Hello, my name is Ola Gebarowski and I am a 27 year old female from a smaller city in Ontario, Canada. For over 10 years I have been struggling with eating disorders, in particular bulimia nervosa. I began developing a negative view of my own body and physical appearance at the very young age of 11. Eventually it progressed over time and at the age of 16, I began engaging in disordered eating behaviours in order to lose weight. In my mind, my value and worth as a human being was directly related to how I looked on the outside and I didn't see anything wrong with what I was doing to myself.
In the year 2012, I began to eat significantly less and exercised in excess in effort to lose an extra 5 pounds even though at that time I was still small but healthy (eating regular meals, snacks and no restricting). In August of 2018, my father passed away suddenly and my entire life changed after that. Without going into all of the details, the whole situation was traumatizing for me and this lead to the development of major mental health disorders. Within the next year of my father passing, I was at my lowest weight (98 pounds) and worst health. I was dying but too far into my eating disorder to realize it.
In 2013, I began my first year of university and slowly began to stop restricting my food intake and eating intuitively. However, during this time I started experiencing severe anxiety and panic attacks for the first time. Eventually, this anxiety became so debilitating that I was unable to function normally. This is when I started taking prescription medication in order to live normally again.
Over the next few years, the medication had helped my anxiety and I managed to recover from my restrictive eating disorder behaviours. I was back to a healthy weight and was in a stable state mentally and physically. Until one day, one person had made a negative comment about my weight. This one comment had caused me to think that I was getting too heavy and I began throwing up everything I ate.
Then for the next 6 years, my bulimia took over my entire life. Bingeing and purging all day long, every single day with absolutely no breaks. And my mental illnesses began to get worse despite being on medication. I was stuck in a viscous cycle and was completely out of control. I lost the sense of being a human being and my entire person was dictated by my eating disorder, anxiety and depression. I've been through time of being extremely suicidial and completely defeated. I didn't see the point in living when there was seemingly no way out of this disease.
It wasn't until I fell in love in the summer of last year that I really got angry with my eating disordered life and illnesses. This was when I really put in the effort to start changing myself because I finally got a glimpse of what life could be like. A taste of happiness and hope. This also lead to me stop taking any kind of medication. For the next several months, things were starting to look up. I felt amazing, I felt like I had a reason to live again, I felt like the old me that I lost so many years ago. But the relationship I was in started to become unhealthy and dealing with recovery was becoming more difficult. I was not prepared for the long road ahead, especially with the mental and physical symptoms of healing from years of damage I had done to my body. I eventually decided to end the relationship and move back to my hometown with my mother. On top of everything, my mother has been going through medical health problems and has been unable to work for the last 6 months. She has nerve damage from years of over-working herself and recent MRI scans have shown an abnormal spot on her brain, We are still waiting for more insight and appointments on what this could be,
Now I'm feeling completely hopeless again. I didn't realize how much time and effort recovering from an eating disorder takes. I have not lived a normal life for so long and have no clue how to do anything. My anxiety and depression has returned full force and most days seems almost impossible to get through. Every day I think about ending my life because I'm tired and I feel like I just don't have a lot of fight left in me. I wish there was a way to fully explain everything that I've been feeling but it would make me seem crazy.
At this point, I feel like my only option is to get into a residential eating disorder program. These programs work around each individual and also provide psychiatric help, nutrition counseling and life skills to continue recovery after treatment, Unfortunately in Canada, these programs are very expensive and there is no way I could be able to afford it on my own. Depending on where you go, these programs range from $350-$1800 a day and the length of the programs are a minimum of 6-8 weeks. So this is a minimum of close to $15000.
I really need this help and I'm if reaching out can make a difference, then I will do whatever it takes to get this help. I would like to thank anyone who took the time to read a little bit about my story and I will continue to try my hardest to get through one of the most difficult times of my life.