Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Goodbye Eating Disorder, Hello Rachel!

Dear Blog:
This will be the last entry I ever make.
On my journey for sobriety: trying to get clean from drugs... I found myself on the road to recovery from an eating disorder. For so long, I had been ignoring the eating disorder... covering it up trying to forget about it using drugs. I used drugs to help me with the eating disorder and I used them to escape the shame, and i used them to blame my problems on. I went to rehab honestly thinking that it was the answer. It didnt take long for me to realize that rehab is not where i needed to be.
One thing lead to another, and before I knew it, I was accepted to a residential treatment home for girls with eating disorders. I had 2 weeks to think about what I was doing before I left...I almost didnt make it.
I have tried many other ways to live without ED but every time failed. I think I have gone though seasons... times where I have accepted an eating disorder as part of who i am, and i even wanted to live with it for the rest of me life. The other times i wanted to die. I hated myself for how disgusting i felt i was, how i looked and how i had turned into someone i did not know. Right before I left i remember laying in bed, wishing my heart would just stop to end this hell... if this was life i didnt want anything to do with it.
When I arrived at the doors of my treatment home: something happened. For the first time in my life, I became not just ready to change but willing to do whatever it took to recover. With the help of a nutritionist, and a handful of counsellors, I started making steps towards healthy eating, (whatever that was supposed to look like), and a positive body image (which was even more difficult to understand). Not going to lie, it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life. When it comes down to it: you can get all the counselling and therapy you want, but i realized i eventually had to eat the food, and keep it down.
As i started, and give my body what it needed i started noticing changes. I had better concentration and focus, which meant i could finally read again. I didnt have crazy racing thoughts anymore: i could sit by myself and have peace of mind. My moods started to stabilize very quickly. I realized i wasnt feeling depressed anymore. I felt ALIVE, and had so much energy to do things. I started to sleep on my own and through the night. The coolest things are, I noticed I didnt have the urge to binge anymore.. at all. I didn't crave sugar anymore which has been a huge one my whole life i have always had a bag of candy with me at all times. I realized I wasnt thinking about my weight constantly, or how i looked. I started breaking my food rules, and eating the things the eating disorder forbid. As i conquered each one, food started to lose its power over me...
Now, I can say that I do not have any fear foods anymore. I am not afraid of gaining weight anymore... In fact i did gain weight in the process of recovery. But to me, the weight is a proud mark of recovery. I now look like a healthy person who eats, and its not a bad thing anymore. I honestly never thought, that I could eat whatever I wanted, AND liked the way that I looked. I thought that if i ate, it meant i was fat. period. Turns out thats a lie. Because I am not fat, I love the way I look and Im eating what I want. I dont have any anxiety about food anymore. I have learned how to listen to my body and follow my hunger and fullness cues. I eat when I am hungry and I stop when i am full. My body tells me what it needs, whether it be veggies, a steak or maybe pizza. I dont feel the need to purge my meal, or restrict during it. I dont have to compensate by exercise anymore: in fact the 9 weeks i was at the home i didnt exercise at all. The light and life has come back into my eyes. I have found my own voice again, and I know now that the eating disorder is not who i am. I can separate myself from ED and do the opposite of what it says to do. Ed says dont eat the bun, so i eat the bun and have butter on it too! I am able to really connect with people in a way that I havent done in years! I can be there for my friends, to be a support when THEY need me.
I can genuinely laugh, cry, smile and I enjoy things in life big or small. I don't wake up dreading the day wishing i could die. I wake up feeling excited, and hopeful about the future. Even when things get hard,(which there have been very difficult days/weeks) I can separate the emotions from food. I am learning how to be honest and open about what is going on inside of me, and how to reach out and get support when I need it.
If you would have asked me even a year ago (read my previous blogs and you can see) that I actually didnt want to recover. I was fine (so not) with where I was at.
Now, I wouldnt trade it for anything in the world. I can be REAL for once in my life. I have no idea who i am really yet, or even what I like... but its a journey that I am looking forward to, because now when i see my future, I can see that it will be good. I am no longer defined by a number: I can say and truly believe that my value is in WHO i am and NOT what i weigh.
I am 120 days clean
3 months without an eating disorder.
If anyone reads this, I hope you feel encouraged. If I can do it, SO CAN YOU!
Love you ladies.