COME OUT — PRO YOU
A challenge against the current views and beliefs on eating disorders. And more an announcement to those affected, their friends and relatives and all healthy fellow human beings.
Eating disorders are an especially hard and always relevant topic. A topic that is far too often ignored or denied. Or worse, not taken seriously, when people waive it off as a “fashionable or luxury” disease.
I suffer since 4 years from this disease and I’m imprisoned in it at the same time. Imprisoned in a cage consistent of my own thoughts, from which I simply find no way out. How it feels like this, is absolutely not understandable for any outsider. Almost as painfully as the injuries that I was constantly inflicting on myself, it is presently for me even more challenging not to be able to explain nearly to my closest loved ones what is going on in my ‘diseased’ brain and how I feel in this disgustingly hard struggle on the escape out of this addiction, which an eating disorder is. If your mind is so confused that you do not know what is real life and what is just a semblance of it. The loss of control is unbearable for yourself in this situation and you feel just like an empty walking hull or cover. Soulless. Totally empty.
Within the last few years my eating disorder did transform me without wanting it to a complete different person. I’ve lost myself. In order not to perish in my everyday life and to not let anyone know and feel that I am sick, it was not only an escape into my addiction, but also an escape into a role — a role about myself. I acted in front of my whole environment 24 hours a day. Not only confident …. No, I would argue that I was terrific, masterful in this new role. Almost nobody noticed anything, and only when I landed in a clinic to get help after a suicide others came to know slowly that something was wrong. It was only then, after my hardest time when I landed at the bottom of this disease, that I began to talk about being sick, and others started to deal with this subject and realized that I might not be the ‘carefree’ Astrid, I always tried so hard to represent.
At the beginning of my illness, I only wanted to disappear, to be invisible. Not to be there anymore — I was feeling so worthless anyway and — in my eyes — it was not worth to be seen anymore at all. Self-denial and renunciation of food were my solution. The less food, the more control. The less I ate, the less I weighed, the greater the control over me, my weight, and my body. It did end finally in a clinic. Diagnosis: ANOREXIA.
But eating disorders are different and yet all the same. Barely when I realized, that anorexia is not a solution and ultimately a kind of death spiral that drags you down even further, I jumped out of the frying pan into the fire. Apparently, I could not live without my constant companion — the disease -, who was non-stop wrapping his protective arms around me. So I did not leave the disease and nor did it leave me. The eating disorder stayed with me — dressed only differently. It was now no longer the renunciation of food that gave me a false good feeling about myself, but I rewarded myself with something new. More frequently. Always more. I felt safe when I allowed myself something after that long time, when I had always forbidden anything to myself. I felt good the more I compensated. With more and more food. A big feast. I gained weight, a mental horror for myself. Or better: terror for my thoughts. However, my environment here as always stayed unconcerned and I again was completely engaged in my masterful achievement — the acting.
My environment gave me more and more compliments that I looked finally better and healthier. “Finally you have something back on your hips — you look great!” Beautiful and healthy one would might think with a common sense and good judgement. ‘Fuck off’ thought the messy Astrid with an eating disorder which only appeared in this new form. But it was too late. I had gotten out of the anorexia and eating nearly nothing into a food addiction, a craving for constant food, and could not stop it. I only lived for this disease, for this addiction and its satisfaction. My complete everyday life alias professional life consisted only of acting. I acted as if I do not have a problem. I completely blanked out the reality as soon as I was alone. I lived soulless in my hull, the cover of myself that was only left, and did not get out of it. On the outside I had created a perfect alibi of myself — a smiling happy sociable Astrid. On the inside there was nothing left of myself. I got more and more confused and had more and more disgusting thoughts about myself, and became more and more helpless. And ultimately, more and more got the feeling of not being able to live and not wanting to live anymore with this disgusting feeling and struggle. Because it is exhausting for your nerves and your body to constantly fight against yourself.
Since I was already on the edge, I decided myself this time — not like other times before — FOR life and not against. For MY life.
I would like to show everyone — no matter whether affected individuals, their relatives or completely healthy people — how dangerous eating disorders are. And that they are not always visible. Eating disorders come in all body sizes and forms. And they are happening in the minds of those affected, they scream at them. But hardly anyone else can hear these screams. I want to draw attention to this mental illness. I wish, that people deal with this topic in a more sensitive way. I wish, that others do not experience this brainfuck that I experienced/experience. I have realized after a long lonely struggle that I am worth living and even being loved. I can love myself and I want to love and live. Enjoy my life. For myself.
I want to encourage others to face their struggle, to come again closer to themselves and to trust that every person deserves to be loved, and more over to accept themselves as who they are — as wonderful humans who we all are. With all flaws. In any shape and size. Do not always take the pressure from outside to be as perfect & good looking as possible.
Come along with me and break out of your thoughts that destroy you. Face yourself! Be pro you!
Read my article in German here.
About these fotos:
These pics were a big challenge. Seeing myself in the mirror is/was horrible for me. I do not notice myself — I just see an empty body in front of the mirror. I want to accept myself as I am. I want to accept & love my body as it is — with all imperfections. Because my body is me. And it is carrying me through life — the life I want to live. And that makes my body perfect!