How To Face Your Eating Disorder
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To My Eating Disorder, Facing You Was The First Step To Loving Myself

You will never define me, and you will never win.

To My Eating Disorder, Facing You Was The First Step To Loving Myself

It's been three years since we met. Crazy how time flies, right? Crazy how I can't remember what it's like to eat something without obsessing over how many calories are going into my body. Crazy how I can't skip a day at the gym without feeling guilty and needing to make up for it with twice as much cardio the next day. Crazy how I can't look at pictures of myself anymore without wanting to cry over how much my body has changed over the past few years. You've taken different forms but have always managed to have power over me. It wasn't until my first year of college that you fully took over.

I thought I was in control, but you were the one calling the shots. Food became my enemy, a mirror became a torture device, and the gym became my place of comfort. You told me I was fat when I was actually sick. You told me that if I didn't lose weight that I wouldn't be loved. You told me that being skinny was more important than being happy.

And I listened. I thrived off of the compliments when the weight loss initially began, and so did you. I loved the attention I got from people, especially boys. It fueled you and the fire that you started, all of which lead to excuses, secrets, and an unhealthy obsession that was slowly and silently killing me, without anyone knowing or at least willing to admit.

I spun out of control, yet only you dominated my thoughts. I chose you over lunch dates with friends, over nights out and partying, over ice cream trips during stressful times. I was constantly tired, weak, and cold. The hunger pangs kept me awake at night. I would cry in my bed until I fell asleep, but you reminded me that the pain was worth it. How could I believe that it was worth it? I could no longer stand up from my seat in class without getting lightheaded and only seeing black. I could no longer walk across campus without feeling weak and sore. I could no longer make it through the day without excessive amounts of coffee and caffeine to make up for the nutrients I was no longer gaining. How could losing my ability to be me be worth it?

I was disappearing both physically and mentally. None of my clothes fit me properly anymore; jeans were always baggy around my legs and tops hung loosely over me. My mind was in a constant fog. It wasn't until my mom came to visit me during April of my freshman year that I realized I was seriously sick and in urgent need of change and help. I don't think I can ever forget the moment when my mom hugged me in her hotel room and held back tears as she asked, "Where did my baby go?" while her hands rested on my bony spine. I knew I needed to change, and I knew that that change started with facing you.

The road to recovery hasn't been easy. At first, I thought that I needed to go through it alone, but once again I was proven wrong. After all that you have taken from me, you gave me the courage to ask for help, to let people know that I was struggling and that I wasn't always okay, to reach out to others when I suspected they were struggling too. In facing you, I have learned that it was okay to gain a few pounds, okay to eat ice cream at night with friends, okay to skip the gym some days, okay to not be or look perfect, okay to love myself.

Every day is a new step in the path to recovery. You will never define me, and you will never win. I may have moments of relapse, moments of dark thoughts, moments of doubt and insecurities, but I am recovering and am determined to say goodbye to you for once and for all.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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