Life without Anorexia

My motto is
'Dont let the sadness of your past & the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present'

My life at the moment is completely different to how it once was. I spent 5 years sick with anorexia nervosia and depression as well as struggling with self harm and overexercising. I spent 2 years in different treatment centres.
And since 2012 i have been declared healthy from my eating disorder.

I have been blogging for 7 years, and my whole journey is written in my posts. I now represent healthy and happiness. I want to show anyone struggling that it is possible to recover, no matter how hard it may seem.

I now blog about recovery, my life, veganism and positivity!

If you have any questions leave them in the comment section as i am much quicker at answering there, otherwise you can always send an email: lifewithoutanorexia@hotmail.com

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Monday, March 31, 2014

When i chose to recover

I was asked last week if i could write about my recovery. What changed at the time, my thinknig and my thoughts at the time.
  So i thought i would try to write a post about it... though its been more than 2 years since i chose to recover, so i cant remember everything that was in my head at the time.

I will start off by saying that, at first, i did not choose to recover for the right reasons.

I had spent more than a year in different hospitals for my ED, and it was my 5th time as an inpatient and i had just had enough... i was at rock bottom, physically and mentally. A few months before i was admitted again i had attempted suicide. I was tired of living, i was tired of being sick.
  I had cheated my way through inpatients several times, and that was what i was convinced i was going to do again... that i would gain weight while an inpatient, and then lose all the weight again once i was out.
   Though my plan at the time was, that once i got a chance i would kill myself... i was set on suicide. As i saw no other way out.
   So my first reason to recover was to kill myself... though that wasnt when i chose recovery... i chose to recover a month or so after i had been admitted again.
   I had been told that i wasnt allowed to be at Mando anymore, as they didnt think they could help me. But i wasnt alloewd to be at home either, as i was so underweight, so i had to be an inpatient while my mum and the doctors tried to get me in to another ED clinic.
   I wasnt allowed any visitors the first while - i cant even remember why. I think it was that they just wanted me to eat and rest and not have any types of distractions. I also had my shoes and outer jacket taken away from me as i had threatened to run away. I was in a wheel chair, i had to have the door to the bathroom open whenever i went to the bathroom.
   My anxiety was sky high and basically everything was 10 times worse than it had ever been.

And it was then that i realised that i just didnt want to be sick anymore. I realised that i could sit in hospital, being skinny, hating myself and hating life... or i could gain weight.... and try to live life.

  
I dont think i consciously made the decision that now i will do everything right and recover. Its not as easy as that... but i just wanted to get out of Mando. So i began to try eating in the normal time 15-20 minutes (instead of the 30-45 minutes i had been eating in). To stop cheating with my meals. To stop constantly moving and secretly exercising.
  I started taking snack options which i had never taken before.. i.e like actually taking cheese on a sandwich instead of ham or jam. These small things, which the staff didnt even notice, but they were HUGE for me. I actually have it written down in my diary the first time i had cheese on my sandwich.. i had so much guilt, but at the same time felt so proud... like i wanted to tell eveyrone. I wanted the staff to tell me that i was good, that i had done a great thing... but they didnt notice anything, which made me a little sad then.





It wasnt like the anxiety or guilt over food instantly dissappeared... but gradually it did. When i started doing things that scared me... when i took food options which i had been avoiding. These small things made a huge difference, because i realised i was stronger. Even if the anxiety was awful afterwards, the anxiety didnt kill me, infact it made me stronger.

And thats the important thing to remember. That anxiety doesnt kill you.... you have to be strong. To keep calm and fight your ED. Fight the voice in your head that tells you to not do something, or not eat etc

How my thougths changed over time..... it went from seeing food as making me fat. hating my body. Scared of food. To trying new foods. Trying to enjoy food. Reminding myself that it was ok to eat... and knowing that, each meal i ate brought me closer to coming home. Brought me closer to freedom, and that was what i wanted.

It took time, it took more than a year to gain all the weight, and to have a fully healthy mind set. There were alot of things i had to work with... like control issues, exercise obsession, scared of certain foods, liking my body, accepting my body, self harm,  etc
   But when you are so focused on recovery... on wanting freedom, wanting your life back... then it is easier. Because even when its hard, you know what you are working towards, what you want.

^^ After more than 6 weeks as an inpatient, i was finally allowed out for lunch to celebrate mothers day (i think it was)
Of course there were plenty of times where i just wanted to give up, because thats easier. I was scared of gaining weight. I didnt want to be fat. I didnt know who i would be when i know longer had my ED. I didnt know what i would do with my life... but all of those things sort themselves out.

^¨ One of the times i went out for a coffee and cake during recovery
Once you choose to recover, its not like it magically gets easier or that recovery is a walk in the park... but it does make it just a tiny little bit easier, because yo uare focused on recovery .And when you feel like giving up, you know what you are working towards. You have a goal... you want to be free. You want to be healthy.
  So it makes recovery more possible, than if you are just forced to eat and gain wieght... because then you havent made the choice to recover, to gain weight....

  
Recovery is also accepting that you are going to gain weight... you cant just think, ok ill recover but ill still have a BMI of 16.... because thats what i told myself for a while. During recovery ,it took me a long time to accept my goal weight. I was constantly arguing with my case manager to lower my goal weight... but she never did. And now i weigh more than that goal weight anyway ;)

 
^^ I made this picture during recovery... because i felt that that was exactly what it was like.... running in a dark forest, know idea where you were going, but hoping that there was light at the end, and that you would come out safe.

2 comments:

  1. Just want to let you know i am proud of you. great Girl - great Young woman. stay strong, be nice to yourself. HugXXX

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  2. Thank you for this great post. You describe it in an unbelievable way - I have the same thoughts: What will be? Who I am without ED? And I am so scared about gaining weight but at the same time I want to gain because I don't want ED any longer!

    Thanks a lot!

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