Thinking back to that appointment at seacroft hospital on monday it turns out theres actually a fair bit more to say. The Dr i saw was an extremerly experienced man and although i have a thorough understanding of my eating disorder there was a few things he said that i found really interesting and were also suprising for me to hear so i thought I’d share them with you all.
Starting with the more negative side, although i obviously know i’ve been quite ill..it still hurts me everytime i hear someone say it..as though i’m being diagnosed all over again. As he spoke into his dictaphone to write his report, his first line was: “Emma Megan Hynard, 19 years old, severe recurrent anorexic, restrictive sub-type”. This reinforced the idea that anorexia takes away your identity entirely. Is that what i have become? Is that what i’ll always be known for? It felt like a criminal sentance, or even more morbidly what would be written on a gravestone. It hit home that if anorexia suceeded in taking my life, my greatest achievement would be letting it do so. This has happened multiple times, and it shows the extent of denial that comes with the illness. Although i know how dangerous being so underweight is, it continues to shock me everytime i hear it. Last year in hospital i was assessed under the mental health act (was a bit of a misunderstanding and for the record i wasn’t sectioned) and they stated the reasoning for the assessment was ‘high, imminent risk of sudden death’. It didnt’t matter how much I knew. There are somethings you choose not to let yourself believe, and that was one of them.
Another thing he mentioned was something my mum has said time and time again. He was saying how putting someone into hospital against their will is a balancing act between psychological risk (i.e. being sectioned decreases motivation to get better, as an anorexic can only recover in the long term through their own decision to do so), and the physical risk of leaving them without medical help. He went on to say how treatment for anorexia bluntly consists of keeping me alive until i make the decision to get better on my own, and that is the only way recovery can happen. This couldn’t be more true..there is no ‘magic hospital’ or treatment..you can put somebody in every eating disorder unit in the country and they will not get better if they don’t want to. In my eyes hospitaliation has been purely to stabalise me physically..and if i have the mental capacity to get better that can and will happen at home.
On the bright side, aside from osteoporosis (which i mentioned in a recent instagram post you can see here https://instagram.com/finding.emma/), his research has shown the other effects of an eating disorder (including fertility) are usually reversible with restored weight. This is a MASSIVE thing for me as i was terrified i had ruined my chances of ever having children, and although its too soon to say whether i can, i have hope and sometimes thats all you need. The danger of not having hope is people often lose the motivation to get better as they no longer see the point. So just remember its never too late to turn things around!
Onwards and upwards
Lots of love, Emma x