On Recovering From Anorexia And Being Worthy Of That Recovery

woman standing near waterfalls
Toa Heftiba / Unsplash

For a long time, I wanted to die and had thoughts of killing myself, and it turned out self-starvation, or call it anorexia nervosa if you don’t fear the words, has been a way to a slow death that actually made the whole dying thing a lot less scary.

When I got closer to hitting rock bottom, week after week, I could feel my heart beating less and less, I had trouble breathing, I was never at rest inside, and outside… I could have slept forever, I felt so tired all the time, my legs were hurting more and more each day I could barely walk, my body was lacking so much I fainted multiple times – my eyes wide open, yet I couldn’t see anything…

I was close. So close to death, it felt like I was flirting with it. Until I felt it – or rather heard it – a whisper telling me it wasn’t my time to go yet, that life wasn’t over just now. It was the other part of me, the good one, the kind and caring one, that was trying to reach out, in one last attempt. She was trying – with the little strength she had left – to give me a good push, to scream at me and tell me to fight for this. But what was this? I had no idea. And this voice, this feeling, was so tiny I wasn’t even sure it was a real thing… but that, precisely, was depression telling me lies, hiding the truth from me, hiding the life that was still in me, making me believe in such horrible things about myself and about the world.

But as tiny as it was, one day, for some reason I will probably never be able to explain, I chose to believe in it, in this tiny little thing, and take on that storm inside of me head on.

I think this thing that was keeping me just above the surface, at just the right level before drowning was inevitable, was love. Powerful stuff, love. I think it was love from and for my brother, from and for my mum and my grandma, love from and for my closest friends, fighting wars for me in their hearts I had no idea about. I had tremendous doubts about them loving me because I hated myself so much I couldn’t imagine anyone – not even them – caring an ounce about what could become of me and yet… their love was so strong that, despite being a thousand feet underneath earth, lost in a dull and empty foggy creepy town that was my fucked-up mind, I still managed to feel their love. I don’t know how, but I did.

Thinking about it now almost makes it sound like a miracle. And maybe it was. It was life calling me back to the surface, it was that ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ everyone always talks about. It was such a tiny glimmer at first that I couldn’t see it, but as tiny as it was, I could still feel the burn of life inside of me. And that was the moment I realised I was still alive and wished to remain so. That was the moment I entered recovery.

Today, some days still happen to be quite foggy, but I think I can say the storm has passed, or rather, I beat that mother fucker. I walked out of it, my head high and a different person. A better me. A ‘me’ who has hope again, sees miracles in simple things, and feels magic. After everything that happened, after everything I put myself through, I’m still here, still breathing – alive and well in my mind and my body (well, on most days), healthy and flawed, but perfectly enough and capable, and brave, and beyond worthy of this life.

I am beyond worthy.

Because I have the bravery to take on life, and it takes so much more courage to choose life rather than death.

Because I deserve to experience the little things, these tiny everyday miracles that feel like magic and make life a lot more bearable.

Because I now believe again there are thousands of beautiful things waiting for me.

Because I have love to give and I deserve just as much in return.

Because there’s only one ‘me’, unique and special, and there’s never going to be anyone who could ever replace me. TC mark

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