Continued from Part 2 here!
My therapist brought up one day that I was no longer medically stable enough to see her on an outpatient basis if I didn’t turn things around quickly. She confronted me and said that she didn’t believe that I really wanted to recover, I said that I did but she didn’t feel any real conviction behind it. I walked away from that appointment livid with a real “I’ll show you” attitude and it was only when I awoke the next day that I realized that I could “show her” all I wanted, but that wasn’t what mattered in the end because she was right. Over the next months I came face to face with my deep feelings of ambiguity in recovery and felt completely unmotivated and hopeless. I was supposed to be getting married in June, I couldn’t go to treatment! I ended up doing some really brutal soul searching and found my motivation( view my process here) in the possibility of a future family for my husband and I.
It was very hard work, but I started to gain weight and ended up gaining about 10 pounds before my wedding. After the wedding I was able to keep up with increasing my intake and decreasing my purging, until I was eating 3 meals and 2 snacks a day and purging once every week or two. It wasn’t until September that I was able to completely stop the purging, I was in a car accident and had a concussion which would have been very dangerous if I had continued purging.
September 5th, 2014 was the last time that I purged, 9 ½ months ago. The longest period of time before this that I had ever been purge free, in almost 12 years was 3 months and here I am beating that record three times over, something I thought was completely impossible for me.
Since then I have continued to let go of both the big things (calorie counting, excessive weighing and body checking, food avoidances and preferences) and the little things (weigh day rituals, little habits around food times, birth control) that were holding me in my eating disorder.
Sometimes I think of myself like a large collection of helium balloons tied to a massive boulder. As I rid my life of these big and little connections to my disorder, I am cutting the balloon strings either one by one or in big chunks. The thing you start to realize is that sometimes the tiniest balloon strings are the strongest, only when I started really addressing the little things tying me to ED was I able to start to find real freedom.
I can honestly say that as hard as I struggle sometimes I know that I will never go back to my eating disorder. There are hard days but (as cliché as it sounds) my worst days in recovery are 5 times better than my best days with my eating disorder. I am happy, I can laugh, I can connect with people emotionally, I have energy and I’m not giving up everything I’ve gained just to lose a few pounds.
Now, I focus on keeping myself on a positive path in recovery and sharing my story with others. While I was struggling I had heard a tonne of recovery stories and none of them felt like they applied to me, none of them helped. I’m hoping my story helps others like me, who are looking for hope in the stories of others but havn’t found that story that connects with them yet. I am very open about my life, my feelings, my struggles and triumphs in hopes that it will speak to someone else.
I believe that the stigma surrounding eating disorders is very heavy and the public awareness of the true strength of this problem is abysmal. I want to focus on not only helping other’s find their strength and hope in recovery, but helping to educate the public on our struggles and the gravity of our illnesses.
I went through 11 years of feeling completely and utterly hopeless. I completely and truly believe that recovery could never happen for me. I believed that being sick was my lot in life, that I didn’t deserve recovery and that I had been too sick for too long. I proved myself wrong and I’m here to say that whatever you are telling yourself about why YOU can’t recover, you are wrong too.
Recovery is REAL and it is the most incredible freedom you can imagine. It is beautiful, exciting, terrifying, painful and WORTH IT!