Lauren Kelly, who has had severe body dysmorphia most of her life, weighed only four stone but still did not think she was skinny.
Lauren, who said she is "still very underweight but able to see a future and see hope", still suffers from the illness but is slowly finding ways to overcome its grip on her and see herself in a less negative light.
"I remember literally pulling the fat off my arms even back when I was four stone and even looking at pictures from back then, I still don't think I was skinny," she said.
"But I can understand that I must have been, if that's the weight I was and if people were telling me I was unhealthy.
"There was no way of contemplating that it could be wrong, because everything was just so scary and real.
"I remember in the depth of it, the body dysmorphia for me was such a big thing. I really struggle with what I see in the mirror. I find it very difficult to comprehend what I see isn't real, it may not be there.
"It's like someone telling you the sky is orange when you see the sky as blue. It's really hard to comprehend how you are seeing it may not be true."
After first being diagnosed with anorexia nervosa at 13, the Kerry girl was admitted to hospital on several occasions for emergency treatment.
Because of long waiting lists, however, each time after her weight saw an increase, she was always discharged without any significant improvement to her mental health or the long-term effect on her illness.
When she turned 18, she finally admitted herself to an adult ward in the knowledge that she would be able to stay in the system long enough to see real improvement. Weighing just four stone, she finally began what she hopes is the start of a journey of recovery.
"It's pretty ingrained in me but it really manifested itself around the age of 13. I went through fluctuations, but through a lot of different psychiatrists going back, I can see that it really started when I was about seven," she said. "When I was 17, I got really bad and my weight just plummeted."
Speaking out during Eating Disorders Awareness Week (EDAW) 2020, she said: "I remember if I was passing a shop I'd have to hold my breath because I would be so scared that I'd inhale calories.
"When I'd go for a shower it would have to be cold because if it was hot I thought it would make me fat - I didn't use shower gel because I thought that would seep into my skin and make me fat.
"Eventually, on my 18th birthday, I was admitted to the adult ward in St Patrick's.
"Every time I'd eat something I would be bawling crying afterwards and physically shaking because I'd genuinely felt my hips were expanding and I could feel the flesh in my thighs seeping out of the skin."
Despite spending months on end in hospital, Lauren went back and sat her Leaving Cert, obtaining good results.
She has taken a year out of global commerce in NUIG - her "dream course" which the hard work afforded her - but can't wait to get back.
While her recovery took a backwards step at Christmas - a time she says is hard for anyone suffering from an eating disorder - she is hopeful that she will overcome her demons in the future.
She writes a blog detailing her experiences, and although she said she sometimes feels that she is not listening to her own advice, it helps her own progress when she sees how much it is helping others.
For now, her goal is "to just be happy again".
"For now I just want to get back to building on that little girl I was once, who loved life and didn't care about how she looked or what she did or what people were thinking of her.
"At the end of the day, happiness is the end goal for everyone and life is a journey but I don't think if I can't be happy even in small moments now that I'll ever be happy because I'll always be chasing something," she added. "I do think everyone is given their cross to carry in life and everything happens for a reason and some day, even through my blog, there might be a purpose for all this pain. It makes the pain worthwhile and substantial.
"I don't know if it's God or the universe, but I think we're all dealt something that will help change us and help change the universe somehow, and maybe that's just the journey I'm on at the moment.
"I think it's important for everyone to focus on being happy every day within each moment, even it's just a brief second if we can all find something to smile about."