As I reflected on thanksgiving yesterday, one of the things I was most thankful for is my freedom. This thought made me remember a time when recovery and freedom seemed impossible and it felt like I would be stuck with anorexia for the rest of my life.
I grew up having an amazing life with parents that loved me and friends that I adored but one day everything changed. When I was 14 years old I was with my friends and one of them made a comment saying that I was fat. These words shook my world and began to shape my thinking so when I looked in the mirror I no longer saw myself as beautiful but instead I viewed myself through the words she had spoken,I didn’t like what I saw and the anguish associated with her words was so painful I decided to change my appearance.
Little by little I cut out food and did more exercise, this made me feel good about myself but I didn’t realise that I was in a dark downward spiral which would never be satisfied. It trapped me to the point where I couldn’t eat anything and I had to do a certain amount of exercise each day, otherwise the guilt, fear and anxiety would flood in and it would feel like torture.
I went to a dance audition to secretly use it as a tool to exercise, I had never really danced before. Little did I know that dancing would help save my life, I got into the crew and to my surprise, I became passionate about dance and enjoyed been part of the group. We competed regionally but didn’t get through to nationals. Then three weeks later on the day where the doctor told me that there was no hope for me anymore and that I was been hospitilised, my dance crew got through to nationals.
I remember sitting in the doctor’s room thinking I have a choice. I have a choice of whether I am going to let anorexia take this opportunity away from me or whether I am going to begin to fight anorexia and take my life back. I begged my doctor for a chance to prove to her that I could fight it.
I began pushing through the lies, fear and guilt and I started eating again so that I could go to nationals. This was not easy at all, inside I was screaming and on the outside there were constant tears. I used to sit with my journal and write down every lie that came into my head while eating, then I would replace it with something positive about me.
I made it to nationals and we won that year which inspired me and gave me hope to be anorexia free.
I kept fighting and little by little I got my life back. Today I want to tell you that there is hope for you and that even though freedom may seem impossible or like a bad or scary word to you now, recovery is possible and it is so worth it.