“I can truly say that I started struggling with my body when I was 8 or 9. I can remember distinctly writing in pen on the back of my hand, ‘LWN!’ which meant ‘lose weight now!’ I was truly so unhappy in my body that I was willing to consider anything to finally lose the weight and feel comfortable with myself. I didn’t start actively dieting until I first started college. I lost a bunch of weight, was celebrated for my “success” and completely looked over when I started to struggle with disordered eating and compulsive exercise.
I was finally diagnosed with an eating disorder and depression my junior year of college, which added onto my previous diagnosis of anxiety. It was as if everything I had experienced finally made sense. I struggled so much to stay in control of my food and body that I didn’t realize that the eating disorder was actually in control of me.
The past two years have been a whirlwind, as I have been in treatment on 3 separate occasions. I have experienced the highest of highs, feeling like I could finally do recovery, to only then struggle with a relapse that landed me back in treatment. I can say that these have been the hardest years of my life, and I have faced the darkest days I could possibly imagine in this time as well.
I believe I am finally in a place where recovery is possible. I have fully committed to treatment, my treatment plan, and truly doing the work necessary to recover. I am in an intensive DBT (Dialectical Behavioral Therapy) group where we meet twice a week. I have learned skills that range from Interpersonal Effectiveness, Mindfulness, Distress Tolerance, and Emotion Regulation. I have found tremendous success in being taught skills that have replaced my eating disorder and depressive behaviors. I have seen the progress I have made and have recovery wins every day.
I never thought I’d be here. I never thought, after 14+ years of struggling with my body and food, that I would ever be hopeful for the future. I often say that recovery is something that has to be taken minute by minute some days. And I still have a ways to go. But for the first time in a long time, I truly believe that recovery IS possible, for me, and everyone else. It is the hardest thing I have ever done, hands down, but it is also the most rewarding. If you’re struggling, please consider seeking help. You don’t have to be “sick enough”. You don’t have to look a certain way. You are worthy of treatment and deserve to reach a place of recovery.”
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