29 November 2018
| THE HEARTBEAT OF WOMEN'S SPORT

Eating Disorders Week: An athletes story – part 2

February 24, 2016
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Hi, I am a sportswoman writing about my ongoing battle with eating disorders and I hope I can raise awareness and also offer support and a friendly helping hand for those on a similar journey. This second blog post is my letter to Anorexia (read my first blog post here).

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Dear Anorexia,

I don’t know why or how you came into my life, or what caused you to raise your ugly head, but somehow you developed and completely destroyed me and everything I had. You nasty greedy monster.

As you gained in strength and tightened your grip over me you gave me such a buzz – feeling control and power and thriving off my desire to constantly work the hardest and achieve the best. You posed as my friend but in reality you are my greatest enemy.

You became my habit. My routine. My comfort zone.

Still motivating me to do better, to work harder, to eat less. At a cost to everything in my life. Yet I was to remain oblivious to the destruction you were set on creating as I continued down a horrid spiral.

For so many years now, you have lived within and off me, thriving off my life. Growing and gaining in strength; leaving me weak in return.

A shell of who I was and want to be.

Eventually you took complete control – my very being, thoughts, behaviours and feelings. Constantly telling me that I was not good enough and that I didn’t deserve love and happiness or to feel good about myself. Robbing me of the sport I have always loved, my hopes, dreams and aspirations.

You demanded every ounce of my time – tearing me away from everyone and everything that I love and have worked so hard for.

Without realising, I somehow lost everything.

You enforced strict routines and rules upon me – when I could eat, how much, where and when. Screaming that whatever it was, was too much. Before long, you had inflicted such fear that I was prepared to risk everything; even death, rather than see the scales creep up. You took away the enjoyment of food and instead replaced it with bullying thoughts of abuse and self hate.

You took my life, my dreams and visions of the future and tightened your evil grip on me. Slowly suffocating me and draining my life. Creating a zombie; only able to watch the world as life passes me by. The clock seemingly on fast forward as my life slips away. My friends who consider me the strongest and most determined and stubborn girl they have ever met recognise that something is wrong, but I hide you. My little secret, I tell them I’m fine, they know I’m lying. Gradually I withdraw, they stop their visits and texts and it’s just you and me. Alone.

You robbed me of the love of my life and friends.

You even robbed my parents of the daughter knew and were so proud of. I pushed away anyone that was prepared to try to rescue me from your clenches– not because I didn’t love them or want you gone so desperately, but because I don’t know me without you. My comforter. My dictator. And when I look into their eyes all I see is frustration and the pain I have caused.

As much as I don’t want to say goodbye to you and don’t feel I can (who am I without you?). It is time for you to release me from your grasps. I want to breathe  again – but with every attempt that I make, your squeeze becomes tighter, strangling me and stealing all of my oxygen.

I hate you. I feel more pain and turmoil than I knew existed and so it’s time that we parted ways.

I want to take the blind leap of faith to make the change and with every bite of food that I take, for it to be a goodbye to you. Piecing the puzzle of my life back together again.

I want to step out, out from shadowing in the corner merely existing and out into the light where a future, my dreams  and promise await.

I know it won’t be easy, I have tried so hard so far and I fully expect that you’ll make the occasional return visit, but this is my time to live the life I am supposed to lead. To be free, to travel, to run again, to be happy, confident and ME.  Not just to make those that have stood by me, my Mum and Dad proud of me, but because that’s what I want – truly.

In the words of Maya Angelou:

” You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may tread me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.”

Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

Privacy note: Our writers identity has been kept private, if you wish to offer help, advice or simply thank her for her bravery and honestly, please email danielle@sportsister.com and your messages will be passed on.

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