How and why i started to recover.
How and why i
started to recover.
I am finally ready to talk about my personal eating disorder story in a bit more detail.
Because I got so many questions on it, I decided to split the questions into different posts and start on a positive note: The beginning of my recovery.
When did you realize you had to recover? Was there a turning point in your journey?
Where do i begin?
when i was sick, i hated doctors. any doctor made me feel uncomfortable and scared. but i kind of had to do regular check-ups. i never really saw my anorexia as a big issue. food was the enemy and that is what mattered in my head. nothing else. I didn’t care about my health, my future or anything really. it was all about control. the control of starving myself. my brain was totally messed up and it did not matter what anyone was telling me. the voice in my head was stronger.
But one doctors appointment in particular, made me realize: i had to change something.
It was a regular gynecologist appointment. i was sitting in the waiting room and felt super nervous. I didn’t have my period in over a year at that point and i knew i would have to talk about it. when it was my turn to get examined, i was told the most horrible news ever. My doctor looked at me and said “If you keep on doing this to yourself, you will become infertile.” she was very direct and not kind about it, she forced me onto the scale and even talked to my mum about it. at that point i was so angry and i hated her for judging me and trying to tell me what to do. but that one sentence shocked me like nothing else before. somehow it clicked.
At that point I didn’t know what i wanted to study, where i wanted to go, or what i wanted to do with my life. But i always knew that i wanted to become a mum. I always had the classic happy family vision in my mind. getting married,buying a house and having children. that was my dream and i always knew in the back of my head, that it would come true one day. but after hearing that one sentence, i wasn’t so sure any longer.
i remember crying so much that day, being scared. scared of not being fertile, somewhat scared of not being a “complete” woman, scared of disappointing others and scared of my own self. and i knew i had to change something. I didn’t want to be the cause of this problem anymore. i didn’t want to be able to blame myself in the end. I wanted to recover and do anything to heal my own mind and to possibly become a mother one day.
now looking back i think the key to recovery is to really want it. people can tell you to go see a doctor, get help or eat more - but the only one, who can truly change something is you. you need to find a motivation to heal yourself and that motivation has to be stronger and bigger than the demons in your head. my motivation was a healthy family of my own.
how did you start to recover? What were your first changes?
i wish i could just tell you that from the moment i heard this message, i was on the road to recovery and everything went super smooth. it didn’t. there were so many ups and downs. some days i did really well, some days i felt so empty, sad and even ashamed of myself.
But what were the first steps i took?
I vividly remember the first time i ate a banana for example. it might sound so wierd to some of you, but i had many “Fear foods”. Foods i would never eat, because in my head they were labeled as bad. But with “bad foods”, i didn’t just mean fries or burgers. even a banana scared me, because of the sugar and the caloric density. so i stopped eating them. but when i finally tried a banana again after such a long time, it tasted like heaven. I remember this proud feeling of overcoming my mental barriers. Even through this was only a tiny, little step - i learned to face what scared me the most. i did little baby steps. slowly including more foods into my diet. slowly starting to eat with others again, finally going out to a restaurant (which was a crazy big deal at the time). and slowly accepting my problems and starting to talk about it with others.
one time i was at a party with a dear friend of mine. i was on recovery and i thought, i already looked fine and healthy again. we took pictures in the bathroom and when i saw the pictures, i was shocked. I somehow saw myself so differently. I asked my friend, if my shoulders looked as bony in real life as they did in the picture and she said “yes, don’t you see it?”. I did not. Body dismorhpia played a gigantic role in my recovery. i always viewed myself bigger than i actually was and i started to work on that as well.
i also cleared out my closet. there was i time, when i was wearing kids clothing, because it fit the best. now thinking about it, it is so freaky how i thought it was normal for a seventeen year old to wear clothing made for eight year old girls. simply horrible. when i decided to recover, that kids clothing, was the first thing to go. it felt good to have a fresh start. not only mentally, but style wise as well.