Jayshree Nagrani

I'm Jayshree Nagrani, but most people call me Jay. I am 38 years old, a divorced mother of  a 5-year old living in Kingston, Jamaica and I have an eating disorder. I am on a God blessed journey to recovery. Not there yet but will be. ED, eating disorder, entered my life when I was 17 or maybe before...who knows? I feel I have a lot to offer through my experiences over the years. 

As part of my recovery and for my own personal information, I have decided to educate myself on Eating disorders, the thing that has interrupted and taken up 20 years of my life. It is even more important for me to speak up about this illness in Jamaica. Eating disorders are quite prevalent here but no one chooses to acknowledge this as they feel that being a third world country where poverty is at an all time high, that coming forward to say you have an eating disorder is almost selfish and shallow. When I first came out to my psychiatrist in Jamaica that I had an eating disorder, and specifically at that time chew and spat all my meals, he looked at me and blatantly told me that I should feel ashamed of myself as there are many starving children in our island and I was wasting the food they would dream of having! I can say that this basically sums of the view of eating disorders in the island and maybe even the Caribbean! 

In order for me to regain power and control over my own life, I found that learning about this plague was going to relinquish its power over me and it has.

Every morning my daughter comes in my bed and says, "Mommy! It’s wake up time!” — she is the reason that I’m doing this. Sometimes I get anxious and think about my baby girl developing an eating disorder and hating her body and then all of a sudden I feel someone slap my head and say, “Stop your *****!” …. I would say its God but he doesn’t speak that way so I know it’s my dad who is in heaven now (he was murdered in Jamaica three years ago).  I remember when I first told my dad I had an eating disorder. He looked puzzled …. But he didn’t say anything. He let me speak. I let him know that eating disorders had little to do with food, but a lot with control or feeling like I had a lack of it. He looked at me intently and said, “Jay, fix this. Remember that you are a mother now.”

You are right dad; I am a mother now and I will fix this.