There are all kinds of ways you can help someone with an eating disorder—you may have seen some of the events for National Eating Disorders Awareness Week organized by the National Eating Disorders Association in February. Having an appreciation and understanding of what it's like to have an eating disorder is a good first step. While this step can't possibly compare to living with it or having a loved one who lives with it, maybe reading my story will help.

And so it began

When I was 13, I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa with a purging subtype. Though my primary symptoms look like anorexia, I also experience intermissions of binging and purging resembling bulimia. I sardonically call it the worst of both worlds. It's been a part of me for so long, I often can't fathom a time when eating disorder thoughts—what I call "the Voices"—weren't there.

At my lowest weight, I was so emaciated, the anorexia