3 Ways I’m Thankful For The Lessons My Eating Disorder Taught Me

I never thought I would ever reach the point where I could openly write about my eating disorder to the public, much less the Internet. I also never thought I would ever say the word thank and eating disorder in the same sentence. Thankfully, I’ve made it to this point. I made the choice to recover and it has been the most difficult process I have ever or will ever endure, but I could not be more grateful that this is the road I chose to go down. 

I can’t truthfully say I would go through everything I went through again, but I can say that I am very happy with where it has led me, where my life is at now, and who I am because of it. Without what I went through, I would not be anywhere near where I’m currently at, and I wouldn’t change where I’m at for anything in the world. 

I know my value. 

Throughout the course of my eating disorder and the process of recovery, I have learned such an incredible amount about myself. I learned that I am stronger than I ever thought I was. I learned that I deserve more than focusing all my energy on every calorie I eat and listening to the harsh criticism about how I look. I’ve learned how to love myself despite what others think. My opinion is the most important opinion about myself out there, and my approval is the only approval I need. I no longer lower my standards to meet others; I keep mine high, right where I deserve to have them. Because of that, I now have the best people I could ever dream of in my life, thanks to my eating disorder. 

There is so much to be thankful for in life. 

During the worst of my eating disorder, all I thought about was food and exercise. Day in and day out, that’s all that was on my mind. I barely paid attention to my family, my friends, to school, or to my relationship at the time. You name it, and if you didn’t name food or exercise, I did not pay any attention to it. Now that I’ve made it through the toughest part of recover, I am thankful for so many things. I am thankful for my body and everything it is capable of doing, day in and day out. I am thankful for a chance to get a college education at an amazing university. I am thankful for my family and every single thing that every weird person in it does for me. I am thankful for my friends for being there for me despite my lack of patience and my attitude. I am thankful for my new relationship that I have and how healthy it is and how truly blessed I am to have found such a supportive person to have by my side. 

Everyone is fighting a battle of their own. 

Previously, I never really thought about mental health that much. I was pretty happy, and pretty oblivious to the aspect of mental health in general. However, when I was going through the worst of times, I began to experience depression and severe social anxiety. It wasn’t until I reached recovery that I realized that everyone is going through a battle of their own, no matter what it is. Whether it’s depression, anxiety, family issues, insecurities, absolutely anything like that, it all matters. Everyone has something going on. No matter how small you may think it is, it is huge to them. It’s hard to see it sometimes, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. You just really never know what someone is going through, so if you can’t be nice to someone, at least be respectful because you never know how big of an impact you can make on someone with one simply sentence or the tiniest of gestures. 

So thank you, eating disorder, for making me into the person I am now. It’s been a long and very trying process, to put it lightly, but I wouldn’t change where I’m at today for anything. I love myself, I love who I surround myself with, I love my family for seeing me through the last few years, and I love being able to honestly say that I love who I am. Thought Catalog Logo Mark 

More From Thought Catalog