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.


1 comment:

  1. This is incredible Rach!!

    I am so happy and so proud, I can't even say!
    This is an amazing thing to read, I am so glad you have been able to overcome all your demons and truly enjoy being without them, it's incredible.

    Don't know if you would want to or if you will even read this, but I would love to keep in contact.
    Not ED sort of contact though, just two people with the same name who met in unusual circumstances who email now and again to see how each other is.

    Don't worry if you don't want to though, I would understand if you need to cut all ties to all things Eating Disordered. Sometimes it is the only way.

    But I will leave this here, just in case:

    I love you as much as I always have, and I really mean that. Words cannot express my feelings towards you right now. It makes me happy that you found life agaain.