Yesterday night was a rough one. I was filled with sadness as I realized just how much my eating disorder has taken from me over the past 12 years. It has taken everything but the breath in my lungs and the beating of my heart.
I'll zoom the lens back and tell you a little about how I came to be where I am today. Six weeks ago I had myself convinced that I was doing pretty well. I got up every morning and went to a job I loved, had an apartment which I equally loved, and was as independent as I had ever been. Like I said I thought I was doing great, unfortunately my treatment team's thoughts were not the same. Six weeks ago I was told that I would need to take a leave from work because my physical body was in such bad shape. I was told that if I didn't rest and restore my weight that there was a good chance I would just collapse one day. This was news to me, I thought I had things all together. I took their advice, being scared for my life, and took a leave of absence.
When I agreed to this I didn't at all fathom how much my life was going to change. It was requested that I stay with my Mother and I was ordered to basically bed rest. I went from doing most everything for myself, feeling so proud and independent, to having every little thing done for me and feeling like the biggest burden.
As the weeks have gone by with my return to work date continuously being pushed back, I have gotten clarity on everything my eating disorder has taken from me. I took my thoughts all the way back to that 14 year old girl and saw how much she missed out on as she grew up. Friends gone. Freedom gone. Joy gone. Inspiration gone. And now, work gone. Apartment gone. Independence gone. When I see this list I am filled with immense sadness not only for myself but for all others who have experienced this exact thing. We all deserve a full life, an eating disorder will rob you of that privilege.
I don't write this to receive any sort of sympathy, I write this for awareness. Eating disorders are too often glamorized as the pathway to happiness and beauty; in reality it has the exact opposite effect. My eating disorder has done nothing but made me miserable and unhappy with my appearance, not very glamorous if you ask me.
I will no longer stand for this. I will dedicate all of this free time I now have to fighting; fighting the demon that is my eating disorder. It has taken enough from me and I will no longer stand for it, simply watching the years go by while I sit enslaved. I urge all of those struggling to do the same. Take a stand, make a pact with yourself, let your eating disorder know that things aren't working out and you want to break up with it, leaving it behind for good.
I am working to choose recovery each and everyday. My illness will no longer control me or steal from me. Today I work towards freedom. I imagine the sweetness of this freedom, like a bird finally being able to fly out of the cage that confines it.
Today I choose to fly, join me.
Current sober time. I am so filled with gratitude that I have made it this far, no matter what tomorrow may hold. For me, sobriety took a while to stick and my road leading to recovery was in no way linear. It involved many relapses filled with loads of denial. I now see that my life free of alcohol enslavement is one filled with clarity, a clarity that allows me to see all the beauty this world has to offer. Though I still struggle with my eating disorder, I am much more optimistic in the fact that I CAN recover. I never thought I would see the day when I had 599 sober days under my belt and today I am living that day; so why would I be unable to recover from my eating disorder? I've done it once so why can't I do it again?
I am forever grateful for all those who have assisted me on my path to sobriety; every therapist, every doctor, every friend I made in treatment, every family member, and every stranger who unknowingly left me inspired to keep pushing forward. Without all of your support I am not sure what life would look like today, I am sure however that I would not posses the strength and hope that I do these days.
For all those struggling, keep going. Think of all your life could hold, You can get there even if you feel you are at your lowest of lows. Seek inspiration from everything around you. Remember the road to recovery is a bumpy one for most, so do not get down on your self if things don't go exactly as planned. You can have a full life free of alcohol, just keep on keeping on.
599 days down, I hope to see 599 more.