Orthorexia: How She Changed My Life

I'm Xanthe Freed and I'm another teenager with a secret. Mine is bigger than most. It's not relevant to boys, it's not relevant to bitches. I'm just a girl with a problem- and that problem is Orthorexia Nervosa.
I'm Xanthe Freed and this is my story.


3. Rumours

Deryn is such an amazing friend. I'm so grateful to have her. Today's Tuesday, and, as she knows very well, no matter what lessons I have, it is guaranteed that I am going to have a bad day. It's been that way for a year now. Ironic thing is, Deryn discovered my eating disorder on a Tuesday. Anyways, being the amazing friend that she is, Deryn found me at the end of school and whisked me off to Starbucks for a few hours. It wasn't a massive thing, but Starbucks always cheers me up, and Deryn took time out for me as she was supposed to be at music rehearsals. I couldn't thank her enough for it.

"Thanks again, Deryn. You're the most amazing friend in the world," I gushed as we drank our coffees. She smiled at me

"You're welcome, Xan. You deserve a distraction." I smiled at her and squeezed her hand across the table.

It was all true. I did need a distraction. My counselling has been rather intense lately. Julia has been asking no end of questions about how it all happened and I have to answer them. That and the rumour mill has been churning out new gossip about me non-stop lately.

You see, when I was first diagnosed, I was diagnosed with EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified) because, at the time, I was in a very bad state. I had a mix of several eating disorders, with Orthorexia and bingeing and purging on top. Some doctors said I was bulimic; others said I was anorexic; and some just didn't know what to think. It was hard on me and my family. When word got out about it, my life came crashing down because everyone was talking about me. Since then, it's been rather difficult to keep the rumours under control.

The latest rumour is that when I had two weeks off of school with glandular fever, people started saying that I had gone into rehab because I'd relapsed with my eating disorder. It wasn't true. I caught glandular fever from my then-boyfriend, Sean. He dumped me the minute he was in the clear with his glandular fever, claiming that it wasn't working out for him. Turns out that it was because he not only believed, but started the rumours about me. Some boyfriend he was.

I hate rumours. They're mean and they're draining. I am a favourite target because of my history. Before, I was barely ever in the spotlight, which suited me down to the ground. Now, it's every other week that a new rumour is being spread. It makes life so difficult. I mean, I do have to abide by my parents rules and whatever, but the rumours make it hard to make new friends, and even more difficult to talk to guys.

Deryn is my main friend. I have a few others. But not many. I've had a few boyfriends since I've been recovering: Sean, Charlie. I was with Tom for six months before I was diagnosed, but when he found out, he ran for the hills. As did most of my friends. Nicola, Haley, Olivia. All three girls were supposed to be my 'best friends', but like everyone else, they started to gossip, exclude me, treat me like a freak.

One of the most prominent memories I have of my recovery is of me, sitting in the nurses office, watching while everyone else was playing rugby, football, hockey on the fields by school. I felt so isolated and alone. I felt like a freak because I was too weak to even join in with a harmless PE lesson. That was one of the hardest things I've had to put up with because of Orthorexia. 

Although, this experience has been beneficial. I've been going to support groups and meetings since day one and I still go now. I've met people just like me, and people who were even worse than I was. We help each other to get better; we spur each other on to move forwards. There are some really inspirational stories that I've heard; and some that have made me cry. But it's all been good for me. It's been a learning curve.


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