Forum: Don't want others to go through pain of anorexia

As someone who has suffered from anorexia and still has the mindset of a patient, here is my take.

For those suffering from anorexia, there are usually catalysts in their lives that make them feel this way.

For me, it was my cousins. It started with name-calling when I was five. They called me zhu rou bao, or pork bun, just because they were skinnier than me.

I started to doubt myself and had this idea that I was really fat.

This remark was further ingrained when my relatives agreed with the sentiment. To them, it was just a remark. But it meant much more to me.

I started losing weight in Primary 3. My relatives, the same people who had called me chubby, noticed the difference and said "you lost weight".

It made me secretly happy and amplified my drive to continue this vicious circle. Every day, I would just have a drink for breakfast, skip lunch and have a small dinner. This was during a period of growth and development.

When I was in Primary 5, my parents finally noticed the extremes I went to in avoiding food.

My mum tricked me, telling me she was taking me to visit a doctor, but took me to the emergency ward instead. That day, I was diagnosed with anorexia and had to be admitted and force-fed.

The hospital was not equipped to handle such cases. I was strapped to the bed against my will. I still remember the doctor forcing my head down and draining out all that I had drunk earlier.

It was night when he shoved a 1m-long tube through my nostril to my stomach. The tube got stuck in my larynx and I felt really uncomfortable and teared up.

This was the start of my trauma and I still have scars. I was in the hospital for a month.

I am now 24 years old. Have I suffered? Yes. Do I want others to go through the same pain? No. I am not the first or the last to experience this.

I am currently working as an artist. Art is my passion, and I want to use it to educate others who may be suffering in silence.

Celine Chia Hui Xuan

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