As I got older I kept finding new ways to restrict, lie, and hide my food. My behaviors were becoming more horrific. At 25 I went into cardiac arrest while I was at work and I was rushed to the hospital. That same day I needed to make a life changing decision. I decided that I wanted to live. I wanted experience love and have a family. I wanted to see all the beauty that the world has to offer. I needed treatment and was there for 7 months. Although I consider myself to be in recovery I still have many lapses but it doesn’t mean I’m failing at recovery. I would only fail if I didn’t continue trying. The voices are still there and probably always will be but in time they have gotten quieter. Even in recovery I still find myself jealous of those who are not affected by disordered eating. I wish my mind wouldn’t start racing at every meal. I believe that the biggest struggle I face in recovery is that others believe I’m better because I physically look better but mentally I still struggle every day. I am currently working on self compassion its something that’s really difficult for me to do but I need to learn how so I can continue my journey through recovery.
Embarrassed By My Body
I’ts hard for me to pick a time I was proud of my body but I can tell you that I was always embarrassed by it. I was mostly embarrassed towards my body when I was working on weight restoration in treatment. I never felt confident in any of my clothing and I felt empty and worthless. At this point in treatment I wanted my anorexia back. Currently I am still working on weight restoration and its so incredibly hard. I sometimes feel helpless because I can’t change my body back to the way it used to be without going back to my maladaptive behaviors. I loved being able to fit into my smallest clothes and having it still be too big. I loved looking at a low number on the scale and feeling like I was on top of the world. Although relapsing is always very tempting I can’t imagine going back and putting myself through hell again.
I have always asked the question “why me?” Why am I the girl with anorexia? What did I do to deserve this? For a long time I would blame myself for not being strong enough. For being weak minded to allow such thoughts to control my life. For not being “cured” and relapsing after leaving treatment. I even went as far to blame my parents for my upbringing. Not that I had a bad childhood but there was aways this strive for perfection and always being the best at everything. I lived in a very strict household where my father felt the need to always be in control of everyone under his roof. At a young age I wanted to find a way that I could be in control and sometimes I think that may have been part of what stemmed my eating disorder. Now I don’t blame anyone. I know its not my fault nor my parents fault. No one wanted me to be anorexic. So I still have a hard time with “why me?” but I feel like thats a question that will never be answered.
I could choose to view this experience as something awful that happened to me and have to continue battling, but I want more out of life than to be bitter about my eating disorder. The most positive spin I could come up with is that I was given this life and this disease so I can learn how to fight, find strength in myself, and discover who I am really am. With these attributes I have made it my mission to help others going through an eating disorder. With every negative there comes a positive. Yes my illness is a negative but in order to live a happier life I decided to pursue the positives that come with it.
Photographer Semra Sevin
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