work and that I could not do recover alone.
I asked my mum for the number of the clinic and booked in for a consultation. I met with Emmy, the CEO, and through all my trials and efforts to recover I had never met someone who showed me they understood what I was going through and gave me the believe that I could truly live a life free from the disorder. It was a no brainer, something felt right, for the first time in a long time I had hope.
If you are someone suffering, found yourself reading this article and are considering taking the plunge into therapy and recovery, I cannot recommend The Recover Clinic highly enough. I know so many people who have graduated, free from an eating disorder, and are living the life they had always dreamt of. The mixture of 1-2-1 and group therapy in every area of your life, I believe, is the key to their success and if you are worried about taking the plunge, they have WomanToWoman which you can access remotely.
You are not alone. You can recover. We are here to help. You will get through this.
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Have you struggled with an eating disorder, body dysmorphia, mental illness or trauma?
We’d love to hear from you! Click here to email us about writing for our blog. Whether you want to share your story or an inspirational/motivational piece, you could help others who are experiencing similar thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
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Meet Our Contributor
Christina Cameron is a professional singer, songwriter, dancer and teacher who has been recovered from binge eating disorder for over 2 years now. Christina believes music connects on a level where words alone cannot and Christina uses her lyrics to heal others. Her tracks have been played on BBC Introducing and she has performed at local festivals and venues. However, her biggest achievement is and always will be, recovery. Now she wants to share some insight and experience to help others do the same.