There are many venues that bring an individual to the realization that their mental health is not allowing them to cope and participate fully in life/society. My journey is one road and one understanding. I am not an expert, but I am a broken individual who was able to work through it all and come out strong on the other side.

It took me a long time to be okay with sharing my story. I was so ashamed and embarrassed I couldn’t fix myself on my own. This was part of being sick, because later I realized everyone wanted to help me and there were so many outlets for me to use.

I was like most women in society, looking at myself and focusing on my flaws and imperfections. I could see myself being more what people wanted if I only had this, or changed this, and the list goes on. I couldn’t control any of these things. It was exhausting and expensive spending all my time trying to make myself into someone that I thought everyone would love and want. I found the portion of myself I could most easily control was my weight. So I started on a crazy diet. The feedback I got made me feel so good!!! It was like I was on top of the world and felt great. But diets are not sustainable and the praise lasted such a short time. I found myself wanting real food and portions that I couldn’t lose weight on. So I took an easy out and made myself vomit after most big meals and binges. It got so addicting and I didn’t understand how all of a sudden this high now turned into so much pain from what I was making my body do. At this point I finally decided it was time to quit, but something had happened during this time I had not realized. This was an addiction, and the obsession with my weight, and the food I ate wouldn’t go away. It crept into my thoughts all the time, and the guilt and fear was now something I could not dissipate or control. I was stuck in a vicious cycle!!! I didn’t know how to get out and I was so scared. I knew that if this was going to continue it would lead nowhere safe.

I went home to my parents in tears and told them what was happening. I shared how terrified I was because I was now in something I didn’t have the control to stop. They held me and loved me and supported me as I found a counselor, I joined anorexics and bulimics anonymous, found an eating doctor, a nutritionist, and bought all my meals pre-prepared from a seniors home. The journey to recovery was hard. It took time, dedication, and working through all the emotions that had led me up to this point. The road was long, but the steps I took allowed me to become healthy and free from the pit I had fallen in. I grew into a strong woman filled with compassion, generosity, understanding, and became more communicative. I stand today healthy and not the individual beaten by this disease. I can actually say as well I wouldn’t change one thing that happened. I am thankful for the growing experience that now allows me to help and strengthen other people and myself. I look at my failures now as opportunities. I realized, LIFE IS NOT PERFECT, I am not perfect, and that is okay! I know it sounds cheesy but life is living, laughing, and loving ourselves and others. Take your journey and love it and don’t forget to love yourself. You are worth it!

If you struggle with an eating disorder, this was a resource that was helpful to me: