I echo the others in saying that if you're not under the care of a doctor and/or therapist for those things, please strongly consider doing so. That can be one of the most difficult steps to take. Acknowledging there's an issue, and then seeking out help, both of which can feel very difficult to do.
I've struggled with an eating disorder most of my life. I've also struggled with depression and anxiety. I really thought I had depression and anxiety under control though. I realized during the spring semester this year that I really didn't. I was ready to drop out because I just felt like I'd never be able to get through it. I figured I'd struggle with the eating disorder the rest of my life, but I at least wanted to regain some control over anxiety.
I stuck with school, and I had finally asked for help during the short break between my spring and summer semester. I was diagnosed with ADHD on top of the other things. I started on some meds with some changes to others that I had started last fall (postpartum depression). I just took it day by day. It was a struggle every day. I spoke with the counselor at school and got things squared away there. As hard as it was to be going to therapy, working on a lifetime's worth of issues, and keeping up with school, I stuck with it.
I slowly started noticing changes in myself, and noticed the positive changes in how I was at school and interacted with my classmates and performed in clinical. I had another med change after summer semester and had a 3 week break to adjust to the change. I'm finally on the right combination of everything.
For the first time in my life, I'm actually having days where I don't binge or purge at all which is something I never dreamed possible. I'm finally starting to accept myself a little more as time goes on. I don't focus on my appearance so much and what my classmates are thinking of how I look as much. Some days are harder than others, but I try to block those thoughts out as much as possible.
My thoughts on my appearance is pretty much what destroyed my confidence in clinical. I eventually started telling myself that the patient doesn't care what I look like (whether that's actually true or not), and that the patient needs me to be focused on them and taking care of them rather than causing them to feel unsure of me because they can sense or see that I'm not comfortable. I also knew I'd probably end up failing clinical if I couldn't figure out a way to at least deal with it during clinical.
Once I started doing that along with being on proper meds and talking to someone, there's really been a huge difference. I still have a long way to go, but I'm laughing now and actually starting to really enjoy the whole experience. Some days are still harder than others where I would rather stay in bed all day and not go to class, but knowing how far I've come and seeing the positive changes is enough to keep me pushing through each day.
It's exhausting. Absolutely exhausting to push through each and every day, having to add in counseling to my already too chaotic of a schedule, and then fighting my mind on a daily basis. I'm so glad that I ultimately made that decision to get help, and even more grateful that I've stuck with it. I love the person I'm becoming, and I'm looking forward to loving the person that I become once I'm on the other side of this. My kids and nursing school have really been the things that keep me going back, keep me trying to move forward. I remind myself every day of why I'm doing this, both going to counseling and nursing school, and that keeps me going and keeps me working on me, and by doing that, I'm able to cope a little bit better as time goes on.