Any thoughts? Ideas?

I have been anorexic for all of my adult life. Over my adult life had only about 2 years of relatively (just under) healthy weight. From the age of 18 till now 37 this year. This sounds shit. No hope for me. Slow death. Is there anyone else like that or am I the only loser? I don’t know how my husband can stand me and living with me. I don’t want to live and I don’t want to die either. I won’t recover. Can’t stand eating food outside my ‘allowed’ safe foods. What’s the purpose in living like a zombie so numb. Feeling fat/skinny. Both and none of those. So messed up. Trapped and not trapped. I won’t recover because I don’t know anything else than this. And what I am is what I am and I would lose my identity without my illness. Help.

9 Replies

  • I'm afraid that I am about to give you lots of advice which is counter to the norm. I have spent the last 2 years saving my dd15 and I have learned a few things through bitter experience. She is now in recovery and a lovely bouncy happy teenager who does well in school work and has started to make new friends.

    Firstly, do you have inflammation anywhere or any other underlying health issue? If you do have inflammation you should get it under control. Start taking ibuprofen (the one that lasts for 12 hours is best). Also start using turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon on your food, this keeps inflammation under check. Several recent research papers have indicated there is a direct link between inflammation and depression. People with anorexia suffer one of the worst forms of depression and perhaps if you could lift that depression enough to see a future you may strive to reach it.

    Then start to examine the foods you eat, are they processed/overly full of undesirable elements? They may be making your sick when you eat them and you may have subconsciously developed an aversion to food because of this. That happened in two cases I know well, one had food poisoning when she was 18m and her little body warned her to stop eating, don't worry a diet of chocolate for two years and then introduced to other foods and now she loves all food, the fancier and more interesting the better; another 10yr old I know had a gluten intolerance and her mum started her gluten-free on a GP's advice, three weeks into the diet she ate a full meal for the first time in her life, she told mum that she didn't realise food wasn't supposed to hurt when you ate it, she's in full recovery and just gone to uni.

    Your acceptable food group may be restricted because of an underlying subconscious issue with today's food production methods; my lovely dd15 found that eating a plant-based diet helped. She no longer feels restricted because she is no longer repulsed by her guilt over the way animals are treated. She has gained so much weight being plant-based, so do not listen to those who say you can't. Many young people use veganism to lose weight, that's why plant-based diets have such bad press, but trust me, good brown rice with every meal, and coconut cream on your Weetabix, and you will become happier!

    As you say you are malnourished why not get some vitamin pills. I recommend floradix as a starting point, nice and easy to swallow, lovely flavour etc. But you should ensure that you are getting a good all round vitamin D supplement with EPA, DHA etc in it, as you will be depressed if your vit D is depressed. You can even ask your GP to get a long list of blood tests done, don't be shy of asking, all anorexics are offered full bloods by the NHS on a regular basis; this will give you some indication of where you are needing support from vitamin pills.

    You should also include a thyroid check in those bloods, often anorexia masks thyroid issues. Ask your GP for the full pathology report and put the results onto healthunlocked, they will tell you where you are low. If your GP prevaricates get a new one, this is your statutory right.

    Fourthly, do you realize that you are not alone? There are thousands of others who are in the same situation as yourself. Go to social media, join support groups, be careful because there are some bad pages to join which will reinforce your anorexic depression, but if you find the right people then you will find yourself in a loving caring place.

    Lastly, try meditation. I know it sounds corny but you can use breathing techniques whilst eating to lower your compulsions. Follow, do a bit yoga etc. Learn your own worth, discover what is holding you back. As a (quite) old northern lass I was incredibly skeptical about all of this holistic advice. Two years ago I would not have listened to it. Now I live by it and it, it's worth a try!

    All the best, and let me know how you are getting on, cx

  • Hi cazlooks. Thank you for your kind message but I can’t relate to anything there. My depression is due to resigning from work (being mistreated) and being without work and I have never been without one in my entire life. This is compounded by my ed as the way I look at the moment doesn’t make me particularly attractive for prospective employers. I do look sick apparently( at least that’s what my friends and husband tells me). I used to be a workaholic so this is a total shock to the system for me and I even considered suicide. Being without job is linked with having no income and my husband does not support me. I’m independent and we share bills and stuff. I’m all alone with this and time is running out.

    No inflammation. No thyroid. No processed foods - quite the opposite. I do have food intolerances which doesn’t help in my ed (gluten/wheat and dairy) and suffer from malabsorption of protein (apparently I don’t produce enough enzymes or they are inhibited).

    Then another issue is that having suffered from anorexia for 2-3 years is different to having suffered from it for all of your adult life (a break of 2-3 years of relatively underweight but healthier weight). Apart from that straight 18 years of it.

    Had s psychiatric assessment and they don’t want to take me as I qualify for a hospital treatment (psychiatric) if I were to recover from a as I don’t have any other self to go back to. There is no other self. It’s only this.

    Thank you for your kind words.



  • wow, I'm sorry you are alone. Can you do exercise, walks etc? Anything to give you a burst of endorphins, even if these bursts are few and far between you may find some hope there. If you are stuck at home, take time to retrain for a new job. I can't see where you are in the world from here but do some digging, there's occasionally something worth doing even if it is a charity job, looking after the homeless, reading to sick children etc. You need to find something that needs you to reclaim your worth.

  • Hi. You are so kind. I do have a relatively normal life. I am a professional and I’m married. But I can’t and will never have children. Financially independent. I’m alone in the psychological sense. My salary was above average. I leave the house every day and take long walks. At least 12000 steps and aiming for more. Some days 20000 if need to travel to attend interviews for job. I shouldn’t really run or exercise too much as my bmi is very low. Sometimes I can barely walk. My rational mind keeps me sane enough not to go lower but sometimes I lose weight without trying. I have body dysmorphia. Long story... your support is so helpful. That you bothered to read and advise and reassure me. I really appreciate it. It makes me feel better to know there are people who go through the same pain. I just want the pain to go away and be more normal. Regain my self worth and confidence. Take part in normal life activities. My body is so fragile and I’m so frail that I can’t really go swimming or jump.

  • I think that you should join the social media support pages, and I think you should do These may sound trivial, but at least you will become a member of a community. You respond so well to online advice so try to enjoy more??

  • Hi

    Thank you for this. It is very hard at the moment as I am so ashamed I’m not working that I avoid people and interactions. I find it hard to engage because I’m no one without my job. I don’t have an identity without a job. Totally lost. Dark. Loser.

    Trying various coping strategies but running out of ideas.



  • We sound a lot alike. I am currently out of work again. I didn't get fired, but just couldn't measure up or fit in I'm guessing. I know that being thin and not joining in with activities involving food cause people to reject me from their groups. I have suffered from anorexia since I was 15 years old. I am now 47. Although I am no longer obsessed with losing weight like I was during my adolescent years, my body has suffered the consequences. I am still very underweight, but I eat enough so that I can work and exercise and function. I have had severed digestive problems that began around the same time as the anorexia. So eating is no longer enjoyable because it causes so many gi problems. I was hospitalized in my 20s several times for the anorexia. While the programs put weight on me, they did nothing to treat the underlying problem and if anything caused major harm to my mental health and self esteem. I wish I had advice and answers, but I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone and you are loved just for being a child of God who lives her life to spread kindness and make the world a better place.

  • You are not alone - I am also a long - term anorexic - although my weight has gone up and down over a long period - I am still of very low weight. I am also married - so understand your feelings re your husband - I go through similar thoughts like this. Whilst I don't accept that I have to always be and feel like this - at present I can't see a way out - but - I can see outside myself and it has helped me to do things outside the house - not involving food - using my other skills like I can type - I can make people cups of tea - and this has helped me see that I am not my anorexia - but a person with an illness. Are you getting counselling/help of any kind - ABC offer befrienders who really helped me - so do give this a go.

  • Hi

    I’m so happy to hear from someone like you. Can I be in touch with you? I promise We won’t talk weight or about anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. Only you can understand me. No one knows what it feels like. I’m not doing any therapy. All alone. I’m just interested in psychology and studied a lot. This is also the problem and an obstacle in my recovery. I know too much. The strategies psychologists and psychiatrists use annoy me. Been there done that. I can predict what they are going to say and what they are trying to achieve with the tactic. Plus I’m so stubborn and a bit in denial how bad I am (am I? Or are they lying to me?). I put a brave front but inside I’m rotten. I don’t obsess over food. I eat regularly every 2 hours but I eat trash. Little nourishment. Just enough to keep me going and do stuff. That s me in a nutshell.



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