I’m Joanne but most people just call me Jo. I’m 27 years young and live in Toronto Canada. My love for literature and language has had a huge impact on my life. I aspire to one day be a famous novelist. I taught English as a second language in Reno, Nevada up until I went into treatment. I have suffered from an eating disorder since grade 4 and I didn’t recognize I was sick until I was 25. Death was knocking at my door and my heart was giving up. At the hospital doctors couldn’t comprehend how I was still alive. I had a path to choose…Life or Death. I chose LIFE. I decided to seek treatment at Center for Hope of the Sierras. Today I can say I have persevered and continue this daily battle. This is a fight I believe in.

Growing Up With ED

Lets back track a little. Anorexia has impacted my life since I was 11 years old. It started with restricting food; years later I found purging was a tool I was able to use as well. I can say that there were handful of times where I liked the way my body looked, but no matter which way my weight fluctuated I was never happy. ED would scream at me and tell me that I was fat or that I needed to lose a few pounds. Around my teen years and early adulthood my life revolved around the idea of becoming thin. Sometimes the hatred towards my body was so terrible that I would avoid leaving the house for the day. If a guy took interest in me I would sit there and question what he saw in me because all I saw was a fat worthless nothing. Anorexia hindered my life in so many ways. Being thin became the most important priority. My health, family, and friends became second. I became so preoccupied with my eating disorder that I isolated myself which slowly led into losing many relationships and that slowly dug me into a deeper depression.

Body Check

In my years battling anorexia I would only wear loose fitting clothes so I could hide my body. Even without mirrors thinking about how my body looked was always on my mind. I remember one day where I stepped on the scale and was appalled by the number I saw. After that I spent about an hour staring at myself in the mirror checking out every part of my body that needed to lose fat. That day I decided not to go to school because I felt too ugly. This became a more frequent action and my eating disorder was making me fall behind in university.

Strive to be Enough

I had convinced myself to believe that the thinner I became the more beautiful I would be. I thought that if I controlled what foods I put in my body the more in control I was of my life. Rationally the thinner I became the more sick I got. ED is this awful drill sergeant that tells you anything and everything to keep you under his control. To keep you wanting him. Getting his approval became so important to me because he made me feel like I was enough. But did I really need the validation from my eating disorder? I was stuck in this vicious cycle of the thinner I was the more beautiful I was and the more beautiful I was the more people would accept me and the more people accepted me the more I would feel like I was enough. Being enough is something I have strived for my entire life but how much longer could I hold on to anorexia to give me that feeling before my heart would give up on me? …. TO BE CONTINUED IN JUST A DAY OR TWO! KEEP ON HANGING IN!

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