Life isn’t always easy, but when do you finally decide that it is out of control?
Everyday life always seemed a struggle for me. For nearly 2 decades I suffered through each day with depression and anxiety disorders. I would end each day hoping that there wouldn’t be another.
I struggled to finish high school, then failed college. I had a job that I hated and in part led to more anxiety. I thought that I wasn’t good enough to be successful in work, school, beauty, sports, friendships and relationships.
Having an eating disorder made me believe that my body was to blame for all of my failures. “If only I had the body and looks that I wanted, I would be happy.”
I wanted to be the perfect person. I never wanted anyone to see my flaws.
By myself, I suffered silently. I became a person of extremes.
If I wasn’t trying to starve myself, I was binging on food. I used food to push down any emotions. I had to become completely numb to my depression and anxiety. I just didn’t want to feel sad anymore. The sadness was constant and there was an evil voice inside my brain telling me I didn’t deserve to be happy. Eventually, there didn’t seem to be enough food to erase my pain, so I began to purge. It started slow but then grew. I just wanted the control.
But I wasn’t happy and now at this point, I could feel this disease taking a toll on my physical health.
I had finally reached good friendships/relationships and a job that I knew could be successful. All of those were based on lies, no one knew the “real” me. I pretended to be what I thought they wanted me to be.
This is where my story of recovery begins. I am able to get my eating disorder disease under control.
It occurred to me one day that I finally had some good things in my life and if I didn’t get help, I would lose everything. I began looking for local help. I started in the phone book. All-in-all, I called 7 people/places asking for help. All 7 resources were dead-ends. Either, they never returned my call, they didn’t deal with “that,” and one number had been disconnected.
Many people ask how I chose to keep looking for help after being turned away 7 times! Simply put, I knew help was out there and I was ready. My other option was to keep suffering and see how low this disease could really take me. I turned to the internet and found a residential treatment program for adult women. That was my answer! I quickly made a call and arrangements to go.
That was only the beginning. Before leaving, I had to purchase health insurance, drive an hour away for doctor and therapy appointments. I had to take an official ‘leave of absence” from work which was a lot of paperwork and finally, I had to tell my friends and parents. After finishing this lengthy to-do list, I was on my way to Tapestry, a residential treatment facility for adult women suffering with eating disorders.
I spent 6 weeks in the residence. It was intimidating at first but the best part was being around others who shared similar struggles. I participated in various counseling sessions where learning to honor yourself and realizing that I did deserve to be happy was on the top of my list! I worked with a registered dietician who taught me how to make food plans, shop at the grocery store, and prepare food making sure I always got all parts of the nutrition that I needed. As I worked and listened with the other residents, I saw the beauty inside of them and realized there must be some in me too. I didn’t hate myself anymore and I didn’t want to die.
I finally figured out how to live!
Before coming out of treatment, I set up a support team for myself at home.
The team included a counselor and dietician to help keep me on track. Once I got this disease under control, everything else in my life began to flourish and I enjoy every day! I’m living my dream and my dream is to give hope to others suffering.
As the president and founder of A Place of Healing, I want to reach out to those who need support in finding the next step in their journey. Learn to enjoy life everyday as I did.
I honor your beauty and mine.
Begin Your Recovery Here: Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26)©
Instructions: This is a screening measure to help you determine whether you might have an eating disorder that needs professional attention. This screening measure is not designed to make a diagnosis of an eating disorder or take the place of a professional consultation. Please fill out the form below as accurately, honestly and completely as possible. There are no right or wrong answers. All of your responses are confidential. View EAT-26 SELF-TEST Now.
Eating Disorder Recovery Checklist
Download our Recovery-Checklist in PDF form