Today is a big day for me because it marks the one year anniversary of when I was admitted into residential treatment for my eating disorder.
This was arguably the hardest decision I’ve ever to make and was also the hardest time of my life thus far. Looking back on these past few years filled with months of treatment and therapy, it’s miraculous how much I’ve learned about myself and how much stronger I’ve become because of it.
Though my eating disorder developed from from my obsession with diet culture, I learned that recovery was not just about learning how to eat again or even about the food at all, it was about rebuilding my sense of self worth and acceptance.
The physical symptoms I experienced couldn’t even begin to capture the madness or intensity of the hell I was living in. The good food/bad food dichotomy I internalized as a means of moralizing myself every time I ate meant that everything I ate became a powerful reflection of my self worth. In hating and abusing my body in the hopes of gaining a sense of worthiness, I fell victim to the cultural fixation on female thinness, my self confidence completely shattered, and I lost sight of what value I wanted to bring to my relationships and life.
It turns out that unlearning shame and guilt is a long and complicated process, but I’ve found that the more I see my body as an ally - my guiding tool, source of pleasure, and conduit for connection - the more I am willing to honor my body and respect it. I will be forever changed by that time and forever grateful for the wealth of experiences I have gained
because of it.
Now, I experience life in my body, use my body to feel powerful and strong, and feel more connected to myself and others around me than I have ever felt. Though today marks the one year anniversary of the hardest time in my life and it brings up past pain and anxiety, I am proud of how much self awareness and mindfulness I have gained and I can safely say that my life will be forever changed.