This piece is part of The Frisky’s How To Deal Week, in which we’re tackling mental health issues.
A week before my high school graduation, my doctor told me that I had to go to the hospital.
My weight had fallen too low, my EKG results were scary, and my continued refusal to eat was putting my life in danger. While my classmates went to college orientation, I went to nutrition counseling and group therapy. For two years I had faithfully obeyed the voice in my head that told me that if I ate more than the acceptable amount of food (an amount that kept getting smaller and smaller), I would be weak, my body and the world would spin out of control, and something terrible would happen. And yet something terrible was happening anyway.
I was losing every bit of control over my life, and goals I had spent years working towards — a scholarship to an elite college, freedom from my family and small town — were slipping from my grasp. I realized there was something I feared even more than the voice in my head, and I started to fight back. I obeyed the nutritionist even when my mind told me it couldn’t possibly be okay to eat this much food. I started to gain weight. And in the fall I enrolled in college. Keep reading »