I started university as an overachieving perfectionist with OCD tendencies, a history of social isolation, geographical displacement, intense religious and academic standards, and a negative perspective on my appearance. These factors, combined with a sudden absence of food rituals, set me on a path towards restrictive behavior that spiraled into an entrenched eating disorder.
I became increasingly frustrated and exhausted by a relentless ED voice during my twenties. I absolutely loathed the constant reel of negativity in my mind and was desperate to eat a sandwich in peace! And yet, I was terrified of giving up my restrictive habits and unwilling to reach out for help. I continued, hyper-productive and attempting to starve myself, until I reached a breaking point one night and fell into a deep depression I could not shake.
I wanted to be happy so badly, but I wasn’t sure if happiness was a rational goal. Intent on finding answers, I finally accepted that I needed professional help. I met with a therapist a few times a week and discovered something important: I am not the negative voice in my head. Once I identified my eating disorder voice and realized that at my core, I am a happy person, I began to refute toxic and unfair thoughts. Suddenly, not every painful thought was a truth and I saw myself as more than a maxed-out anorexic. Although these were huge strides forward, however, it wasn’t until I admitted myself to an ED facility two years later that I truly began to heal. Digging deep into uncomfortable layers of doubt and fear, with the support of a treatment team I recognized that I am innately enough and that I deserve to love and be loved.
Today I strive to fill my internal and external environments with loving vibes. I practice self-care and treat myself with kindness, because I believe all souls (including mine!) are precious, and that I deserve to enjoy a happy and well-nourished life. At the moment, I am seven-months pregnant and feeding the babe in my belly is a massive incentive to eat well and to eat often. I appreciate that I should not deny myself or my baby valuable nutrients to ensure we are strong, healthy, and calm.
As you move towards recovery, be kind to yourself! Recovery is a journey; be proud of yourself for any mini wins along the way, no matter how small they seem! Simply eating that next bite is a step in the right direction. Remind yourself each day that you are worth fighting for, even if you don’t believe it! Eventually, you will feel the truth of that statement and know that you are good enough, just as you are.
You are stronger and braver than you believe, and others want to support you on your journey. Reach out and connect!
I am a 37 year old author and soon to be mama.