My journey towards recovery taught me that I could only fully & wholeheartedly recover from my mental illness when I stopped letting it define me.
For two years, I lived & breathed my eating disorder.
I worshipped & loved it so hard that I couldn’t imagine or picture my life without it. Without it, I was lifeless. I did everything & anything to commit to it.
I starved, cried & hibernated.
I weighed myself incessantly & body checked.
I skipped events & opportunities with loved ones.
I followed a rigid meal schedule & I never diverted from it.
I brought my safe foods with me on trips.
I cried again.
I fainted & I went to bed with heart palpitations not knowing if I’d wake up the next morning.
I wore clothes I could swim in to conceal my bony frame.
I weighed my food down to the last spinach leaf & I counted my cherry tomatoes.
I found any & every excuse to move, even though I had no energy to do so.
I did all those things & engaged in those behaviours because I let my eating disorder define me so much that it became who I was. It became my whole life…
Scary, eh? The one thing that became my whole life also did everything in its power to take my life away.
That’s how complex mental illnesses are: you’ll love them so hard that nothing else in life will matter, but they’ll hurt you & make you suffer so much they’ll kill you.
Events, schedule mishaps, appointments, work, meetings & anything that got in the way of my behaviours & commitment to ED triggered anxiety attacks & made me feel like I was betraying the only thing I found comfort in. So, I continued to commit to it & to slowly self-destruct in an effort to avoid the anxiety. A vicious cycle.
Then it hit me.
I was a 26-year old girl, with an entire life ahead of me & a beautiful future to build, but a force more powerful than me was building it for me.
I fought with every bone in my body to build the RIGHT future for myself, but only once I realized that I AM NOT ANOREXIA & I AM NOT ANXIETY. I’m a girl who suffered & struggled. But those struggles & that suffering aren’t WHO I AM.
When I finally dissociated myself from them, I learned that my hardship was a blessing in disguise. It served as an opportunity for me to grow & build mental strength but also to share my story with the world in hopes that I can inspire just one person.