This week for Eating Disorders Awareness Week #EDAW2018 Kathryn Moyes blogs about her experience of living with an eating disorder

I got diagnosed with OCD, paranoia and anxiety when I was young.  

I would obsess and worry over certain things, they would be the smallest of things, such as having a pain in a certain part of my body. I would then think; is there something wrong? Do I need to go to hospital? Are my limbs okay?

Hamster brain

It was and is still very tiring. I compare my brain to “a hamster of wheels”.

24/7 thoughts, no peace of mind. When I got diagnosed with OCD, I went to therapy, some of which was CBT.

I found it helpful to a certain extent. They taught me the cycle of my thought process, however it is still incredibly difficult to rationalise my thoughts. OCD feels exhausting and time consuming.

This went on for a while and it was hard to talk to people who didn’t relate or understand it, I felt isolated and alone.

Developing an eating disorder

Later in life, my OCD fixated on to different topics but the worst of all was food.

'When things got too much or seemed out of my control I guess I turned to exercise for some sort of escape'

I developed an eating disorder and still struggle.

A lot was happening in my life and when things got too much or seemed out of my control I guess I turned to exercise for some sort of escape.

'I was lost, I felt like I was drowning, and it just got worse'

My exercise became more and more, and my eating became less and less.

I was lost, I felt like I was drowning, and it just got worse.

Controlling my life

My eating disorder started controlling and ruining me and my life.

I had to take "sick leave" as I could not focus on anything.  It was hard to go out with people – as they wanted to go for meals.

'All I wanted was to be “normal” whatever that was, I wanted to go for meals, see my friends, have fun'

It was hard to even engage in a normal conversation, as I couldn’t focus on what was being said, all I kept focusing on was not eating, but inside I was starving.

For me personally I would describe my eating disorder as life ruining, destroying, destructive, lonely and isolating.

I felt like there was no way out, I was lost, and I didn’t know how to make it stop.

All I wanted was to be “normal” whatever that was, I wanted to go for meals, see my friends, have fun.

At some point you forget what fun is, you forget how to enjoy life.

I wanted to be able to talk to someone who wasn’t my mum, someone who wouldn’t get upset when I tried to talk about what I was going through.

Going to therapy  

The NHS took a while to provide any help so I had to do something soon before I lost myself completely.

I researched a lot of self-help techniques and read a lot of books, then I booked to see a private therapist.

After a few sessions I opened up about things I never thought I would, it was massive relief to let everything out that I was bottling in.

Now I look back over my long journey and I know who is there for me through the good and bad times, no matter how difficult it was for them.

Mentally, each day is a challenge and may always be, but it is a lot easier now. I can eat food without the guilt (most of the time).

Life is for living, I don't want my OCD or my Eating Disorder to rule my life. It's my life, I will live it.

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