When she was just 16-years-old, Emily Green received a life-changing diagnosis. Doctors told her that she had anorexia and her life was in danger. Green, now 20, had become so terrified of gaining weight that she refused to drink water except when absolutely necessary. At her lowest weight, Green weighed 91 pounds and always wore clothing that would hang off her when out in public.
Green has come forward to spread awareness of anorexia. She battled with the disease for much of her life and had finally gotten back to a good place. She now weighs about 129 pounds and weight trains to remain healthy. Yet, she still wears size small.
At one point, police escorted her from her college in Colorado to a medical center because doctors deemed her a danger to herself. Although she struggled with eating and exhibited signs of an eating disorder throughout much of her youth, the official diagnosis did not come until she was sixteen. By then, her behaviors were so ingrained, they were extremely difficult to unroot.
Emily hit bottom when she realized she had not had anything, including water, for forty-eight hours. When she finally went into recovery, she got through by writing herself “I am” notes that helped remind her about what she wanted in life. They also reminded her about the stuff that she could be thankfully for.
“My mom noticed weird eating habits of mine from a very young age,” Emily said. “She mentioned this to my doctor when I was younger, but he just said that because my dad was thin that I was built like him naturally. At first, my eating disorder started very innocently because I just wanted to be healthy and feel accepted by my peers.”
However, it did not take Green long to get to a point where she couldn’t return.
“Anorexia gave me a sort of high, and I felt like it solved my problems. It numbed me from my anxiety and later my depression. In 2013 I went skiing with my family, and I was heavily restricting myself. Instead of going downhill skiing with them, I went cross country skiing because it burned more calories.”
As things got worse, Green started to lose weight faster and faster.
“From October to April I went down to 91lbs, and when I was at the doctor’s office she determined me to be too unstable for her to assess, so she called the campus police to escort me to the hospital. The policeman dropped me off at the hospital, and I walked inside, waited until he left and then walked back to campus.”
That night she realized she was hurting herself.
“For the first time in my life, I was afraid I was going to die. I emailed my doctor to let her know I thought I’d made a mistake by leaving the hospital and she told me to get back there right away.”
Eventually, her health was stabilized, and she was transferred to an eating disorder hospital where she could receive special treatment.
She is doing much better now, but it has been a journey like a rollercoaster ride.
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