I had a semi-normal childhood. For the most part of my first ten years, I was a happy-go-lucky child; a little bit on the strange side, a little 'out there', but on the most part, a typical child. I suffered with severe OCD from the age of four years old; clothes were a huge problem. Socks, shoes, trousers, tights, labels in clothes, you name it, I had a problem with it. When I was seven I didn't go to school for about six weeks due to the fact I refused point blank to even get dressed. I physically couldn't stand the feeling of clothes against my skin, I was terrified of things being too loose. Everything had to be tight, tucked in and safe. When my Mum tucked me in at night, she had to spend at least ten minutes making sure I was tucked in as tightly as possible.

At the age of ten a shock came to me when I discovered my parents were divorcing. The whole event is a blur; my Dad left for London and my Mother stayed with my younger brother and I in Suffolk. I saw my Dad every weekend but the journey to London wore me down and I began to resent going.

Then came the Easter of 2003 and shock number three hit me like a hole in the head - I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and, within an hour of being told, I was injecting insulin whilst my Mother cried in a little room in the diabetes centre. After weeks of feeling too sick to eat I suddenly had a ravenous appetite and wanted to eat everything in sight; my body had been in starvation mode due to my cells not being able to access any insulin and so I was severely dehydrated and undernourished. I did as I was told with my insulin; I pricked my finger twice a day, injected twice a day, cut out sugar, started to eat snacks and began to carry glucose tablets.

However, I did it all with my mind numb and switched off completely. My family would frown if they saw me helping myself to a piece of cake or eating chocolate. I began to associate sugary food with a feeling of 'naughtiness' and thus I started to eat them secretly. At this point my Dad had moved back to Ipswich and I had moved in with him. When he wasn't looking I would stash away sweets, chocolate - anything I could lay my hands on - and eat in secret. My weight ballooned and I gained about 2st (28lbs) in a few months - the teasing at school began and thus I began to associate insulin with fat.

The doing as I was told with my insulin didn't last very long. Within a few months I began to 'forget' to take my insulin - whether this was because I was just sick of doing it or whether I wanted to feel more 'normal' or not, I don't know, but I didn't know about any of the consequences cutting out insulin had at this point. I lived in permanent diabetic ketoacicosis (DKA); I would run the tap cold and literally drink from it, mouth to tap, until I had quenched my thirst. I would go to school and still take part in gym class in full blown DKA - if I appeared ill and out of breath they would simply send me to the medical room for a Mars Bar or some other form of sugar, thinking it was due to low blood sugar.

By this point, with the secret eating and insulin omission, I began to lose weight. Apart from when I gained weight upon taking insulin for the first time, I had never really been aware of my weight, but I can recall standing in the kitchen and being able to feel my ribs for the first time through my school shirt and feeling a sense of pride. I think then it dawned on me that when I was sick with my diabetes I lost weight, and I got a kick out of that. I felt as if it was my secret tool that nobody knew about and nobody else could do. If only I could have realised at this point the havoc this terrible discovery was about to reek on my future.

At one point, I went on a family holiday to the Dominican Republic and hardly injected. I would pretend to inject in front of my Mum or say that I would come down to dinner a bit later and inject in the hotel room. I spent most of the holiday in the room lying in bed with the air conditioning on full blast and a bottle of water by my bed between bouts of running to the toilet. When I ate, I stuck to pure sugar - my family would tell me I wasn't allowed it and it would make me angry and I would go and get a second helping to annoy them. When we all got home everybody weighed themselves for a joke to see how much they'd put on after 2 weeks of over-eating - most people had gained 10lbs on average, I hadn't gained a pound.

Thirteen arrived, and I moved back in with my Mum - for some reason or other, I decided that I was going to lose weight but that I was going to go about it in a 'healthy' way. I was sick of feeling ill all the time. The diabetes centre had discovered my shockingly awful HBA1C's (average blood sugars); they weren't matching up to the blood sugars that I was making up and taking with me to appointments, but my doctor didn't twig, even when my weight dipped and my HBA1's sky rocketed. I saw an article in a magazine about the 'South Beach Diet' - a low carbohydrate, low fat diet that involved cutting out foods such as sugar, bread, pasta, etc. I followed it religiously and the weight began to drop off.

I began to keep a food diary, with my daily weight and my feelings. I still have the diaries now. As time went on, the diary entries become more and more frustrated... 'Why am I not losing more than 1lb a day?... I ate too much today, must cut back tomorrow.... I ate a piece of cucumber and feel guilty because I didn't need to eat it...' etc. The entries become more and more rigid, controlled and panicked. I began to refuse to go to school until I was at a weight I was happy with. I missed about 5 months in Year 8 - most people thought I had left.

Summer came, and afterwards I went back in September, turned fourteen and life had never been so good. As so much weight had dropped off me I began to get noticed by girls and boys alike. Girls wanted to be my friend and boys wanted to go out with me - I had never been happier and began to associate thin = popular and liked. I decided to start eating 'normally' again - I would make myself a sandwich for lunch, and, for a few weeks, this worked. However the weight began to creep on and so I began to calorie count. I would skip breakfast, have an apple and a yoghurt for lunch and come home and avoid dinner at all costs. I kept this up for a few months and my weight dipped back down, but eventually I began to come from school and would be so famished and exhausted from not eating that I would eat as much as I could fit in to my stomach in one go whilst my Mum was at work and I had the house to myself.

I can't remember what I was doing with my insulin by this point but I think I was covering the food I was eating with insulin because I started to gain back the weight again. I was mortified and started to refuse school again. I began to resort to eating as much as possible followed by fasting for days at a time - at my lowest point, I didn't eat a thing for a week. I remember going to a party, bouncing on a trampoline and being so ill that when I got off the trampoline I felt like I was still being bounced up and down. At this point my Mum tried to get me in to an eating disorder unit in Cambridge. The consultant said he had no doubt I had an eating disorder but my BMI was not low enough (i.e. classed as anorexic) to be admitted. I spent 2 weeks in a general hospital to stabilise my blood sugars after a particularly bad bout of DKA but this didn't do any good and I was only referred on to the local children's mental health team for some counselling that I never went to.

I turned fifteen and my Mum panicked - I wasn't getting any education except a home tutor a few days a week and my GCSE's were coming up. She managed to get me in to a pupil referral unit for kids that hadn't had good attendance in mainstream schools due to health/emotional issues. It was, really, the best thing anyone had ever done for me. I made friends and slotted right in. By this point I had reached desperation with my weight - I began to 'forget' my insulin again, and combined with attempts of fasting for days at a time followed by periods of overeating due to being so hungry, my eating habits were all over the shop. In January 2006 I was admitted in to hospital for severe DKA - I had acid on my lungs and had to be in a wheelchair because I couldn't breathe.

My Dad decided to get me to move in with him and his girlfriend - I did so and within a few days my blood sugars were back to normal. He advised me to go on the Atkins diet as he'd heard it was particularly good for diabetics. I did so and within days I had dropped a large amount of weight. I made another association at this point - carbohydrates = fat and weight gain. No carbohydrates = weight loss, and fast weight loss at that without restricting insulin. I was made up, I had found the perfect cure to my problem. I began to eat bacon and eggs for breakfast every day, salad for lunch, meat and vegetables for dinner and that was it. I wrote down everything that went in my mouth religiously, along with its carbohydrate count. I weighed myself everyday and worked out everyday, also documenting these things down in my little notebook.

My dad and his girlfriend (now wife) told me that I needed to free things up a little, relax a bit and not be so rigid with my eating. I refused; how could I let go of the control now, when I had things so perfectly? My weight was low, my blood sugars were low, my HBA1c was amazing, I was going to school everyday, my grades were good and I had loads of friends. Why should I change? Things between my Dad's girlfriend and I began to get difficult, we had loads of arguments and unhelpful things were said, hurtful comments etc. I moved out, back in with my Mum once again and her new husband. By now they had had another child, a little sister.

When I turned 16 we moved to Colchester; I left school and managed to get 7 GCSE's, mostly A's and B's and even one A*. My stepdad left the family home after my Mum left him; he had become aggressive and violent towards myself and my Mum. I started sixth form but began to struggle with my eating once again. I tried to stick to the low carbohydrate plan but kept failing and kicking myself for it, feeling disgusting and out of control if I touched anything that wasn't on my list of 'approved' foods. I began to eat in secret again, cutting out insulin to compensate.

At sixteen years old, feeling the pressures of being around other girls in sixth form, I first made the conscious decision to cut out my insulin in order to lose weight. I even planned it - I knew from experience that a 3-day period of eating as much sugar as I possibly could combined with no insulin what so ever would result in a 5-7lb weight loss, easily. I began to get in to a cycle of going 3 days without insulin, losing 5-7lbs, taking insulin to keep myself out of hospital, gaining 3lbs of fluid as a result, freaking out and thus the cycle began again. I look back on pictures of myself in my first term of sixth form and, though I wasn't emaciated, I look sick, frail and fragile.
My hair began to fall out. Eventually I just had it cut as short as possible, to avoid seeing my (once) long, beautiful hair fall out. I dyed it black and tried to ignore all the warning signs my body was giving me; muscle weakness, muscle wastage, constant fatigue, never being able to breathe, constant trips to the bathroom, constant bottles of water, coffee and diet coke.

I turned seventeen and shortly after met Tom; someone who would later change my life. Shortly after turning seventeen I wound up in a general hospital once again and my Dad convinced me to come and live with him one last time. For some reason I thought it would work and thus I went. However, it was on one condition; I had to leave sixth form and get a job, and go to sixth form the next year. I had missed too much sixth form to do well enough in my exams, he said. I did as he asked and quit; I dropped out of my group of friends, got a full time job and for a while, I took insulin and ate reasonably well however I began to gain weight at a scary rate and freaked out.

Of course, I resorted to what I knew and before I knew it I was cutting out insulin again in secret. My Dad didn't suspect a thing, but my Step mum knew. By this point I was trying to eat as much sugar as possible; I would go to the shops and buy as much food as possible, smuggling it back home in my bag and eating secretly in my room to get the ketones up. By now I knew that the more ketones I had, the faster and greater the weight loss. I was walking to and from work every day in severe ketoacidosis but I kept at it; I couldn't quit because somebody would suspect something was up. My Step mum told my Dad I was struggling and they decided to give me an ultimatum - get well, or move out. I couldn't believe they would do this and felt angry and hurt. I tried to get better, I really tried, but the weight gain was too difficult - I would gain and lose the same half a stone (7lbs) over and over again in frantic attempts to try and get better followed by a 3 day cycle of no insulin.

I went to stay with my Mum one weekend and, when she picked me up from the train station, she knew I was ill. That night I confessed everything to her - what I'd been doing, how difficult things had become once again. After lots of thinking and discussion I decided to move back in with her and left my job. It felt like a huge relief, like I didn't have to pretend to be well anymore. I could just be myself and focus on getting better the proper way. My Mum and I began to look in to inpatient  treatment and found the Priory in Roehampton, London. We managed to get funding from my Dad's health insurance.

The whole process was terrifying - I didn't know what to expect from going inpatient. I began to panic and the week before I went inpatient I abused insulin more so than I probably ever had done before. The day to go to London came and I could hardly make it up the stairs when I got there - in a wheelchair, they sent me straight to a general hospital, where I spent a week in misery, screaming for them to let me go and under a constant threat of a section.

Eventually they did let me go and that night I went to the Priory in complete peace, I just felt an overwhelming sense of peace and safety, no fear. My weight began to climb, but it didn't bother me as much as before because I had lost so much weight previously to coming in. My weight began to stabilise within a few weeks and, patched up, I was sent home. My funding ran out after a month. The surface hadn't even been scratched.

I turned eighteen and started a new sixth form. Within two weeks I had relapsed. I was managing breakfast, having no lunch and no insulin, coming home and eating because I was so hungry, then I would feel guilty and omit my dinner time dose of insulin. My Mum knew and took me to the doctors - they called in a few medical professionals including a lady from my local eating disorder team and had me admitted to the Priory in Chelmsford, Essex. It was not a voluntary admission and within a few days I was sectioned for 28 days under the mental health act.

The only relief that I had was that, though my insulin injections were supervised, I still managed to withdraw the insulin by pretending to inject it as most of the people that supervised me didn't really watch the needle go in. I devised ways of getting away with it and began to lose weight. They couldn't figure it out, but I knew it was wrong and I knew it was doing me no favours. Eventually I admitted it and I began to work with them rather than against them and my section was taken off. For months I had my weekend leaves and went home and still managed to abuse the insulin - over Christmas time I managed to once again go for 3 days without. However one weekend I went home and point blank refused to eat or do any insulin - 'If I don't eat, I don't have to take insulin' was my reasoning. My Mum bought me straight back and I was put under section once again, this time for 3 months.

In March 2009, I was discharged. By this point things were good; my weight had stabilized, Tom and I were together, things were going right. However within a few weeks my weight fluctuated and I got scared and promised myself that, just once, I would omit my insulin to get the extra few pounds off and then would stop. Anybody with diabetes and an eating disorder will know that this is never the case. Once becomes twice, twice becomes three times and so the cycle continues. For months and months I gained and lost that same half a stone, hiding it from my eating disorder team and trying to keep it as secret as possible.

I booked a trip to India and thus this became my goal to get better. However time pressed on and June 2009 arrived and I realised I couldn't do it. I spent a week in bed due to being so exhausted and ill - I had a job but I couldn't get in to work as it was very active and required a lot of energy. I went to an outpatient appointment and, in tears, admitted I couldn't do it anymore. Right there and then they decided I would go inpatient for a third time and that I needed a short stay in a general hospital. I spent three days in Ipswich hospital and gained about 6lbs of fluid. I was then admitted back in to the Priory in Chelmsford.

I'm now out of inpatient treatement, trying to recover and thus I have started up this website. In the end, I managed to go to India and it was a trip of a lifetime but it was very hard to stay well over there in a country with such poor healthcare but I managed to. I am desperate to recover - I have recently found out that I have background retinopathy in my eyes and I have a lot of problems with the nerves in my feet and my circulation is very bad. I have also had kidney scarring in the past, recently found blood in my urine and when I was admitted to the general hospital last they found my kidneys had began to leak protein.

I will recover, I must recover.