My #BeReal guest today is Meghan Shultz
Millions of people, male and female, suffer from eating disorders.  Anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating are so common that you probably know several people in your everyday life fighting these disorders. Many are good at hiding it.
Thank you Meghan for saying out loud what many people are afraid to even admit.

meghan schultz

Probably a good 97% of the time I will tell and talk about anything and everything to just about anyone. I will bare my soul to you. I have a mental illness and I am very open about it. I have Bipolar Disorder. I am more than frequently suicidal. I almost always have an urge to self harm. Sometimes I’m depressed, sometimes mixed and sometimes manic or psychotic. Sometimes in hospital and sometimes a total disaster. I am an open book. I’ll tell you just about anything that you want to know. I’ll be real with you. But I won’t show myself the same courtesy.

There is one thing in particular that I need to face, need to acknowledge with myself. I need to own up to the fact that I am on a fast track to an eating disorder. Well, so says my therapist.

I have had problems with food for a very long time so there is a part of me that really isn’t surprised at where I am right now. But it still kind of came out of nowhere. I’ve been a very picky eater ever since I was a kid. There were so many foods that I refused. I am still a picky eater…..well, when I eat. I won’t eat any kind of fat on food, I won’t eat anything that’s orange. I won’t eat fruits at all. I won’t even sit next to someone that’s eating a banana and if I do then the whole ordeal is extremely uncomfortable for me. I will usually try to hold my breath until it’s over. My whole relationship with food is completely warped. And I binge. I’ve always binged.

My body image, the way I see myself, it’s horrible. Logically, I know that I  am not over weight but that’s not how I see myself. I see myself as fat, ugly and disgusting. I can’t look at my body in the mirror. It makes me sick. I weigh myself more times a day than I can count. I even took my scales on my recent trip to Las Vegas. A lot of times at work I get really anxious because there are no scales. I need to know my weight constantly. I have a goal weight that both my psychiatrist and therapist disagree with. When I was a kid, my now ex Stepfather told me that I was fat. I was sitting on the couch eating chicken. He walked by and told me how fat I was and to stop eating chicken on the couch. That was probably 15 or more years ago but I still think about it. A lot. The worst thing is, I’ve never been overweight but I’ve always seen myself as so. I still see myself as overweight.

For the last few months, I’ve stopped binge eating. I tried to purge but I couldn’t. I tried so hard to purge that I am ashamed of myself. I know it’s wrong but I was so desperate, I had started thinking about suicide every time I binged and couldn’t get rid of it. Now I’ve stopped binge eating. I live on a very limited food intake. I take a handful of diet pills everyday. You’re supposed to eat with them but I don’t, I figure I’ll lose more weight that way. I exercise. A lot. I run every night, between 2-3 miles. I do countless sit-ups and other exercises during the day. I walk home from work in 110 F heat even though there are always co workers offering me a ride. I need the exercise. I can’t get fatter. I have to get thinner. Every time I see someone who I deem to be thin, I feel like shit. Because I’m not that thin. Why aren’t I that thin yet? I’m a failure.

My problems run a lot deeper than I admit to anyone or even myself, this isn’t something that is a simple fix. I haven’t ever admitted the extent of it before because I am so ashamed. My Therapist said that I am on a fast track to not just an eating disorder in general, no, he was more specific than that. Anorexia. He said that if I keep doing what I am doing that at some point in the near future, I will be diagnosed with Anorexia.

There it is, I’ve said it. I never say it out loud.

This is me being real with myself. This is me admitting to my problem. This is me being honest with myself.

What does being real mean to you?
To me, being real doesn’t just mean being open and honest with other people. It also means being real with myself and that is something that I am still learning how to do. But I am learning and I am making an effort and that is what counts to me right now. I am trying.
And what do you think people are most surprised to discover about you?
I still find that some people are surprised that I have a mental illness. Most people don’t know just how bad it gets. They don’t know just how serious my illness is. Same goes for my problems with food/ exercise/ body image. People are often very surprised to find out just how long that it has really been going on for. Hell, even I’m surprised just how long it’s been going on for. Probably because it took years before I realized that it was an actual problem.

Meghan is an Aussie Expat currently in Arizona. She is 26 years old and lives with Bipolar I Disorder, BPD and Anxiety Disorder. She moved to Arizona about 4 years ago to be with her now husband whom she met online when she was a teenager. They are currently working on moving back to Australia together. Having lived with mental illness for most of her life, Meghan is a very strong believer in speaking out about our mental illnesses. As a mental health advocate Meghan also believes that not a single one of us should be ashamed of or made to feel ashamed of our illness.
Meghan loves writing and spends most of her spare time writing about herself and her mental illness on her blog, Always unstable. She gives an honest accounts of her illness and what it is to live with mental illness. She is also working on a book. Which will probably not be finished any time this year.
Twitter: @alwaysunstable

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