“I have suffered from eating disorders my whole adult life and career. The past several years it had become so bad that I had lost work because of it. A week before the lockdown in the UK I had to leave my job due to anorexia, I was in a hospital on the other side of the world and was very ill. I asked to discharge myself and go home to get treatment there. I flew home even though I was feeling so poorly. It was the longest time ever. I vowed that I needed to get help and recover otherwise I wouldn’t be able to keep a dance job again.
During the 2 years of covid and lockdowns, I immersed myself in recovery and worked hard on “retraining” my brain, learning why I think certain things and why the ED is there, and how to develop safer coping mechanisms. After almost 2 years in recovery, I got offered a job. We had to send photos of how we currently look. I was told in a certain part of my body I was “too big” and needed to lose weight. In order to guarantee this job I had to “cut out carbs, eat leaves, exercise every day”. I even had my agent tell me that. Luckily because of what I had lost before (jobs, friendships, etc.) due to ED and because I had been retraining my brain, it didn’t affect me as much as it could have.
But I was really, really upset. I did get the job and have almost finished this contract now. But I don’t wish to work for a company that hires me and then wants to change me. Plus they are one of the companies I had to fight to stay with when I had anorexia, they wanted me to eat and gain weight otherwise I would be sent home. I still need to “fully recover” I still have negative thoughts daily about myself and my body, I just don’t act on them. I just wish that even in today’s modern-day that they didn’t subject performers to this kind of mental strain of not being good enough when we have our own minds to also battle with.”