For as long I can remember, I have struggled with anorexia. It was who I was, it was my identity. I was always proud to tell people that I was sick. It was a badge of honor, as that expression goes. It felt good to be sick, but now I am finally ready to let go of the unhealthy, demonic, and utterly destructive part of me.
My eating disorder served its purpose. It gave me comfort, solace, and relief from all the feelings that I did not want to deal with. It was my biggest coping skill and the way I dealt with life on a day to day basis. It gave me a schedule. I was constantly going from doctors to therapists to dietitians, even to long-term treatment. I was “good” at being sick. I knew how to communicate through my unhealthy behaviors. It was my form of language.
My eating disorder manifested in over exercise and restriction. I worked my body to the ground. I spent countless hours, days, and even years trying to control and change my appearance. I was a slave to the number on the scale. I was powerless in my own body. I always wanted recovery, but just did not know how to achieve it. I did not know my life without my illness.
It has been almost eight years since I was first diagnosed with anorexia. Years filled with tears, self-destruction, and mental anguish. But today, I am proud to say that I have finally seen the light. I am finally able to say that I am in full recovery from anorexia.
My eating disorder prohibited me from engaging in the life I was destined to live. For so long, I cared about others opinions of me. I was hurting myself to please others. I was self-destructing to meet societal expectations. I have finally realized that the people who really care about me do not care about what I look like on the outside, but what matters, is what is on the inside. I am no longer trying to please what other people want, but instead, living my life according to my own expectations.
My body has changed and some might even say I let myself go. They are right. I did let go. I let go of all the unhealthy, destructive, and self-harming behaviors that I engaged in for years. I began to live according to what I wanted, not what others wanted from me. I relinquished my control. I let go of my eating disorder.
My body is no longer what defines. I am me for who I am on the inside. I never want to put my mind and body through hell, my eating disorder, ever again. I still have work to do, but I am genuinely ready to let go of my eating disorder. It is not what defines me anymore. I am no longer proud of being sick.
Anorexia served as my coping skill. It was my go to, my “best friend.” I will never forget what I learned from my struggle with an eating disorder. It taught me strength, acceptance, and mental toughness along with many other skills. I still have work to do, but now I am able to deal with life situations without retreating to my unhealthy behaviors.
Life is all about learning, coping, and evolving. I believe everything happens for a reason, whether it be good or bad. My struggle with an eating disorder has shaped the person I have become. For the first time in almost eight years, I am proud to say that I am in full recovery. I am smiling again, I am happy.
Time is the biggest healer and I have been gifted with the ability to take time to heal. It has taken years, but it has also taken hard work and commitment to myself. Every day, I make a conscious decision to choose health. Recovery does not just happen, but I can say sincerely that it IS possible. I never thought that the voices in my head would quiet or even go away. But, they have. Never give up on the hope of recovery, because I PROMISE you it is possible. Life is meant to be lived, not restricted.