More Than a Number
Thank you to those who have been supportive over the past couple of months of my life. I'll be transparent with you as I've been in and out of treatment fighting the battle of having an eating disorder.
My eating disorder began when I was about 16. I lived in a home where I was constantly being told that I was fat, and was made fun of for what I ate, how much I ate, and how I ate. At the end of a meal, I'd run downstairs and purge out all of the 'emotions' I was feeling, trying to get rid of the self hatred that was growing inside of me.
Over time, ED became like a good friend to me. He was always there for me when I needed it. When I felt out of control with my life, ED was the first one to pop up, offering me the chance to be in control of what I could - my weight and well being. I never sought help to get rid of ED, as I didn't really see him as a problem; I thought that it wasn't too bad, that I wasn't going to die, and believed that I could manage our relationship on my own.
About 2 months ago, I started to relapse once again. This time ED came back with a vengeance. He was no longer my friend, but my enemy. My anxiety and depression were also getting the best of me. I was miserable. I had exhausted all my efforts and I felt like a failure.
I finally decided to make the phone call to get some help in early March. I tried to get into Roger's Behavioral Health's Partial Hospitalization program, but they recommended me to go to inpatient due to the acute flare up of ED behaviors. Then there was a waiting list. I ended up finding another place in Milwaukee called Aloria Health for residential care. My friend Elaine dropped me off on a Tuesday morning and I began the process of recovery that day.
I am grateful for everything I learned, including how to cope with urges, what my body needs to be healthy, and most importantly how to love myself. That last piece took me the longest time to grasp. I had abused my body for so many years, emotionally and physically, that I really struggled having self compassion for myself.
After 6 weeks, my behaviors had subsided enough that I was ready for the Partial Hospitalization Program at Roger's. I started the program last Wednesday and I am working hard to continue on this road to recovery. I enjoy being back home where I can do the stuff I love, including being a mommy and wife, tutoring, and of course photography.
If you or someone you love is suffering from an eating disorder, I'd love to encourage and pray for you. Getting help was the best thing I could have done for myself. It was well worth all of the time and sacrifices I had to make. Most importantly, I finally believe that I am worth it.