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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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Open letter to all who struggle with an eating disorder

By: Molly Shapleigh, Where I Stand Blogger and Advocate
Post source: www.thisiswhereistand.org

To all who struggle with an eating disorder:
Recovery is not just about the food.
(Okay, it is a little bit.)
It’s about the late night pizza runs with your partner, the bonding over pancakes and omelets, recounting the night before with your friends. It’s about sharing a spoon with a giant pint of Ben and Jerry’s over a movie, or buying chocolate at the gas station just because you feel like it. It’s trying something new when you’re out to dinner because you feel adventurous, and you aren’t worried about the fat or calories. Its donuts and chips and all the things you used to cringe about in your disorder. It’s noticing that your body is hungry, and even though you are tired/busy/emotional, you grab something quick and easy so that you don’t feel hunger pains like you used to. It’s packing a snack in your purse, just in case. It’s getting rid of sugar free mints and gum, because you actually eat now and they made you feel bloated anyway. It’s nourishing your body not because you need to, but because you want to. Its loving food again. (And to those of you that think you have always “hated” food, we were all tiny helpless infants once, depending on the milk or formula to keep us alive and help us grow.)
But, really, it’s not just about the food.
It’s about being free from the bondage of rules and numbers and rituals. It’s letting go of things that aren’t just right or perfect. It’s taking a nap on the couch when the dishes aren’t done and the house isn’t clean and you haven’t gone to the gym yet, because a nap is what you need. It’s actually resting when you are sick. It’s shedding your old beliefs about yourself and creating a new future. It’s telling your friend that their behavior bothers you without worrying about what they think because if they are a true friend they will understand and listen intently. It’s standing up for yourself. It’s telling your employer you need to work less hours because although the pay is good and it keeps you busy, you need more time to yourself. It’s making relaxation a priority.
Recovery is safety and control. Not the safety of dormancy and controlling of numbers like you used to. It’s safety in knowing that no matter what happens in life, you will be okay. It’s safety in knowing who you are and being proud of it. It’s not the illusion of control that you had when you were counting calories or losing weight- It’s knowing that without using behaviors, you are the one in the driver’s seat. The disorder doesn’t control you anymore. It’s making choices that are healthy for you, because for once, YOU are actually in control.
Recovery is taking risks and making mistakes. It’s vulnerability. It’s laughing too loud at a joke that wasn’t that funny to begin with. It’s honesty. It’s crying in front of your partner and getting a hug instead of running to the other room and burying your face in a pillow. It’s saying the wrong thing, and feeling bad about it later- You apologize and you hate the feeling… but for once, you actually went out with friends and TALKED, instead of just hiding in the background.
Recovery is experience. It’s going to more places than just work or home. It’s making coffee plans with someone you never really knew before. Its taking your dog on a different route for her walk, because sometimes routine is boring. It’s traveling, even though you tend to be a homebody. It’s finding a new hobby because now you have the time to. It’s riding a rollercoaster so fast that you lose your breath.
Recovery is standing on your own and being okay with it. It’s looking back at your time in treatment and being grateful for all of the people you met and things you learned, and knowing that for now, that part of your life is over. It’s yearning for the complexity of life once again, the anxiety of not having a meal perfectly planned for you and your schedule mapped out. It’s growing on your own, because you had a hard day and there might not be someone there to talk to wherever you turn. It’s the fear and anxiety that comes when you become more independent and stray away from your outpatient team, but the pride that comes with feeling like you don’t need to see them as much as you used to. It’s finally “leaving the nest.”
Recovery is welcoming all emotions and committing to growth. It’s honoring the human experience and vowing to live in the present moment. It’s experiencing your emotions, even if they are uncomfortable. It’s being rational. Its knowing that the fear of abandonment doesn’t actually mean you will be alone forever, the anxiety of being weight-restored doesn’t mean you are a failure, and the anger of being hurt doesn’t need to run your life anymore. Its tears and grief and bickering and exhaustion and for once, not being numb. It’s sitting through a panic attack instead of suppressing it with addictive behaviors. Its listening to a loved one talk about their day and actually be interested, instead of feeling foggy, distant, and distracted. It’s connection.
Recovery is a process. It is not planning the day when you will “let go” or “fully surrender,” it’s just doing it. It’s waking up every day with a commitment to do the best you can, and letting go of expectations. It’s being patient and trusting that wherever you are in this moment is exactly where you are meant to be. It’s seeing recovery as a journey and not a nuisance. It’s not wishing you were farther along or somewhere else, it’s meeting yourself where you are and not forcing it. It’s being kind to yourself, nurturing the part of you that needs to be loved, and letting the universe do the rest. It’s looking back at the past and being able to say, “Wow, I may not be where I want to be yet, but I sure have grown.”
Recovery is messy. It’s relapse and slips and intermittent hospital stays for “tune-ups.” It is not a record of behaviors used or not used. It is not contingent on where you are at financially or physically. It may be one choice you make and never look back, or it may be something you choose twenty times a day, every day. It’s not one event, rather a series of happenings over time. It isn’t contingent on how bad our disorder was and it doesn’t matter if we’ve received the best treatment that the country has to offer. It’s not showy, or self-seeking, or desperately seeking validation that you are doing well. It’s not boasting or claiming that things are 100% different than they used to be. It’s realistic. It’s admitting that you are one human being, of many human beings, that are just living their life the best they can. Recovery can be book deals and song-writing and motivational speaking to massive crowds, or it can be a quiet confidence that you carry with you every day. You can tell people you are in recovery and be proud of it, or you move on as if the disorder never existed. That’s the amazing thing about recovery- there are no rules.
Recovery is choosing to no longer be a victim, saying enough is enough, and doing the work, over and over and over, until it feels natural. Recovery is not unattainable, but don’t be confused; Recovery is not something given to us. It’s not passive in the least. It is brave. It is hard. It is worth it.
To all who struggle with an eating disorder:
There is a whole other world out there waiting for you. Please, come visit.
My name is Molly and This is Where I Stand.

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