"My first instance was when I was 13, I was on a holiday and I had ordered breakfast, it was pancakes and hot chocolate, and my aunt looked at me and said "if you keep eating like this, you'll be twice your size by January". That holiday I stopped eating. I'd nibble enough to make sure nobody could say anything but I didn't eat, it made me feel sick. I had also just started menstruating, so the combination of the hormones, the bloating, the lack of understanding and ability to deal with anything at that moment made an automatic and unhealthy connection between weight gain, menstruation, and food. It was unexpected but it snowballed from there. I started oscillating between starving and overeating, which resulted in me gaining weight. Boarding school wasn’t any easier, we had intense physical activities, but my body didn't lose the weight. It made me so angry, I started fighting horribly for years with my mum, I'd research procedures to get rid of parts of my body (uterus, kidney, anything) to make sure I lost weight, this led to me becoming an easy target to be taken advantage of. I got into a relationship that was (in hindsight) dominated by various kinds of abuse, and subsequently opened up more cans of worms.⠀

The lowest point was a few years ago when I resorted to scraping my wrist on a jagged bit of marble on my window sill because all sharp objects had been confiscated by my family and my nails had been cut. Harming had become a necessity because I was so frazzled that it felt like some kind of perverse release! I had grown attached to my issues, so I'd lie and make up stories to the therapist, to skirt around the subject. I've always been skeptical about whether the treatment was helping or whether I just enjoyed talking about myself endlessly, but I look back on my first session- slurring, unable to frame a sentence because I was so distraught, to now; I didn't think I was ever going to get better. I thought that was just the way I was supposed to be. Depressed because somebody was hurtful for 3 seconds 14 years ago.

Through all these years of trying to figure myself out, I have learnt some very precious lessons. I have to keep in mind that I'm not cut out to be completely cured, my brain isn't wired that way. I'll have downer days. I'll start my cycle and frantically weigh myself every few hours, or itch at a mosquito bite and feel the urge to hurt myself. I've learnt how to control my irrationality and learned how to find solutions, or come to terms with what cannot be solved. I surround myself with good people, picking up little bits of their personalities- like being calm under pressure, feeling wonder, laughing at things that I never found "sophisticatedly funny enough", it's great! But I keep in mind that today I feel that once in 50 days, rather than 50 times every hour."