Jami | Breaking Free of My Eating Disorder
By Jami S.
My name is Jami and I have been in recovery from my eating disorder for one and a half years. I live in Dyersville, Iowa (think Field of Dreams) with my husband and four kids.
A year ago, I started to open up about my eating disorder because I was tired of the stigma that comes with eating disorders. I reached out to NAMI Dubuque to see if we could get a support group started to help those who are suffering from eating disorders/disordered eating behaviors.
My dream came true and I currently facilitate a group with NAMI for eating disorders and we meet once a month. I have also started Facebook support groups for eating disorders as well as anxiety and depression. I am also working with NAMI to begin a Women’s Support Group in my area and that will hopefully launch early next year.
Below is my story that I shared publicly with people. I am no longer ashamed!
I want to share something personal that is near and dear to my heart. At the age of 15, I developed an eating disorder and have struggled with it for more than half my life. This past year I found my strength to finally beat this disease.
For decades, I suffered in silence because the resources were just not out there. Through counseling, I was able to get to the root cause of my eating disorder and am currently working through that.
Eating disorders are life consuming and people who suffer cannot just “get over it.” This disorder consumes your every thought. With my eating disorder, it began when my life felt “out of control.”
This was something I could control and it quickly spiraled. I have never felt more alone in my life. I hid it so well that even my close relatives and friends had no idea. I spent hours and hours each day consumed by my eating disorder. I attempted many times to stop my behavior, but it always crept up on me. I could not understand why. I just couldn’t stop and I prayed every day that I could and for this to just “go away.” The depression and anxiety with my disorder was awful. I had panic attacks on a daily basis and there were days I could not get out of bed.
A year and a half ago, I finally surrendered my eating disorder. I wanted to know what it was like to live life and not be consumed by it. With counseling and re-learning my relationship with food, I beat this horrible disease!
I feel like a huge weight has lifted off my shoulders and I can breathe again. This disease no longer has control over me and my life. I am finally free!