Unlike what many might assume, 28-year-old Emma O’Neil’s anorexia was not triggered because she thought she was too fat. Her addictive personality is what drove her quest to see how skinny she could become.
O’Neil made herself vomit after meals. Her mom cried when she found out her daughter was intentionally making herself sick.
“I thought of her as this superwoman, and seeing her cry shocked me. She said she couldn’t watch me eat if that was what I was going to do, so I just decided not to eat at all,” O’Neil explained, according to Independent.ie.
As her weight dropped, her time spent in the hospital increased. O’Neil’s lowest weight was approximately 40 pounds.
But her shockingly low weight and reflection in the mirror did not alert her to how sick she really was. A day visit with her father is what made her realize she would not be able to continue living the way she was.
They went out shopping, but walking up and down the stairs required too much energy for O’Neil. Her father had to carry her.
It was not until they began walking across a busy street that she realized she needed help. She was only halfway across the street when she needed to run the rest of the way to make it across before cars rushed past her.
She had no energy to run and collapsed on the street. Fortunately, she survived the collapse in the busy street and became dedicated to her recovery.
O’Neil was a survivor, but doctors told her that her body was too damaged to ever have children.
“One of the things that pulled me out of being anorexic was when I was told I unlikely to ever have children,” she explained.
“I had just met my fiancé, Jonathan, 41, and I knew that we wanted to have children and I refused to let my illness stop us from having a future.
Amazingly, she proved her doctors wrong not once, but twice so far. She and Jonathan have two children together, and he has supported her throughout her recovery.
“Jonathan gave me a healthy approach to food again, going on date nights and having him cook me big meals made me feel safe eating again,” she said.
“As soon as I realized I was ruining my chances of having children something switched in my mind and I started the long journey to recovery.”
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“Now I want to help people realize how there is a way out of anorexia and you can turn your life around to normality,” O’Neil said.
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