Thank you SO MUCH for the questions you left me—they are so insightful and hopefully I can answer them in a way that makes sense and maybe helps you with your own struggles. But first, a little anniversary I need to mention…
Today marks the second anniversary of me being in recovery from anorexia. On March 14, 2009 my parents confronted me about my eating disorder and everything that was going on along with it. I knew it was coming, since my mom took me to the doctor a few days before and that was the day I found out how little I weighed. But it was still such a shock, to realize that my parents knew what was going on. Honestly, it was both one of the worst days and one of the best days of my life. I cried for most of the day, as my parents forced me to eat normal amounts of food that I wasn’t used to and made my stomach hurt. Looking back, I can’t believe I threw a tantrum that night when my dad made me eat an apple! I went to bed with an ache in my stomach and hatred in my heart. I was so entrenched in the eating disorder that I couldn’t see that they were helping me.
Over the next few weeks, they continued to monitor what I was eating very very closely. At school, they had no choice but to trust me. But usually, I did eat what was given to me. Not without a fight, but as the months passed, I argued less and less.
Two years ago was sort of a turning point for me. I wasn’t quite on the brink of death, but maybe a month or so of my old habits and I would have been. Looking back, I’m scared, both for myself and my parents. They didn’t always do what was best for me, but they love me so much and had to try whatever they thought would work. I was lucky enough that they didn’t push weight gain all at once—a lot of times, gaining weight quickly can make someone spiral back into their ED. In fact, in these 2 years, I’ve gained 15 lbs and am currently maintaining so my weight gain wasn’t so fast, which I think is a really good thing.
|A few months into my recovery|
Q-What role has God played in your recovery?
A- A very big one, actually. I accepted Jesus into my heart when I was 8 and I’ve gone to church and Sunday School as long as I can remember, but the spark in my faith really wasn’t there until I started recovering. I realized that God must want to use me for something because He kept me alive even though my body went through hell. That has really kept me going, even on my hardest days. I really started to be more devoted to my faith and my God when I started college and was on my own. My parents weren’t there to protect me, but God was. I joined a church near campus and I really like how inviting and friendly the people there are. I really enjoy watching my faith grow.
Q-Do you ever compare what you eat to what your sister eats and if so how do you get past that?
A- This has been kind of hard for me, too. My sister eats like a typical teen—she loves Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, ice cream, ramen noodles, Oreos and all that, and I’m definitely not like that at all. My idea of ‘junk food’ is baked chips and Clif bars! But I do compare the amounts I eat to what she eats, such as at dinner when we’re both eating the same thing. Oftentimes, she eats so much less of it than I do and I feel like such a pig for finishing my dinner. In those situations, I try to tell myself that we’re different people, we have different needs and different hunger cues. I’ve seen her eat a lot, so I know she doesn’t have an eating disorder, but sometimes I do feel like she should always eat at least as much as me. I guess it’s because I worry about her and I don’t want her to go through the same thing I went through.
Q-What’s your favorite place to shop for clothes?
A-I’d have to say my favorite place is Hollister—I just love their beachy, bright style and they always have something there that I love. In fact, I’m trying to get a job there (hopefully I wouldn’t end up spending my entire paycheck there!) But I also like American Eagle, Abercrombie & Fitch, Gilly Hicks and Target—they have really cute things that are super-cheap!
Q-What do you wish you could take back from your ED the most?
A- Definitely my love for life and that part of my teenage years. I regret that I wasted so much time being obsessed with counting calories and trying to lose weight. I missed out on some opportunities, like prom and dating guys, because I was so entrenched in my eating disorder. Now I have so many more responsibilities and I miss being a ‘kid’. I wish I could go back and do it all over, but I can’t and I’m determined not to let ED take anything away from me again!
Q-If you could relive any moment in your life, what would it be?
A- I think I would relive my high school graduation day. It passed by in such a blur that I barely remember it (and it was only last May) and it was such an exciting time. I remember being a freshman or sophomore and thinking I’d never graduate, but now I’m almost a quarter of the way done with college! Time flies by so fast…
This was so much fun to do and I’m so thankful for those of you who left questions for me! If you didn’t get the chance to, leave them in the comments and I will definitely answer them in one of my next posts. Thanks for reading J