It took me losing my job, my income, almost my marriage, and nearly my life for me to reluctantly accept the help I needed. For many years, I only agreed to see therapists, counselors, and the occasional psychiatrist. But I refused any further treatment, even though it was painfully obvious to everyone in my life that I needed a higher level of care. I refused it because I needed my disorder; I needed it to handle this life, to cope, and to survive. It’s what made me special; it was my identity, my guiding principle, the best coping mechanism I’ve ever had, my comfort, my shield, and even became my God. I was so sick, so brainwashed, so brain-starved, so malnourished, and so stubborn.
My disorder went in stages of losing, gaining, ups, downs, highs and lows. and surprisingly, there were few years that I wasn’t consumed by ED. But when my now husband and I decided to relocate before our wedding, I tanked. It was a steady decline for 2 years. Of course, I would have argued and denied it at the time, but looking back, it was a slow suicide. Not just a physical death, but it was a mental death, an emotional death, and a major spiritual death. No weight nor pant size was ever good enough… I was NEVER good enough. I often just wanted to disappear. My shrinking body was the perfect reflection of my shrinking soul.
But my body finally spoke up. I heard it scream, “I’m shutting down. I simply can’t do this anymore.” And for the first time, I was terrified of dying. Thank the Lord my family decided to rescue me. They researched the best residential centers in the country; it broke their heart, but they didn’t have a choice. They had to save my life. I have never seen my mom or husband so sad and lost. But nevertheless, they flew me to treatment where I passionately argued with my husband up until they dropped me off, “I’m not that bad! I will be the fattest one there.” I will never forget that morning heading there; shaking, feeling weak, faint, nauseous, and numb all at the same time. It was unbelievably surreal; all I could do was sob. These people were trying to take this away from me and turn me into someone I hated even more.
Ohhh, how wrong I was! They literally saved my life; they brought me back to life! The place I dreaded most, became my happy place, my safe bubble. I actually didn’t want to leave! Everyone there became my army, and the dining room table was my battlefield. Every single morning when I didn’t want to get up and eat and was so homesick it physically hurt, I pushed and fought with every fiber of my being to do this for my loved ones.
I came home a few days before Christmas and felt like a completely different person. I feel like I had a new brain, a new set of eyes, a clear mind, a clean heart, and a restored soul. I had color back in my face, brightness to my eyes, and I could really smile again! I have energy, I can remember things. I am less anxious, judgmental, and irritable; more loving, fun, spiritual, open, and present.
So I guess it’s safe to say, I understood myself only after I destroyed myself. And only in the process of fixing myself, am I getting to know who I really am. I am choosing good over evil, light over darkness, and life over death every single day. There IS a way out. Is it easy? Hell no! Is it quick? My no! Is it painless? Not a chance! Is there a rule book to follow in recovery? Absolutely not. Is there a guaranteed “no relapse policy?” Unfortunately not. But is it worth it?? Yes, a thousand times over!!
I am a 32-year-old female who is finally in recovery after 10 years of fighting.