It’s not linear

It’s not linear

I cried on my way to my therapy appointment.

As my therapist asked me how my day went, I was short and flustered, trying to hold back the tears.

We continued with pleasantries, until I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore.

I didn’t think I’d ever be back in this position of going to therapy to help with disordered thoughts surrounding eating and terrible body image. But, here we are.

I am struggling.

Because I don’t like people to worry about me, I wasn’t going to create a post as vulnerable in real time as this. I normally like to just work through things on my own and have the ‘happy ending’ before opening up about my battles to others. Hence the reason most of my posts are “back when I was restricting/binge eating… But now I’m free!” But I share this with you today because I want to be real & completely honest throughout my journey.

I still don’t understand exactly how I could go from such a high in recovery, feeling like I just KNEW I would never go back, to feeling the need to control my food & wanting to cry just about every time I look in the mirror.

However, looking back at the past year I see where things went wrong. I had an extremely rough year, physically, emotionally & spiritually. Like I mentioned previously, I seem to have a bad habit of holding my issues in for the fear of making others worry about me. Because I kept holding so much in, waiting for everything to “fix itself”, I slowly started to crumble under all the weight until just little things like an argument with a loved oned, hearing someone talk about a diet or a simple bad day sent me into a whirlwind of anxiety and depression.

I found myself feeling out of control… and, well, I still feel out of control. My brain still seems to hold onto the habit of screaming “CONTROL YOUR FOOD TO CONTROL YOUR BODY TO CONTROL YOU LIFE” in times of anxiety and depression. And so I find myself battling the same demons that I battled for years.

I think the reason having these thoughts again hurts so badly is because I feel like my greatest dream of helping others heal from disordered eating and unhealthy body image is so far out of reach. I keep telling myself, how can you help others if you can’t even help yourself?

Maybe this battle is life long. Maybe the thoughts will always be lingering in the back of my head. While that wasn’t how I planned for my life to be, I’m working on accepting it and now I am slowly doing the things I know will help me rebuild.

They say recovery is not linear, and now after coming down from the highest of highs, I absolutely accept this as true. I can get back to those highs again, but this time, I need to start preparing better for the inevitable lows. I urge you to do the same wherever you are on your journey.

I have faith that I’m gonna be ok now that I have been honest about how I’m feeling and have reached out for help. And again, if you find yourself in a similar position, I urge you to do the same. Please, be honest about how you are feeling. Stop just saying “I’m fine” when in reality, you feel like you are starting to break. Understand that it’s ok to be afraid to ask for help, but know that pushing through that fear to actually ask is vital.

As always, if you are struggling, know you are not alone❤

Accepting the Diagnosis

Accepting the Diagnosis

When the doctor said the word “anorexia”, I chuckled.

He was just confused.

My parents were just confused.

I did not have an eating disorder. I ate. I ate extremely healthy & was becoming an elite athlete— I wasn’t some vain, self obsessed, dramatic and out of control individual with an eating disorder.

The days that followed, including my hospitalization, I still denied I had a problem. How could EVERYONE be so confused?

While I was in the hospital, my friends started asking why I was there because I had some “where are my friends” app on my phone. I couldn’t tell them I was sitting in a room between one child who was sick with pneumonia & another who had just gotten out of an extreme surgery… just because I had an eating disorder diagnosis.

“I just got a bit sick, nothing to worry about at all!”

But somehow, word got out about the real reason I was there. And while I can look back and be thankful for the friends who came to visit, at the time, I was humiliated with each new visitor.

They must think I’m a self-consumed mess, I’d torture myself. I had never felt more ashamed and embarrassed.

I believed that people with eating disorders were either ballerinas who had completely authoritarian parents who micromanaged every aspect of their life, or dramatic girls just trying to get attention because they were obsessed with their bodies and how they looked.

I was all wrong.

A N Y O N E can get an eating disorder.

That means a 40 year old woman with 5 children who has a “normal looking” body. A professional baseball player. An intelligent physician. A boy who loved to sing and spend time with his family who was simply trying to be healthy.

And I had to accept that that meant me, a girl who wanted to make all those around her happy, and just wanted to find something she could feel proud of. All along there was nothing to be ashamed about, nothing to hide.

But unfortunately it took me until I was on solid ground in order to see that there was no reason I should beat myself up over battling an eating disorder.

Individuals who develop eating disorders are not just white teen girls desperately trying to get the attention of a crush. They are not vain, self obsessed, dramatic and out of control. They are just like anyone else… simply trying to figure out this extremely difficult, always changing path we call life.

If you find yourself in a place where you feel that your relationship with food and/or your body is struggling, please know that it’s ok. That you are ok, and that you are going to be ok. But you need to accept that things could be better in the eating and body image department, and seek help. Accepting the diagnosis of an eating disorder is difficult and it is completely life altering, but accepting that diagnosis is also the first step towards regaining that freedom that you ultimately deserve.