What does it feel like to suffer from anorexia?

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For those of you who have never suffered from an eating disorder, it can be hard to try and describe what it feels like in a physical sense. Allow me to share my experience.

Picture yourself in a really fast sports car. It’s a sunny summer’s day. The sun is out, the birds are singing, and the roof’s down.

You’re the only one on the road. You’ve got a full tank of petrol and you put your foot down.

You speed up, the wind buffs your hair. You’ve got your shades on, your favourite song is playing on the radio. You’re in control and you’re excited by the thrill of going so fast.

The road opens up to a straight – you put your foot further on the accelerator. The speedometer rises – 80mph, 90mph, 100mph, 110mph, 120mph. You’re going flat out now, the green countryside becomes a blur.

Suddenly, out of nowhere the road stops being straight and a dangerous corner appears. You were going so fast you didn’t see the signs telling you to slow down, telling you of the sharp bend ahead. You were too busy thinking about going fast, being in control of such a powerful machine.

You put your foot on the brakes. But they don’t work. Your car doesn’t respond – it’s not got the strength to stop.

You turn into the corner to try and take it, but you fail. The car skids, it flips, again – and again – and again. You can do nothing but ride out the crash. Your life flashes in front of your eyes as you endure the crash.

Your car rolls to a stop. Glass everywhere. You’re bleeding. Your body is broken, you are in pain. You can’t move, you’re weak and sick and ill. As you sit in the seat all you can hear are the birds singing, the silence is eerie. You can hear an ambulance in the background, the sirens getting louder and louder. You pray, you want to live. You swear that if you live you’ll never be so stupid again.

Your car is your body – a powerful machine you control

The speed is your anorexia – the thrill of going fast

The crash is when your body gives up

And that is what it feels like to suffer from anorexia.

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