So it’s NEDA Week 2020 TW

And for the first time in 13 years of dealing with this disease, I’m not trying to justify my actions, reactions and coping mechanisms. For years, a wave of shame and negativity washed over me during this week because I was reminded how horribly I was doing in recovery. Reminding myself of my past would send me into a tailspin of denial and justification because I was still actively in my eating disorder but disguised it as “recovery.” As a 20 something that appeared to have everything going for me, I hid behind a front and allowed myself to engage in every behavior that I used during my worst years. I hid behind the fact that I looked healthy and no one suspected anything, but those closest to me knew something wasn’t right…everyday I reassured them that I was fine, I was a healthy weight and was performing well physically and in my job. Hiding behind that front destroyed me for a long time because I so badly wanted to be the epitome of recovery, but I was the completely opposite.

I began recovery in 2012 at the age of 19. I was 110-113 pounds, had not had a period in close to 7 years and was close to having to be hospitalized. I had a friend that would go with me to the student clinic with me on a weekly basis and we would weigh ourselves on the body fat analyzer trying to out do each other every week. We fed each others diseases and the day I decided I wanted to get better no matter what it took I realized that I couldn’t be friends with anyone who fed my negative body image or attempted to compete with me in terms of food, weight and exercise. Almost 8 years on I’m still working on creating relationships that aren’t based around those things, but as someone who enjoys healthy living it does become incredibly difficult sometimes.

A year into my recovery I was 20 pounds heavier, then 30, 40 and eventually 50 pounds heavier. When my weight reached above 160 in 2016, I remember feeling like the biggest failure (literally and figuratively). Since that time, I have been as small as 125 during my deployment and now I’m sitting 20 pounds above that weight and I’m okay. I’m not content, I’m not happy or displeased, I’m just okay. In the past year, I stopped focusing 100% of my energy on my physical recovery and began focusing on my mental recovery because I never made that a priority.

As I say every year, I don’t write this for pity, I write this as a benchmark for my recovery and an example that no recovery is linear and we all struggle on a daily basis. The next time you think you’re not good enough, or your not worthy, remember that everyone has a story and yours isn’t over. I’m not where I want to be physically or mentally but I work damn hard everyday to get a little better.

2 thoughts on “So it’s NEDA Week 2020 TW

  1. As always this is beautifully written. I just wanted let you know how much I love you and I think you are a hero . Heroes don’t quit when life gets hard . I studied amenorrhea and things of that nature in school but when one of my closest friends on the track team began disappearing from our weekly dinners I was so blind to know something was wrong . She broke down crying one night and told me everything. The working out 7 times a day only having so many calories. She was spinning out of control. I’m glad to say she is much better today. I admire your strength so much. You are beautiful and amazing my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

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