I started having eating disorder symptoms in 2005, the summer before 8th grade. I was officially diagnosed in October of that year. The causes for me are mostly attached to the fact that I am a lesbian. Although I didn’t really think about it until a therapist brought it up, I realized, looking back, that I had always been a lesbian and was starving myself to cover it up in a way. I have been in all levels of care at various treatment centers. What was helpful about these experiences was getting to meet people I could relate to. In residential care, having structure around meals and (as much as I hated it) gaining/maintaining the weight I needed to be healthy. I did encounter some unfair rules at one treatment center though. I cope with music and by reaching out to others who may be struggling by telling my story and trying to raise awareness. I also attend the NEDA Walks
whenever I can.