I was first diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa at the young age of twelve. From that time on, I lived with a constant internal battle every waking hour of the day.
I never thought that me, the girl who has everything and more in her life, would develop this kind of demonic, unruly, and uncanny voice that never seemed to silence.
Now, at the age of eighteen, I finally have realized that the eating disorder will never give me what I need and want, what it promised.
What I’ve learned in my journey thus far is that eating disorders are sneaky, conniving, and utterly convincing. What is said, goes.
It is crazy to think that thoughts in one’s head can result in such drastic measures such as not eating, eating too much, getting rid of what you ate, etc. But, that is what the eating disorder is, it is intoxicating, addicting, and absolutely irrational.
It is hard, almost impossible, for one to truly understand the logic, if any, behind an eating disorder. Really, all logic is thrown out when engaged in behaviors.
Thoughts such as “I will not eat because then I have to figure out how to work off the calories” or “I will exercise because I do not want to get ‘fat.’”
That being said, the eating disorder is never about the food or being “fat.” Instead the eating disorder is a coping skill, my biggest one throughout my young adulthood. More than that, it is a way of control.
The eating disorder gives a false impression of control, when really it is the very thing that makes one out of control.
When active, the eating disorder, is the only voice that is heard and man, is it loud. It is relentless, persistent, and absolutely exhausting.
It is a disorder, an illness, that goes against every value I ever stood for. It is isolating, limiting, and debilitating. It is also the very thing that has kept me from fully engaging in my life.
The eating disorder has a way of making you its prisoner. With an eating disorder, you are essentially a prisoner to your mind.
The once healthy voice is now muted, put aside, and replaced with the most unhealthy, irrational voice that one can experience.
Having an eating disorder can sometimes feel like a war. At times you are on the frontline, running for cover and other times you are safe in the barricades. It is something that one can NEVER stop fighting and give into.
Never again can I restrict food, try “fad” diets, or count calories. The thing is, now I do not want to do that.
Now, being in “recovery”, not recovered, I have realized that the eating disorder is no longer serving me like it used to. I will never be happy if I am stuck being sick.
If I have learned anything throughout this long, arduous process, it is that time is the biggest healer, along with commitment and motivation to get better for yourself and no one else.
You have to want to do it for yourself. If you go through an eating disorder with the hope that it will get better on its own, you will always be disappointed.
If you do not want recovery, it will not just magically happen.
It takes time, hard work, and commitment to yourself. The eating disorder can sometimes be so present and loud, that even if you want “it,” it is not achievable.
I used to think being sick was easier than getting better, which at the time, felt so true.
Recovery is the hardest and most uncomfortable thing I have ever had to do, and probably the hardest thing I will ever do in my life. It is a process, and a process is what it is. It is the very thing that one with an eating disorder dreads, and that is sitting with discomfort.
The thing about recovery is that the voice sometimes gets louder and harder before it becomes quieter and easier. This is what makes recovery so hard.
It defies the voices in your head that have been the “normal” for however long one has been struggling. It is something that I could not imagined doing myself. It takes a village, to say the least.
Lean in and reach out for support. The eating disorder thrives off of secrecy and after all, it is our secrets that keep us sick. Never be ashamed of your struggles.
Although it might not seem like it, everyone has something. Take one day at a time. Each day is a new day to commit further into recovery.
You have the choice to either engage in behaviors or engage in life. There is always a choice. Fight the fight, as hard as you can. I promise, in all sincerity, that being in recovery is always better than being in the eating disorder, despite how uncomfortable it can be at first.
Lastly, remind yourself each day that you are deserve recovery. You are worthy of all the amazing experiences life has to offer.
There is no need to be afraid. You have suffered long enough with the demons in your head.
Now is the time to set yourself free.