What I Learned After Recovering From An Eating Disorder

What I Learned After Recovering From An Eating Disorder

Recovery is a daily battle but I promise it is worth it, you are worth it.
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Living a life worth living.

Finding Freedom.

Eating disorders are not about food. Eating disorders provide control. They have strict rules and routines. These rules become so embedded in us that the fear of living without them is terrifying. But in order to find recovery we must go against every rule Ed has ever made. Defy Ed. Refuse to partake in his deadly game. By doing this you will find your freedom. Freedom from Ed is worth the daily fight. It is worth the tears and frustration of feeling out of control and without a vice to keep you grounded. You have spent all of recovery feeling every negative, hurtful emotion to get here I promise it won’t last forever. So please fight, you are worth it. Freedom is worth it.

Finding Positive Coping Mechanisms.

Eating disorders are not about food. They help us cope with strong emotions that most of us do not want to feel. They help us control uncontrollable situations. They help us feel or not feel. They are effective as quick fix coping strategies for short periods of time. Although this quick fix seems to work at the time, it eventually creates new and bigger problems. The hardest discovery when beginning recovery is finding healthy coping mechanisms to replace the old ones. Temptations pull at us to use old and toxic quick fixes. But when we find positive ways to handle the pain, the reward of health and life is incredible. My journey in recovery lead me to art. With a pen and paper I find my control. I feel my emotions as I am consumed by the art in front of me. There are so many other positive ways to cope such as: running, singing, doing yoga, playing music, talking to friends, watching TV, or trying something new. Find your way; don’t get stuck with using your eating disorder, Ed, to cope. Find healthy ways, they are out there and they are worth it.

Take Up Space.

You are valued. You have worthy and you are more than enough. Be a presence and make an impact. Take up space in this world and do something with it. Truly use your body to live and not just exist. This lesson was hard for me to learn. I am a tall girl. And growing up I used to hate my height. I used to wish to be smaller so I could hide and blend into the background. One of the greatest lessons I learned in recovery is walking with my head up and shoulders back. Making all five foot eight inches of me seen. As a women we are taught to be delicate and fragile. But now, recovery had taught me to want to be strong and healthy. I want to take up all five foot eight inches of the world around me. Take up your space, do not be afraid to fill it.

Find Beauty in Imperfections.

You are beautiful. Every part of you. You don't have to be perfect. So find beautify in imperfection. Find artistry in uniqueness. And find strength in scars. Surviving is beautiful. Truly living life and not just existing is beautiful. Laugh lines and belly rolls are beautiful because it shows how much you have lived! Once you find your beauty don’t be afraid to celebrate it!

Stop Body Checking.

Before recovery, mirrors were my worst enemy. I would look at my reflection and zero in on the extra chub around the stomach or the jiggle in my thighs. When I looked in the mirror I became my biggest bully. I would say horrible things, putting myself down for the way I looked. The way I talked to myself was absolutely unlike anything I would ever say to another human being. During recovery a friend of mine taught me a lesson that I have kept with me. When you look in the mirror, look straight into your eyes. In your eyes, see your intelligence and strength. Instead of criticizing your body look into your eyes and see your soul.

Be Kind to Yourself.

You are never going to speak more to another person than you do to yourself in your own head. So treat yourself how you would treat others. Respect and be kind to yourself. You are still healing, it is OK to make mistakes and it is OK to take time for yourself.

Relapse Does Not End Recovery.

One of the hardest lessons to learn in recovery is relapse happens. We’re not perfect. We have to remember that we chose this vice because it gave us something. It was addictive because it provided a release. We used it to survive and cope for so long. So be kind and understanding to yourself, set back happens. It is OK. This does not mean your spiraling again. Give yourself a break and start again the next day.

Connecting With Family and Friends Again.

In the thick of illness it is common to avoid positive people in your life. Sometimes I found myself avoiding people in general. It was just me and my eating disorder, Ed. He became my only support and slowly isolated me from friends and family. But in treatment when I broke away from him and found my voice again, I saw what it was like to surround myself with loving people. I found that in recovery we all have loved ones that have been here the whole time, fighting for us every day, to be healthy. And sometimes that in itself is the reason we push them away, because we ourselves do not want to be saved. But trust me, being on the other side. Choose life. Choose family and friends. Stop pushing the people away who would do the most for you; because you never know they might just say your life.

Waking Up Hopeful and Thankful.

Ever hear of the metaphor, glass half full or glass half empty? I was a glass half empty kind of girl growing up. As I got older and my depression became worse, that glass got emptier and emptier until one day I woke up and it was completely empty. Recovery has taught me how to see the glass half full, by filling it every morning with positive thoughts. Each morning before getting out of bed, think of three things you are thankful for and two things you are excited or hopeful for. It changes your entire day by starting off with reasons why you are thankful to be alive.

Find your happiness.

Eating disorders are not about food. Eating disorders make us feel nothing. They make us feel numb so we do not have to feel the pain of living. Recovery has helped me find my happiness again and it has rediscovered my belly laugh. The greatest feeling is when something funny strikes you and you laugh so hard that no sound really comes out and you’re laughing so hard you are almost hyperventilating and suddenly it all comes out in a little snort? Ever feel that kind of laughter? You should. Find someone or something that makes you laugh with your whole face. I contribute a lot of my recovery to my boyfriend, David. He met me during the hardest time of my life, but he ended up being the one to save my life. Ever since I met him I have never laughed harder or been happier. Every laugh and token of happiness takes me one step further from the temptations of Ed and towards a life of happiness and freedom. Finding reasons to live a fulfilling life is what recovery is all about, I hope you rediscover your belly laugh.

Recovery is freedom. Recovery replaces unhealthy coping with healthy coping. Recovery encourages us to take up space. Recovery finds beauty in imperfections. Recovery replaces body checking with soul searching. Recovery teaches us to be kind to ourselves. Recovery teaches us to survive the relapses and how to move on from them. Recovery reconnects us with our loved ones. Recovery replaces depression and self-hate with gratitude and hope. Recovery is happiness. Recovery is worth it. You are worth it.

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

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65 Truths College Students Need to Hear Right Now

Truth every college student needs to hear.
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1. The best memories are ones you actually can remember.

2. God isn’t going to ask you if you were in a top-tier sorority or fraternity at the gates.

3. You failed a test, not your life.

4. Numbers don’t define you.

5. That includes the number you see that is your grade.

6. Also, how much you weigh.

7. As well as if you are a “7/10” on a so-called “hot scale.”

8. Or if you can bench press 200 lbs. (@ all the guys at the gym, please chill.)

SEE ALSO: 7 Reminders Every College Student Needs To Hear Before The Semester Ends

9. Innocence is nothing to be ashamed of.

10. Neither are mistakes.

11. But learn from your mistakes. Mistakes can be lessons, which can be the biggest blessing.

12. Your metabolism isn’t what it used to be and that is okay.

13. You may not always understand what God is doing, but I promise He has a plan.

14. Every person you meet is battling their own struggles.

15. Life isn’t always great moments.

16. But you have to walk through the forest to get to the mountain top.

17. Your heart isn’t damaged. It is temporarily broken but it will be fixed.

18. However, the only one who can fix a broken heart is the one who created it.

19. So a cute boy or hot girl can’t put the pieces back together.

20. Neither can ice cream.

21. But ice cream can totally help.

22. Stop texting your ex. He/She is your ex for a reason.

23. Loving Jesus means loving people.

24. Loving Jesus also means loving the image of Him in the mirror you see.

25. Stop hiding your emotions. Stop crying in the bathroom or behind a locked door. You have people in your life who care about you.

26. Suicide is never the answer.

27. Breathe in, breathe out.

28. Do you feel your heart pump? Do you feel the air exiting your body? That is a sign you are here for a purpose. Your life is no mistake.

29. Just because you doubt, doesn’t mean you don’t believe in Jesus.

30. However, when walking on the water scares you, look to Jesus and keep your eyes on Him.

31. If you have the opportunity to go to school go. There are young girls around the world who would do anything to sit at the desk you are complaining about.

32. Don’t pick a career based on money.

33. However, I promise you can use any passion or gift to serve a purpose bigger than yourself if you allow yourself to give it to the One who gave it to you.

34. You don’t need pretty prayers to please God.

35. Talk to Him like you are talking to a friend.

36. Look for the good in everyone.

37. That includes the mean girl who no one likes. Chances are she is mean for a reason. Someone was once mean to her. Kill her with kindness.

38. Pray to have the Lord’s eyes. See people with love.

39. Try to have the Lord’s hands, always be reaching out to others.

40. Each morning, pray to have the Lord’s feet and go where He calls you.

41. It is a bad day, not a bad life.

SEE ALSO: What It's Like To Be A College Student In April

42. You don’t need a six-pack to find a man who loves you.

43. You need a spouse who will be able to look at you when you are 80, and wrinkly and maybe a little chunky, and you need him to love you then. If he loves you for your body and your hair, I promise he doesn’t actually love you. Looks fade, but love is eternal. Find someone who loves you like Jesus.

44. Do some squats.

45. But squat so you feel good about yourself, not to attract the opposite sex.

46. You are never too old to find a new hobby.

47. You were beautiful before someone told you.

48. If you don’t know if you are in relationship or not, leave. You deserve clarity, not insecurity.

49. You deserve friendships that are mutual.

50. The best Friday nights are spent with a puppy and food. It is okay to not always be social.

51. Stop worrying about whether your crush will text you back.

52. Stop over analyzing everything in general.

53. Pray for your future spouse.

54. However, also pray for your future bridesmaids/groomsmen. Some of the most influential people you may have in your life you may not have even met yet.

55. Storms bring strength.

56. And storms bring rainbows if you are patient and observant.

57. Stop Pinteresting your dream life and start living it.

58. The Bible is actually extremely relatable. Open it up. Read it.

59. Romans 8:28 “and we know God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” God is on your team. He wants you to have moments of celebration. He has a purpose for you greater than your bad day.

60. Never forget what Jesus did for you on that cross. When he died for you, it was painful and brutal. It was ugly. It was love. Don’t let that truth ever become numb to you no matter how many times you have heard the story.

61. There is nothing wrong with carbs.

62. Study. And don’t wait for the night before.

63. Find someone who you can look up to.

64. Also, never forget that there is always someone looking up to you. Act like someone you would want your future children to be. Act in a way that reflects wisdom.

65. Smile more, you are loved by the one who hung the stars and painted the sea. He created puppies and carbs–yet still loves you more. That is something to celebrate.

College is tough and life is hard. You are going to have moments where all you want to do is celebrate life with your best friends, but you will also have moments where you just want to lock the door, ignore everyone, and have a good cry. Never forget that your worth comes from something greater than your Biology grade, and from Someone greater that the one who broke your heart.

You aren’t too cool for Christ in college. Christ is a necessity for you in your life. He can hold your hand during your heartbreaks and failures and celebrate with you when you get the text back or a passing grade in foreign language. He loves for you and cares for you more than your sorority or fraternity ever will.

So buy your books, do your homework, but never forget when you are walking to you 8:00 a.m. you regretfully signed up for, to look up. Look at the clouds and the sky and thank your creator that in a big big world with many beautiful things, He still loves our messy hearts even more. So this one is for the boys for the King. This life is for the One who laid down His life.

I promise college is more fun when you dance with your Savior. Follow His lead and let him take you on a journey where you can find your purpose. You may not know where you are going, but you do know who you are following.

So never forget that although classes may be hard, and your metabolism may be slowing down–God is still good. He turns our ashes into beauty and our trials into our testimony. Do life with your creator and I promise you that you will have more than you need.

Romans 8:28 “And we know God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Check out my website for more articles on self-worth <3

Twitter: gracev96

Instagram: lemmebeyourvalentine

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To The Pretty Girl, You're Just What They Want

A pretty face in a crowd is a dime-a-dozen....

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To the pretty face,

You are the pretty one. Trust me I know. People walk by, their heads turn. You give them a smile and move along. But as you continue they don't turn around, they don't ask for a date. They won't see what's within. They just see your pretty face. And nothing more.

They won't see your kind heart and warm soul. They won't see you, talk to the person who looks lonely in the grocery store. They won't see you give the shirt off your back to help someone. They won't see the good that you do. They won't see you talk to your best friend tonight. They just see that pretty face. The men especially. They bet how long it will take. To get that stunning girl in their bed. They talk, they make you feel different, they make you feel special. Then they try and guess what they succeeded. Then they leave. It's a bet you see? You don't because you're broken. Ever so broken. To be loved, you had wished. To be held. You can't get passed the feeling of being broken and hurt every damn time. Because a pretty face is all that they see.

They won't even care what's within. You think he was your next prince charming, to sweep you off your feet. But he was the next to break your heart. You lay awake most nights, scared. Asking questions; Will I be loved? Will I ever get commitment? Probably not because it's just a pretty face they see. Nothing more and nothing less. You feel a standard is needed to be held. Dress like that, makeup has to always be done. Don't you ever dare let them see the blemishes, the flaws, the insecurities You will get hurt. They don't want you. They never do. What will the next guy hold? A quick and go? A forever? I will never know. Does he really want me? Or what is between my legs. To know what is behind your shattered heart? Because all he sees is a pretty face.

Maybe you will learn quicker than I did honey. That they just want the pretty face. One day you'll realize and you will run faster than your legs can take you. One day the walls will come down, and they will see more than your pretty face.

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