1,401 days. 3 years, 10 months, and 2 days. That's how long ago it has been since I decided to recover from my eating disorder. It was the summer before my first year in high school, here in Washington that's my Sophomore year. I have been anorexic since...as long I can remember. I just didn't actively starve myself until I was 12. I remember how it all started too. Just a little diet here. Cut out sugars there. Run a little longer. Count calories. At first, I told myself that I wasn't anorexic because I wasn't starving myself or throwing up. Told myself that I would never be like that. After all, I just wanted to lose five pounds. But I kept going deeper into the rabbit hole. It became addicting. The 'five pounds' never ended. First, it was 100. Then 95. Then 90. Then 85. So on and so on. I joined anorexic groups. Watched movies and documentaries. You know them, 'Thin', 'When Friendship Kills', 'Dying To Dance' etc. Met others just like me, and watched them wither away. But never so much as cared about myself like I did for them. I started starving, puking, hiding my food, exercising all the time. I never slept. My entire life was consumed by my body. It was all I thought about, all the time. All I cared about. My body deteriorated and I refused to see it that way. Years passed. It came to the point that it was all I knew. I didn't know anything else. My anorexia was me. And it. So, of course, I didn't want to recover. How could I? This was home, this was me, why would I want to change?
I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but I remember a rally of my friends fought with me about it, cried about it. And those friends I met in those anorexic groups, were all starting to disappear.
As someone who cared about my friends more than myself, it hurt knowing I was the one causing them pain because of my choices. And I couldn't do it anymore. When I was hospitalized, that was the last straw for me. I was roughly around 75-85 pounds. I had stopped weighing myself a while before this, it stopped being about weight a long time ago. It was a miracle my organs were still functioning at all, I had to be wheelchair around.
So I decided to get better. That's the secret. You decided to get better. You choose. You recognize the issue and you fix it. You look into the mirror and you say;
I don't want this life anymore. I choose to be better. This isn't a life I want for myself.
And you repeat that, every time you need to hear it. You become you're own hero. You stand up and stand against the evil that is ED. You fight it. You keep fighting it, don't stop. Some days you will lose a battle, but keep fighting the war and goddamnit you win that war going on inside you. Don't care about how long it takes, you do it. It's been three years and I still have days where I must remind myself, this isn't what I want. It's not what you want either. Trust me.
I'm not sure when, but one day I realized I was free. No more counting calories, exercising every day, I can sleep throughout the night without any help, life is so so so beautiful on the other side. For once, I'm ..bored. Not spending every minute of every day thinking about or worrying about my body or food. Oh God, food. It wasn't until just last summer that I fell in love with food and stopped being so scared of it. You have that to look forward too. One day you'll fall in love with it too. I promise. I didn't think I would, especially because I was left with so much damage to my organs. My stomach is very sensitive to harsh food, such as greasy, fried food or most meats. It's got easier over the years since recovery, but I'm still nauseous over nothing quite often. You'll notice the best differences are when your hair starts growing back and your fingernails aren't so brittle.
The point I am trying to make it, even though it seems impossible, or something you can't do. I'm here to tell you it is possible, you can do it. It's worth it. It just starts with you. It starts with recognizing, it takes determination, and it ends with real, true beauty. So come join me on the other side, I'll be waiting for you, and so will all my friends who recovered. We're waiting for you.
1,401 days, and counting.