Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Feeling judged

Ok so I have written a few things since I have been done with school but haven’t wanted to post them. I’m not entirely sure why. I know I was really depressed before I left and it has gotten better but I’m in a weird space I guess and I don’t want to be all depressing. But at the same time recovery is about emotions and dealing with them in a healthy way so I will put them up soon but first I think I have to post one about why I haven’t wanted to be close to people right now. I’m glad I figured out at least part of it- but I also know that some of it is that I need to find more healthy supports. I really want to actually start doing that too.
            I have periods of time where for whatever reason I either stop trusting people or pull away because I don’t want them to leave me or just get depressed. There are so many potential reasons. But recently it hasn’t been any of these. When I first got out of treatment I was for some reason considered toxic. I was friends with people who were also considered toxic and even after leaving I heard about people talking about me in various levels of treatment. I hadn’t been in a higher level than iop for months and yet these people felt that because I hung around certain people or looked a certain way or had certain facebook statuses, that I was toxic or not doing well or whatever. Ironically this caused me to relapse my first summer out of treatment. If people thought these things about me they might as well be true. I hadn’t been judged in that way before and I felt so alone and well, judged, that I just didn’t care if I did well anymore because there was no way it could be recognized.
            Anyway, since then I’ve had other friends see facebook statuses or hear something from someone else or who knows what, and have formed their own opinions about me without knowing if they were true or how I was really doing. I had finally started to do well summer of 2009 and I had a really good friend suddenly talking behind my back about how bad I was doing and things. It hurt a lot that she hadn’t asked me if I was ok or what was going on or maybe she would have known that this judgement was what was wrong in the first place. I was able to do well for a year after than though and it wasn’t until this summer I felt judged again. Well, I always think there are some times I feel judged but usually it doesn’t bother me as much. When it is one of my best friends is when it hurts. I had done so well for a year and after shit hit the fan in Europe I’ve been going back and forth between really good and less good I guess. But I hadn’t seen a friend in months and when I talked to her once she sent me text messages about how I was depressed and always taking care of people and that I wasn’t healthy. I know she had her information from somewhere I guess but I had been doing SO well. And haven’t been depressed until this December after getting sick. I had almost lost a best friend earlier in the week and thought I another was on her way to dying. It was the hardest week I have gone through in awhile. I might have done some caretaking. I might have been REALLY upset because I have lost best friends before. Anyway the fact that she judged how I was doing off of anything but actually seeing and talking to me really bothered me. The people who have been there with me knew it wasn’t true but it was still really hard not to be upset and hurt and kinda offended. There are also a few people that have been doing well for maybe a  year and already think they can look down on people who are not “recovered”. I hate that so much. I just don’t understand looking down on people and judging them without knowing why they are struggling or if they are trying or anything.
            Besides all of this there was a big other drama that made me feel judged and that people I cared about were being judged. It made so many of my friends really upset and I hate watching my friends suffer like that. And I hate watching my friends and myself that really want to help people be stuck in a situation that revolves around judgments and opinions and individual experiences. All of those things are so objective and I hate that people get judged because of them. I hate that my reasons for my opinions were judged because of the current people in my life. I hate that my friend and friends were being judged and pitted against each other. It just reminds me of how much the entire world is based on interpretations and that hurts people. Sometimes very badly.
            So right now for some reason I am just feeling vulnerable. Most of my friends are doing well and I don’t want to have to talk about any of this at all. I don’t want people to start thinking I doing worse than I am and starting judging me again. I haven’t seen a significant number of people in awhile and the last thing I need is for someone I haven’t seen to start telling me they are worried and that I’m not doing well or am caretaking or look like shit or anything to that extent when it isn’t true--and really even if it were true. A lot of people aren’t in my life for a reason right now. And I’ve started getting afraid that those that are in my life will start judging me for not doing perfectly the last six months or make assumptions or think I am doing worse than I am. I’m pulling away from people. I don’t want anyone to have the chance to think they know what is going on or how I am doing and try to use that against me. I’m getting really sick of all the going back and forth but I’m scared to start really working on recovery 100 percent again because someone is suddenly going to say something about how I’ve been struggling more than last year just when I’m really getting back on track. And no one is going to notice when I start fighting even harder because I don’t really talk about it, and instead will randomly judge me on assumptions about where I am in recovery. I know I have friends who won’t do this. But I have thought that before and am just too alone in general right now to have anyone doubting how much I want this and what I am willing to do. 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I fell apart

I'm going to elaborate on this later but basically on Friday I realized maybe I HAVE been holding things together more than I thought. Maybe I do have things that make me upset or angry and maybe I'm not dealing with them, but just pushing them away. I brought a friend some things while she was in the hospital and had an asthma attack in the hospital. I was fine but my first thought was maybe I'll get pneumonia and have to stay in stl for Christmas. And it sadly took me about ten minutes to realize that this wasn't a normal thought. And it took me longer to realize my second plan of taking enough ibuprofen to give me a stomach ulcer wouldn't be good either...As soon as I pulled up at my friend's house I started sobbing. I think I just sat and cried for an hour while deciding if I should go home after FL or not. I finally called my parents and they did both say that it is my decision and i need to do what's best for me. But they say this in an annoyed way. I hate that. The way I think I'l be ok and don't realize I won't until it's really inconvenient. It makes me feel like a horrible person who ruins everything. And this is exactly the type of thought I'm working on countering so it was a really shitty situation. I feel bad I freaked out on my parents. I NEVER wanted them involved. They had to be to some extent but I hate that they still have to deal with any of this. And it's mainly because I just don't want their support. I just don't want the people who emotionally abused me for so long to be there for me. I want them in my life but I want to just be ok so I don't have to deal with them any more than I want to. Sometimes I think this makes me selfish and a bad person too but I'm realizing that there are just some people who might not be helpful as supports and some that aren't helpful to have in my life. I need my parents and I love them, but I don't want to talk to them. I don't want their sympathy or help. I really just DON'T WANT IT. And  think I'm finally ok with that. I know it's not my fear of judgement or hurting them that's getting in the way. I know that in a HEALTHY way I don't need them in certain ways. Which is freeing. So even though I'm going to Florida and then home for a few days I'm feeling better about it. I'm realizing that I can just be myself when I go home and yet talk to other people including my sister for support while I'm there and I don't need to feel bad for it. I'm also just feeling a lot better in general. I think I just needed a lot of sleep and time with people to make me less depressed since I've been so sick for almost three weeks. I still don't really want to go at all, but I'm making a plan to workout and eat healthily, bringing books to read, and will do things to keep me busy. So I may be annoyed to some extent that I'm leaving, but I'm going to try to enjoy Florida and even being at home as much as possible. I'm going to journal and blog so that I don't completely hold everything in, so that hopefully this won't be as much as a set back as going home usually is. O- and I get to go to a masked ball for new year's!!! I'm SO excited.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I need to start over

I’ve been sick for two weeks now and if there is one thing my team and I know it is how hard it is for me to get back on track after not being able to eat normally for a few weeks.  And I think this time I just figured it would happen. I figured I would try to restrict as long as possible because I would once again start remembering how to ignore hunger signals and how much in some ways I love feeling like no one knows what I am doing. I figured I would give in to the urges to restrict because of everything that has been going on anyway. It has been so hard for me to find the balance between things. Plus I’ve been semi going back and forth for so long now it doesn’t seem like a big deal anymore. But today I realized something. And I’m pissed. In a good way and I’m more determined than ever to get back to eating healthily and working out. I want my life back. I want to have all the things I imagined when I saw recovery. And I’m fucking sick and tired of this going back and forth shit.
 I’m tired of too many parts of me wanting it, of knowing that it is there even when I am doing well. I’m sick of feeling like I’m just waiting for the right moment to relapse. I’m tired of always wondering who will die next or be in treatment or who is leaving. I’m sick of the drama and I’m tired of trying to save everyone. I’m sick of people not listening, complaining, and then not being willing to do what they need to do. I’m tired of always wondering if I will be able to lose enough weight to have to go back to treatment or if I will be able to work with ED’s without wanting to go back. I’m tired of meeting with my nutritionist and not being able to explain why I’m not doing 100 percent. I’m sick of planning to find new people and getting on a workout plan and finding activities to participate in. I’m tired of having friends I think mean something only to find out I was never as important to them as they were to me. I’m sick of people not being willing to take ownership of their part in all of this and putting it all on someone else. I’m sick of continually feeling like I might not be able to trust my friends still or that everyone is a better friend with everyone else but me. I hate feeling like second best, like I’m only visible when you need something, or that we only do something if I bring it up and I work out the details.  I’m tired of only knowing people I relate to in this way. I want to do real things with real people and have real fun. I’m ready to get out and stop revolving my life around aspects that will never make me happy.

And I’m pissed that I am realizing I am being used by people. That some have thrown me away. That I am just advice. That you will make no effort. If I don’t matter that much it is probably a good thing. I need to start over and I guess even though it hurts it makes things easier. I know now that bonds between many of us are temporary or maybe never even really existed. I know there is more out there and I am ready to find it. I don’t deserve your fake friendship anymore and you sure as hell don’t deserve me. 

Monday, December 6, 2010

Now I can FEEL it- Jan 2010

In a group recently we talked about what it was like to feel emotions after letting our ED numb us for awhile. That on some level it was exciting. I hate feeling some emotions but at the same time I was FEELING them and that was different. It was amazing to realize it was ME that was feeling. I could feel myself and what I was actually experiencing. I felt it rather than saw it. For so long I think I felt like no one could know how bad it was unless they could see it, unless I could see the pain. But when I have felt some of the stronger negative emotions in the past few months, I realized that feeling them is worse. Which makes sense. That’s why I hurt myself right? To make the pain real and to numb it because of how painful it was? But in all my symptoms I was lost to deep emotion. So when I have felt intense grief or anger or sadness recently it has been a new experience. But I can deal with it instead of letting it be pushed down, where ultimately it will continue to get worse. I can FEEL it and process it and that can be enough for me. I can see the pain by the broken eggs on my walls, the paper ripped up and on my floor and the clothes I throw when I’m angry and in pain. I can see it by the curled up mess I become. And I can feel it in my body. I can express it. What it REALLY feels like. How painful it is. And as much as it hurts and sucks and I just want it to end, it is so nice to be able to feel again. Because I can feel happiness too, and I can respond and help myself experience those emotions in a way that heals me, not one that hurts me. I’m not happy as much as I want, but I’m working toward being happy more often. And recovery is the only way I can do that. And by living in the downs of life I know I can have ups


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

You Can't always go back- written Jan 2010

 A few days ago I was asked to be a recovery speaker at a treatment center. I am so excited because the date is very soon but also kind of nervous because I have so much to say and yet so little. On one hand I started listing off all of the points I want to go over when I talk but on the other I really ultimately feel there is a way to sum it all up into a sentence. I don’t exactly know what I feel like that sentence would be. Something that I know wouldn't actually sum it up or change anything, but something like:
Even if you aren’t sure, just start taking steps-small steps-because the further you get from the ED, I GUARANTEE you the further you will get to finding your true self and the life you will love and deserve, and the further you will want to be.

And the best part is that you will believe you deserve it. And if you feel like you have been doing well and it hasn’t been anything special, you weren’t as far from your ED as you thought. I thought I was pretty ok for awhile but didn’t realize how much better I could still be until I kept trying to move forward even with the small slips backward. People say you can always go back to your ED so you might as well try recovery. I never heard that and wanted to try to recover to see if it was true. It didn’t inspire me to try or try harder. I liked my ED. I felt like it gave me many things I never had. But I still thought about that phrase. For some reason I could and still can hear it in the back of my head when I want to give up. And I know that it is true now. If you get far enough into recovery you will NEVER want to go back. This doesn’t mean you won’t, by any means, just that you will experience something only those that get up from their rock bottom and keep fighting can. Maybe it’s freedom- I don’t know or maybe just relief from letting go of everything I had been holding on to. I know now that I can go back to my ED any time I decide to. I can let it destroy me as much or more than it did before. And sometimes I still think about it. How much easier it would be, how much I could numb out and be comfortable doing what I have been doing for a long time. I know how to live in my ED, it’s living life that I don’t know how to do. So I figure I’m going to keep trying because every time I get a little further I am more able to consider the ability to survive without my ED. It is still a daily struggle, but it’s been slowly getting easier to wake up every day and decide not to go back- as much as I want to sometimes. Every time I think about living again with my ED, I get the feeling that it wouldn’t be the same. It wouldn’t give me the same things it used to, and I wouldn’t have the energy to let it. I honestly don’t think I could get through that again. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. Once you have experienced life free from addictions you will never be the same person.
You will never get the same things from the addictions.
You will never think you are truly happy in the addictions.
You will never truly remember how bad it was- which makes it hard not to go back.
You will never WANT to stop fighting- even if you do.
You will never see things the same way, have the same people in your life, or have the same beliefs about yourself.
Whatever happens, I will never be the same person. And I cannot describe how nice that is to know. I may slip but I will do anything to keep myself from going back to the places I have been.

YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GO BACK. Which is what is amazing about the process.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I slept FOREVER today I hope I'm not getting sick. I was talking with a friend earlier and we are both having trouble with feeling depressed. For me it's not literal depression- It's just sad I guess. And I hate that I don't know why. I hate that I don't feel like I have a reason to feel down. I know it's good that I'm feeling and I know it will pass but it is so annoying in the moment because I can't fix it if I don't know why I'm feeling a certain way. But from experience I know I need to feel the emotions that I am and I need to not beat myself up for feeling. So I'm going to be sad tonight. And maybe tomorrow. But I'll start feeling better soon and hopefully I'll be able to figure some more things out. I really need to work on my OCD and some trauma before I go on break.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Finally I kinda snapped out of it

Ok so I don't really talk to many of my friends about how I'm really doing because for the most part it's good. At least it was. Until I got back from Europe in June. I haven't relapsed just had a few too many slips in the last few months and I didn't really take it seriously until recently. Yeah I'll restrict for a week but then I'll start feeling bad or depressed or anxious and I'll stop. Which makes me feel like I have a HORRIBLE eating disorder sometimes. I mean, I can't even relapse when I want to. But really I know I don't want to go back. As much as things have been a lot harder the last six months and as much as I've felt alone I have still not wanted to completely give up. But I don't always know this at the time. I never wanted recovery. I wanted this to kill me. I wanted everyone to see what they did to me. But somehow-and I'm working on figuring it out- I ended up wanting this so badly I'm terrified of not being able to do it. So I think a lot of times I look for any excuse to go back. I think I am always testing myself to see if I will go back because that would be so much easier. And honestly recovery is nothing like I thought it would be. It's harder. A lot harder. But even with all the emotions I am feeling and the trauma work I am doing there is so much more room in my life for things that make me happy now that I'm not obsessing about food. Finding all the things I love to do has been so much fun. I like rock climbing, photography, going out to dinner or drinks, having potlucks at my house. I never would have known if I had stayed in my ED. I never would have seen that everyone has ups and downs and everyone has needs. There are people who will be there for you through everything they are capable of being with you through.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


So this is my first real post since I think march maybe? It's been a long time. I stopped writing for a variety of reasons- mostly because I was getting into a care-taking role and felt I needed to do certain things for other people. I realized I needed to just focus on myself for awhile. And I still do but I'm thinking it might help me to blog again to get my thoughts written down and if nothing else remind myself why I am fighting. I did really well for a year- actually almost exactly. But since I got back from Europe in June I've had a few slips. I didn't want to write while I wasn't doing as well but I now realize that is part of recovery. I'm still not doing perfectly but I'm picking myself up again from a particularly bad slip. I don't know entirely why but I do know I found out a lot about my trauma over the summer and my OCD got really bad after going to Europe too. And recently I've had a lot of things happen that have made me feel judged. That's a big trigger for me. I hate feeling like people are basing their opinions of me off of other people or the internet or something. Anyway, I've been doing everything I need to for a little while now but there are a lot of things bothering me so It's been probably the hardest slip for me to come back from. The main thing right now is that I feel really alone. And it's a lot worse this week because my nutritionist seems annoyed that I can't just snap out of it like I usually do. I know that's what I usually do but right now I need advice and suggestions not just someone to tall me I need to just do it. I KNOW I need to just do it. no shit. thanks.

Friday, November 12, 2010

My old friends have become the new ones (1/23/10)

 My birthday was on Monday and I had some things planned for the weekend so that I could see people. I was so excited because although I did not get to see some of my friends, and was hurt by that, I was able to get together with people I don't see often. People who are healthier for me and who I have so much fun with. It's still been a long time since I have truly done normal, fun, things with certain people because I was too sick and depressed and anxious and- you name it- before. And only now do I feel like I am finally letting go of who I need to and finding the people I never thought I deserved. I wish I could tell all of them how much them coming to an event meant to me. How much they mean to me. Because I’ve never believed I needed people. And I never imagined how important it would be to have relationships with people that know who you really are and can be there for you as well as you for them. I have rediscovered friends I used to have when I was sick. And I am realizing how much more fun we have when we are together now that I am recovering, and how much our relationships have already changed. I am excited to keep seeing the change as I move further into the semester and continue to get together with my vball and track team and others from school I haven’t seen in awhile. I am nervous to see if people will let me in after knowing who I was before. But I am excited for them to see who I am now. And I hope they can see, because I can feel the changes in every aspect of my life.

One of my friends hurt her foot this week so I went aqua-jogging with her and she made my day. She told me that she respected me so much for going to treatment when I needed to, because a lot of people don’t get the help they need. She told me I was a completely different person than she knew before. I was surprised at first because I don’t tend to think of what I did as respectable but it was nice to hear that to some people it is. What surprised me most if the fact that I realized she may have been one of the first people to truly look at me and tell me how different I was. I have heard people say they are proud of me or see the progress or know anniversaries, but this was different. She isn’t even one of my friends who has seen me at my worst and she noticed such a difference. It reminded me why I am fighting this hard for recovery. To have the relationships that happen when you love yourself and those you are around. And when they are able to love you back. That is what I deserve. That is what everyone deserves.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Who I Am

posted 2010-01-11 
So I’ve been getting ideas for a non-profit I am hoping to start and I’ve been looking through the journals I have from the past years in my ED and in treatment. I definitely didn’t expect to feel the way I do. I like looking back on what I have been through and where I was because it reminds me of where I came from. It reminds me of everything I have gone through and how much I don’t want to go back. I like seeing what I wrote about in the times I was doing better and how I got through the harder times. But it’s weird because I didn’t realize that it would be hard to look at it too. I’m reading my writing and looking at my artwork but I don’t feel like it’s mine. It wasn’t I guess. It was mine when I was sick. I can’t believe some of the things I wrote. I can’t believe how hopeless I was sometimes and how much I fought back against treatment. It makes me want to cry when I think about anyone being there and yet that was me. I can’t believe it was me though. I almost can’t believe how far I had fallen and can’t believe how on earth I got to where I am today. In some ways it makes me confused because I don’t understand how I can be ok. I feel weird thinking that I am some different person, even though I know that is a good thing. It’s like I am suddenly realizing just how different I am. It’s nice but scary at the same time. It scares me that I don’t have the same things in my life and it scares me that I don’t feel like I really know who I am yet. But I’m trying to remember that now I have the opportunity to decide who I am-who I want to be- and since I really have nowhere to start from, I guess I can go anywhere. I’m trying to see it as exciting. I’m going to figure out what I want. And find a way to get it ☺

Never Look Down

Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step: only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find his right road"  -Dag Hammarskjold

So I have this book called the language of recovery and I love the quotes that are in it. This one stood out to me because I had never thought of recovery in this way. We always hear that taking it one day at a time is the way to get to where you want to be. I do agree in the sense that when I want to give up I keep telling myself just not right now. Not this meal, not this feeling, not this way. And eventually it got easier to take it day by day. In the beginning of the process of working toward recovery I needed to get through just the day. But I think now I am finally at a point that I don't always have to do that. There are still a lot of days where getting through the day doesn't seem to matter. And this might not make sense but on those days I have to look a lot further ahead to remind myself why I am doing this. 

And it's not for today or tomorrow or to get through volleyball, track, or school. It's not to graduate, make money, or go out and party more. Because if that was all I wanted I would have no motivation for recovery. Honestly I don't care enough about any of that. My entire life these things were what defined me and finally they don't. I thought they were what would make me happy and I know now how wrong I was. I had a lot of success in my life but it never made me happy. It would be so much easier to let my ED destroy me. For a long time I cared about it more than ANYTHING else. But now as I am finding myself more I have remembered what the most important thing in the world is to me: helping people. And right now that is one of the main reasons I am fighting this. I know this can't be the only reason because I have to fight for me. And yet I am fighting to be able to do what I want to do knowing that that actually IS fighting for me. 

I think that in the beginning of any change process taking things day by day is usually the only way to get any distance from something.  In the beginning you don't usually care about the future but once you get through enough days that is what you start caring about. Most days I am not excited to wake up and not act on behaviors. I am not thrilled to have to deal with all that life throws at me. What I am excited about is the way I feel, what I am able to do, and who I can be around now that I am not engulfed by my ED. I'm excited for LIFE. And life is about some days that suck and you want to give up. But looking at the horizon reminds me that days, hours, weeks, months, years may be harder than others but only my decision to continue on the path of recovery will allow me to turn all days, good and bad, into a life I ultimately love. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Relationships and losing EVERYTHING

I realized a couple of months ago that one of the hardest things for me to change has been my relationships. While I was in treatment I met some of the most amazing people and have still have close relationships with some of them. They understood where I was coming from with the ED, trauma, anxiety etc. I was reluctant to trust anyone or ask for support in the beginning because I didn’t feel like I was worth anyone’s time. When I was finally able to get support I gained some friends that have remained some of the closest friends I have ever had. I found friends that could have a supportive, reciprocal relationship with me. The people I have met because of my ED are some of the most amazing people.

A few weeks ago I realized that I would not always have the people who helped save my life. I knew I was having trouble being around some people, but I kept telling myself that no one could influence me unless I let them. I thought I could handle being around people who are still struggling or who are not working toward recovery. I thought I was strong enough and knew what I wanted. But I felt like my world suddenly came crashing down one day when I realized what was really happening. I was being sucked back into the ED cycle every time I was around certain people. I got really angry that day. I threw eggs, ripped pages out of a phone book, and threw my clothes from my drawers all over my room. I was angry and as I threw things I felt everything else I was really feeling. I was hurt, and jealous, and angry at myself for being jealous, I was losing something, I was desperate to feel better, and. After all the throwing I ended up in a ball on my floor crying my eyes out. And it made me feel better- maybe not as much as acting on symptoms would have, but that would have also ultimately led to me feeling worse. And the only reason I know that is because I have seen the difference it makes when I don’t act on symptoms and do something healthier.

I did all of this to my room so that I wouldn’t hurt myself, which was ALL I wanted to do. I was angry at people for being so ok in their EDs, for complaining without trying to fix anything, for dragging others down with them, and for still being close to me because of lying about how they were really doing. But most of all I was mad at myself. I was mad that I let them pull me back, that I let them fool me, that a part of me wants to be in my ED, and that I still go into situations I know shouldn’t. I was mad because at the same time that I was hurt, I also felt really jealous. But I think that’s part of recovery too. I think I needed to realize my part in all of that and that it is MY decision, and there are many decisions I am still making that I need to work on changing. I still make bad decisions obviously but I’m getting better at realizing why I make them and how to make healthier ones. It’s a continual process I think as new decisions in life always come up.

When all of this was happening I felt like I was losing everything. I still feel like that sometimes and I think it is easy to when so much of my life has to change in order to be healthy. I feel like I’m losing the friends I had when I was sick, the ways I had of making myself feel better, my safety in my ED, my trust in the sicker people around me, and I have a whole list somewhere of all the things I felt I was losing in the fight for recovery.

While all of these things are probably good things to lose it sure doesn’t feel like that when I am in the process of losing them. And it’s hard to feel like I don’t have much for awhile while I wait to find new people to share my life with and new activities, etc. I think that’s one of the hardest things I have realized is that in order to change my life I have to be willing to lose things in order to gain others. And that sucks. And I’m in the middle of it right now but I am holding onto the hope that the new things I find will be just as meaningful, if not more. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Short Recovery Writing
 I had my Ed for six years. It went back and forth between anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, and over exercising-basically every aspect you can have. For as long as I can remember I have been playing sports. I had always believed that you are only as good as what you can do. In school I had to get the highest gpa. In sports I had to be the best and make the highest team. It was the only way I could be happy I thought. I had to be the support for everyone-my friends and my family. And when none of it made me happier and anxiety and depression entered the situation I needed my ED. It was my way to show others and myself that something was wrong. I lived with my ed for six years. And all I know is I have never been in so much pain- yet able to hide it. The ed lets you do that- mask your pain. Otherwise I would have had to ask for help, have a voice, and believe that I deserved and was worth anything. And I didn’t. I went into CW last june and honestly went to show people that I was unsaveable. I never thought I could get better and frankly I didn’t want to. But I went through the program and slowly got more used to the idea of having support around me. I was sent to a trauma center a few months into treatment and when I left I felt like I was losing everything that I started trusting. Everything that gave me hope. I really thought that would be it. I would die- but one day I got really angry. I got angry that something external could be hurting me that badly. I recognized that pattern all too well. I have lost a lot in my life. And each time it killed a part of me. I was always in pain because the things I relied on were not stable. But I am. I as a person have important qualities that no one can take away. I have passions in life that I will do anything to pursue.

I have been out of treatment for awhile now and I am happier than I ever though possible. I never wanted this. But I am so grateful that I got it. When I first got out I got a job and just took the semester off. I told them I would die without school and sports. I had nothing else. But maybe that was exactly the reason I needed to take the second semester off. I needed to see that I am able to live without certain concrete aspects of my life. And it sucked. It sucked to have to keep symptoms under control when I felt like I had nothing. But I learned to do things that made me happy- not that made me feel successful. I learned how to be ok asking for support from a variety of sources. I learned how to live with ME. I don’t have tons of supportive people in my life but I have the few people who know who I really am. I am closer to my sister than I ever have been before. I am more able to use my voice in situations. I had always been a doormat in my life and I have become assertive and it feel great to not feel forced into things. I am able to counter the thoughts about being perfect because I have seen that imperfection is beautiful and the price of perfection is too great. I have realized that school, sports, etc are not as imp as relationships. You can lose everything else more easily than you know. But you won’t lose true friends and family. I have felt abandoned by good friends in the past when I watched them hurt or leave me. I lost my ability to trust and still have to work on it but I am able to see how those people in the past were not real friends. I just thought they were. I am able to get closer to people now- open up and ask for and receive support. I have best friends that mean the world to me and I could never do this without. For the first time in my life I am happier. I am excited about my future even though I am unsure of the path I will pursue. I am ok with that. I am ok with not being perfect in school so that I can have more fun in life and be around people more. I have recently quit track and volleyball because for the first time I don’t NEED them. They don’t define me anymore, and neither does my ed. I am defined by who I am, not what I do. Nothing but loving yourself, others, and what you do can bring you happiness. I wish I had known this sooner. But I would never change anything I’ve been through. I know what it is like to be at rock bottom. To look up and not see the light anymore. I know what it’s like to want to be sick, to want to stay in treatment because it is easier and to not want to let the whole ed go. But when you hang onto a part of it yes you can function. You can be fairly happy. But you will always be held back. You will always be stuck between two worlds. And that is worse than being in either one.

But now I also know what it is like to live without my addictions. I always thought life would be easier once I wasn’t in my addictions, but one thing I wished everyone knew is that it isn’t. Life is hard and it always will be. Life doesn’t get easier when you leave treatment, it gets more meaningful. You begin to understand what it is like to be alive and have people in your life. And you want to keep the meaning in your life. You begin to be willing to fight for it. I recently was also forced to stop significant contact with those friends who were making the decision to continue to go back to treatment. It was one of the hardest things because I have never met more amazing people than the ones I have met in treatment. But I made a decision. I made a decision that some people will stay in the treatment bubble, but I’m out. I’m ready and excited to move on with my life.

I know that hearing me say these things might sound great. Might be great for me but not everyone can get there right? Unfortunately that’s right. But not because you can’t recover but because some will decide not to do EVERYTHING in their power to win. I have told my team when I have been acting on symptoms at times I didn’t care. Because I knew that it will take seeing life without the ed to realize what it is worth. And I know that part of the reason this is one of the hardest things I will ever have to do is because you have to trust. You have to trust that wherever you are now it can get better. You have to trust yourself to fight harder than you think possible. You have to say yes when all you want to do is scream no. Eating disorders are not a decision in any way. What becomes a decision eventually is what you are willing to do to keep yourself moving forward. Will you do anything? Because recovery cant happen until you answer yes to that question. I know how treatment is. I know people want to be the sickest, that it gets you a certain amount of attn and takes you out of the anxiety of life. And I know that some people will never want out. Which breaks my heart that they will never get the chance to see and feel what I have. But I think what hurts me more is the fact that no matter how happy I am, how many people I talk to and how passionate I am, there are some people who will never trust others and mainly themselves to do whatever it takes. There will be some people who don’t believe they can. I know how scary it is to believe, to hope. I know how afraid I was of failing. But I also know how happy I am to have taken that leap.

I have seen the amazing things others have accomplished in recovery and sometimes I don’t feel like them. They try so hard. They can do it. They will be ok. THEY. But I have to remind myself that they are not they they are us. It will be hard. It will suck and hurt and we will want to stop and maybe even die sometimes. We will fly and fall and have to crawl. It won’t be over in hours ,days, or months. But it will be over. When you get past the pain and see what your life can be I guarantee you it will be worth it. If you don’t give up life can be so much more than you think. There will still be pain but it will be freeing to deal with it through normal coping mechanisms.
I have urges. Sometimes they are very hard to resist. I know that if I just do X I will feel better. But what is different now is that I also know that that is a temporary fix. I know that the only way to truly feel better is by dealing with what I am feeling. Not having all of your pain inside frees up a shit ton of room to devote to living a full life.

I have been in my eating disorder for years and was at rock bottom for too long. I didn’t think I could recover. I didn’t think anyone would care enough if I did or not. I relapsed and lapsed and tried and gave up over and over again. But through all of this I have realized that I don’t have to live like that. I can live for myself not other people. I know I am worthy as a person and that I can find people who will always be there for me. Even with all of the ups and downs, with things getting worse before they get better, I would change nothing about the process. If it was easy what would it teach you about yourself and the people around you? The Hard is what makes it great. And the fight is what makes it yours.