Eating disorders suck.

Recovering from one sucks even more.

The only difference between the two is that recovery is actually worth it.

Ten million Americans suffer from an eating disorder every single year. That's ten million people with a little voice in their head telling them they aren't good enough, that they're not worth taking up space on this earth.

These people are our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, best friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, cousins, and even the cashier you say hi to at the grocery store every week.

Recovery brings so much freedom that's been missed out on for however long our eating disorder was the center of our life.

For me, that was 4 years. Those 4 years were filled with anxiety and self-hate that made it difficult to get up and face the world every day. I was diagnosed in 2014, but didn't fully step onto the recovery train until 2017, and didn't actually beat the disorder for good until 2018.

Now that it is almost 2020, I feel like I can list three million reasons why recovering from an eating disorder is actually worth it in the end...

1. I can drink a Starbucks holiday coffee and not give it a second thought. 

2. I figured out what ranch was, and I never looked back. 

3. I can actually fall asleep at night relatively quickly because my mind isn't going a million miles a minute (at least most nights I can). 

4. I can go out with friends to a bar and not worry about how many liquid calories I had consumed. 

5. I can make it through the holiday season without needing to take a time-out from people. 

6. Making spontaneous "plans" are no longer a nightmare. 

7. I can share my story with others who are struggling and show them that there is hope for the future. 

8. I am truly beginning to love who I see in the mirror. 

9. I can go to a workout class and not have to be the "best" or "skinniest." 

10.  Because food is meant to be enjoyed, not just meant to be a source of energy. 

11.  Recovery is worth it because being happy is better than any other feeling in this world. 

Eating disorders are very secretive and are very hard for someone struggling to reach out for help on their own. If you or someone you know is struggling, be courageous and reach out to the NEDA helpline at 800-931-2237.