This month we are talking about the emotional experience of having – and recovering from – an eating disorder. In this blog, one of our clients generously shares her experience of her eating disorder and recovery within treatment.
Living my ‘life’ dictated by some quite frankly, absurd rules I had forced upon myself had become the norm to me. Embarrassingly, anorexia was simply my identity and only way of life.
Whilst watching my family and friends progress through their lives, hitting various milestones, succeeding, and on the surface, appearing happy and fulfilled left me feeling lost. I wanted to be like them. I wanted to reach an old age and be proud of who I am. However my eating disorder, successfully clouded any hopes and aspirations I had. It reinforced my belief that I was worthless and I will never be able to achieve anything.
I have spent years in and out of eating disorder units, met countless therapists and dieticians, some great, other’s not so great. I was absolutely bored of yet another therapist telling me she couldn’t work with me anymore as I wasn’t well enough or didn’t show enough commitment to change. From the outside, they were right and I didn’t comply with treatment. Yet from the inside, I was desperate and clinging onto some small amount of hope that I had left, that recovery is possible.
Two and a half years ago, having been told by my team at the time that it was medically unethical to work with me, I was furious.
‘Could they not see I wanted to be alive?’
‘Yet another set of professionals have decided they don’t want to help me, and confirmed my
belief that I can’t recover.’
My mind was plagued by feelings of abandonment and any any drive for recovery I did have left, had been extinguished. After a year with feeling defeated, I built up more courage. I wasn’t going to let one team of professionals hand me the keys to throw my life away. After hearing of Orri through a therapist I had met, I agreed with my mum that it might be a good idea to try again.
When I started only a few days later, I was finally met with the care and compassion I had so desperately craved, and needed for my recovery. I felt I was being heard. Yes, I have been a nightmare at times (I’m sorry Orri!), but for the most part I have slowly re-built and figured out that life can exist for me, without anorexia.
Through therapy groups, help with meal preparation, individual sessions and huge amounts of patience from Orri, I am on my journey discovering what life really has to offer me. I still often have days when I lose hope and when I feel like giving up, yet I know all the lovely staff are still waiting on the sideline cheering me on. I have the faith that I am finally in the right place, and I’m also holding the faith that I have the strength to achieve what I have set out to accomplish. A life full of happiness that I know is worth fighting for.
Through commitment and determination, I am still powering through. I won’t give up because I know that I am a human, and a human that deserves more than an eating disorder.
To anyone who ever thinks that there is no point in seeking out more treatment, don’t give up.
To anyone with an eating disorder, remember you can recover.
To anyone who feels as if they have lost their chances, you can rebuild them.
To anyone who believes they can’t lead a life without their eating disorder, you are wrong.
To everyone who is on the path to recovery, keep going.