My mum got a new job in Leeds, which meant that we all had to move.
Social anxiety made it so that school was always stressful, frustrating and depressing, but I at least had one friend there – despite us having almost no classes together. I was also in easy distance of meeting up with friends from my old school at weekends, which I’d been to for 11 years, but even that became harder to do as the anxiety and the new school drained me more and more.
I was there for two years and found out about our move from my mum while revising for exams. I wanted to be happy for her because she always complained about her job so much, but I couldn’t because the moment she told me, I just felt completely alienated. I understood that this was a good opportunity for her, so I tried to reason and ask if I could stay and live with my dad or something, but she snapped at me saying that there’s nothing I could do about it, that I’m moving as well because I would benefit too.
I carried on revising, which took my mind off it, but then when the exams ended and summer started it was all I could think about. I sat around, ate and watched TV shows on my laptop. I put on weight because my hip was injured and I couldn’t go running or even walk for 10 minutes without being in pain.I didn’t want to go out in public or even go to visit friends/family because I was so aware of how fat I felt, and I still am. My mum kept saying that when we moved, we would be better off and that we would get a nice house.
But when we finally moved, the house turned out to be awful. For the entire drive there I was wishing my mum would change her mind and turn around, but we didn’t. And we’re definitely not better off either. I have the attic room, which resembles the kind of room you would stereo-typically expect an abductor to hold someone hostage in. I also have no bed so I sleep on the floor. I realize that I’m luckier that those who don’t have any shelter, and I’m grateful that I do have shelter and warmth, but I feel like a tramp and that feeling follows me everywhere, I can’t shake it off and it’s affecting everything I do. We can’t redecorate yet because we’re only renting as our old house hasn’t been sold (but we don’t have the money anyway).
At the sixth form college I go to, everyone knows each other while I know no one in the entire city, so the group I hang around with is very loud and they’re all comfortable with each other. I like them, they’re funny people but we have completely different interests so I can’t ever add to conversations, and whenever I recognize the rare chances that I can, the social anxiety butts in and takes it away. I’m sure they’re starting to get bored of me because I never contribute. I keep taking days off school because I feel too fat and self-conscious, too hopeless and depressed and too tired. Not tired from lack of sleep, but too exhausted from having horrible thoughts and feeling constantly uncomfortable. All I can think about is losing weight. I keep restricting excessively for several days before falling back on a binge day, ending with a laxative or two. I can’t reach any of my friends face-to-face because I have no money and a return train ticket is £46. When I hear from them, most of the time I have to lie and say that ”everything’s good” because they tell about how things in their lives are getting better and more enjoyable. Because of that I rarely contact them anymore.
I’m so alone and can’t even talk to my family – we’re not the kind of family who talks about feelings and my mum is the type of person who believes that mental disorders are myths. She doesn’t think social anxiety is real, and I can’t talk about my eating problem with her either because when I was underweight before, she was always angry with how little I ate and threatened to take me to a doctor if I didn’t start eating more. So she kept telling me to eat, eat, eat, as if as soon as I had put on weight again there wasn’t going to be a problem anymore. I adopted the habit of restricting and bingeing, restricting and bingeing – until I am what I am now. Feeling fat, insecure and unhappy about everything. I want to be too skinny again and talk to familiar faces. It’s coming up to christmas and as usually the most festive person ever, for the first time I don’t care anymore. My eating problems seemed to have run a full cycle, landing me at the difficult square one again and my self-esteem and anxiety are getting worse.
If anyone has any advice I’d really appreciate the sharing x