I have eating disorder not otherwise specified, EDNOS, and a lot of people don’t talk about it, so I would go to the speakers and schools and like hear them talk about like their stories and it never sounded like mine so which obviously like now I know that like everything’s so different anyway that like nobody story would sound like yours but I would have wanted to hear that you don’t have to like, different things, like you didn’t have to like lose a ton of weight or that you can’t look at somebody you know because i used to always like hear specific stories and like about how people had to go inpatient and everything like that and think, well like that’s not me like I didn’t have to do that or I didn’t lose all this weight so I can’t have an eating disorder because nobody talked about like the side where you can do other kinds of treatment, or have other behaviors and not feel like that so I that’s why I wanted to share just because like it’s to help other people who could be like me who was like looking for somebody who had a similar story and could never find it The first time I tried to make myself sick I was in like seventh grade play practice. I remember being backstage and a kid was bullying me, that’s when I went to go try, and it didn’t work and I kind of just felt like a failure and then that idea of making myself sick kind of stuck with me for years and I went back to it, towards the end of my senior year of high school. Throughout high school I was diagnosed with a chronic illness called dysautonomia it is a condition that messes with your autonomic nervous system, so anything that your body does without you thinking about it mine can be affected so I was on homebound for a year. And I dealt with things like not being able to walk from like one end of the hallway to the other because i was too dizzy or like i thought i was gonna pass out, or the room was spinning, so I was kind of different from the other kids I was around in high school because like it was harder for me to relate to things like they woke up with a bad hair day today, because i woke up and my heart was pounding really bad and I couldn’t see. So like because my eyes would go black when I would stand out because of my blood pressure changing so I don’t know of like other stuff like that was just easier maybe for me to focus on? Was this thing that I couldn’t do or? I’m sure somehow it all plays together I was in therapy already when I first started making myself sick because of the year before. Over a course of like from may to september three people who I was really close with died and then the month later a kid from my town got murdered from other people in my town. So it was like this whole thing and there was grief counselors and everything in my school. Because it’s a tiny town, like everybody knew everybody, the girl who was killed was the granddaughter of like my english teacher. The kids who killed her were also students of the teacher like it was yeah, I stood next to them at a prayer vigil the night before they were arrested. So like it was a lot so then my mom got me in to see a therapist for grief counseling so I was already in counseling when I started making myself sick and I remember like i emailed the therapist and i was just like “Hey I don’t know if this is normal or not but I made my” or I don’t even think i said that I think I said something like um “I want to let you know like I made myself sick three times this week, is that normal?” She was just said something like normals a relative term and i was like, okay, but what does that mean? And then she’s like “I think you should come in every week from now on.” Something else that i didn’t know, when I first started seeing her, was that therapists have like specialities or things that they specifically like treat and hers was not eating disorders so she didn’t know what she was doing and she like made things harder so at some point i was just like “I’m done” like she doesn’t understand like i’m not going back there because she, was trying to like, say that it was a problem between me and my mom and our relationship, and like she made my mom come in and like me and my mom are really close and like I tell her almost everything and everything so then like I knew it wasn’t that like I knew that wasn’t what was going on and then she would they change what she would call it like she would say that i was bulimic which I wasn’t because that also entails like binging, which I don’t do, and then she would be like “Oh, well, you don’t have an eating disorder you self-harm”. Which like doesn’t make sense so she would always like change what she was telling me and she wouldn’t like help so then i stopped going to her and a few months later I went to a new therapist, who really helped me. Like she understood it better but she also like I guess maybe was a better fit for like personalities? Because she like knew that I had an a bad experience with this other therapist so she was like really slow with me in the beginning and like we talked a lot about that and then at some point like I started opening up about this but she never like, forced me. I think that’s definitely something that people should know because Like, not only is the thing like is this person gonna like treat me well and understand like what i’m going through and understand any kind of like mental health issues you might have but also like do you do your personalities match because like that’s a big part too like you have to be able to like have a conversation with a person and not just like they’re not somebody who is there to just lecture you always, and like that’s what I didn’t know with the other one. I don’t think I would be in the same place if I didn’t have counseling. um Because that’s where I started that’s where you can like open up and look you can be really deep and like I remember when I was still kind of in denial about it. Well like i’ve never changed body shapes or anything because of my eating disorder. um Which also like I would have a hard time like admitting to myself I had one and that was something I would always tell myself like that I didn’t look like I had because I mean obviously I know better than that now but like then there was the whole like preconceived notion of what somebody looks like so um that was something like I’d always tell myself like no like I don’t have this thing because I’m not super skinny or like because I didn’t change the way that I look. I hid it for from everybody. Like, I didn’t really talk about it to anybody my mom knew because she was pulled into a therapy session and was told. But It’s not something that like I talk about So then through active minds I’ve started learning, how like you can be open about things and I had a lot of fear about having people know. Because it’s like judgment or well what if they get mad that I didn’t tell them when things really bad. um But then through active minds like I started opening up and I did like a “Spread The Love” event and then I did student stories a few weeks ago and then at some point I was like talking to a friend and I was like I think I want to post it online. But I don’t know if I should. So then I did and then a lot of like I’ve had a lot of positive feedback and it kind of is easy like Like it’s out there so it’s not something I have to hide anymore like I don’t have to worry “Is this gonna be found out?” If someone gonna see something and like blow my cover or anything like it was something that I’ve always had really talking about it made it easier for me too. Because I did that too like I looked up a lot and I watched like a lot of people stories on YouTube and stuff like that I guess trying to like like now that I’m more out of it I guess just trying to find something that like I connected with. There’s a lot of people who have eating disorders, and there’s a lot of people who have this type of eating disorder there’s help out there like obviously like we have counseling on campus which is fantastic but there’s even like chats through like The National Eating Disorder Association it you can write to one of their counselors if you are having a hard time with like specific issues or like I would volunteer for a crisis text line and we can help people with eating disorders like in a crisis. So like there’s definitely people out there who will help you and there’s definitely resources of league somebody looks for them.