Dear lovely readers,
When I did the blog post “But I’m Not Anorexic” I was very scared to post it. I’m not good at being vulnerable and letting people know what’s going on in my life but after receiving a lot of messages from you on daily basis telling me that you also have eating problems, or that your friend is going through a bad time, I thought I needed to do a little heart to heart.
My Mental Health
I started having anxiety when my parents separated. I didn’t know what it was but every time I was sad or nervous I would get this weird ache in my chest and my whole body would collapse. It wasn’t until a year after when I had my first panic attack on the bathroom floor of my Irish host family that I knew something was wrong.
When my parents told me they were taking some time apart I didn’t really get it. I grew up in a very Catholic environment, it wasn’t something that happened every day around me. I moved with my mom, and well let’s just say that my dad got out of the picture. And it wasn’t until two years later, with a lot of family drama and traumatic experiences, that my parents decided to get a divorce. My 4 siblings and I had to be in the same room as them when they signed the papers. We had to witness my mom shouting at my dad while he laughed and other things that I really wish I could forget. The day after that I had to go to school like nothing ever happened. Hell, I had to go to school every single day even if my fucking world was falling apart.
My depression, anxiety and eating disorder all started at different times, but they all joined together for about a year and a half. It wasn’t a great time. I really feel like I lost a huge part of my youth to that.
I didn’t complain about moving from my childhood home to a little flat 2 hours away from my school. I didn’t complain when I had to catch 2 trains to go to school every single morning and afternoon. I didn’t complain about having to go for a year to another country by myself. I didn’t complain when my parents decided to give their marriage another try and move in together again without even consulting their kids because I was the only one living at home since all my other siblings are much older than me. I was the one who had to witness my mom screaming at my dad for cheating, and him calling her a crazy maniac bitch. I was the one who had to suffer my mom’s depression and anger. I was the one who had to work or steal to buy things for myself. I never once complained about how other people who were in my life treated me like shit or used me because like they say, that is all my fault.
Having suicidal thoughts or hurting myself was something I did on daily basis when I was 15-16. I still have scars that proof that even though I may seem weak I’m strong as hell.
I think I’m at a point in my life where I can talk about this without feeling triggered. I started having eating problems when I was 14, and it wasn’t till I was 17 that I realized that I needed to change my mindset or otherwise I would end up killing myself.
I’ve never taken pictures of my naked body before. Before every time I had to take a shower, I would stare in front of the mirror and start crying, or take my clothes off and jump straight into the shower avoiding the mirror, and when days were really bad I would shower with clothes on to avoid looking at my body.
Thinking back to all the things I did to myself in order to look “beautiful” makes me pretty sad because I’ve been my worst enemy for many years, and if I could do anything for my teenage self I would give her a hug, because she sure as hell needed one and also because she never listened to anyone so giving her advice would be stupid.
Starving myself or binge eating was never the solution, but of course, I didn’t know that at that time.
Now I’m healthy. I still have some slips here and there but I can actually sit down and enjoy a meal without feeling guilty. I actually like my body and myself. I love my mind and I’m thankful for having a healthy body.
I’ve never had a constant group of friends. I’ve had friends that I’ve known since I was 5 and friends who I’ve been through a lot of shit together (aka my sophomore year of high school) but I’ve never had a person who I could always rely on for several years.
I like being with people. I love going out and meeting new people, but I hate what comes after. I’m not good with intimacy or being vulnerable. I’m not good with feelings, or talking about them, even though I would love to! I’m sensible, I’m an empath and I cry easily, it’s not like I’m a robot without feelings.
Late last year I met a boy. Every single time a boy showed interest in me or asked me out I would turn them down because like I said, I’m not good with relationships of any kind. But I fell hard for this boy, hard and fast. We met on a Friday night in one of my favorite spots of Barcelona. I was sitting in the middle of the street (at 11 pm, don’t do that kids) writing in my journal and listening to music, when this boy came, sat next to me, lit a cigarette and then started smoking it without saying a word. We sat there, two complete strangers, for about five minutes till I finally asked him what the hell was he doing, and he said that he was quitting smoking and that the only occasion he could smoke was on social gatherings, so basically he made an excuse to himself for smoking by sitting next to me. I laughed and smiled to myself because that’s something my sister would say. We talked for a bit and he invited me to a party and even though I said no he kept talking to me. He asked for my number and even though I said no he walked me to the metro station. He said see you soon and left with a smile on his face. And while he was walking away he lit another cigarette. For the next three Friday’s he would be there, in the same spot we met, smoking a cigarette waiting for me. It didn’t take long for us to start liking each other, but sadly, it didn’t end up well.
I know you probably don’t want to hear a love story and a heartbreak so don’t worry I’m not going to talk about it.
I really learned a lot from that. You can be with a group of friends hanging out, or with your boyfriend, or having dinner with your family, but when all of that is gone you’re left with your thoughts and worries. Don’t try to build yourself around other people because at the end of the day you’re left all alone.