I hope you have been inspired by my little trip down memory sharing my past of battling an eating disorder in a new way. If you missed it you can catch it here. Its crazy some of the moments and facts I have forgotten over the years. As messages and comments have come in over the week, my response is always this.
I share because I know someone else needs a reminder that there is hope. Maybe they are in the midst of the disease. Often its a family member who needs to hear it as they are scared for their loved one. The road is never easy, but there is hope.
A few things I have learned. One is that the surrounding family needs just as much support. It took me YEARS to have the realization of that. You see in the midst of the struggle I swore my family to secrecy. In fact that whole month home from college on medical leave, I didn’t tell a single friend. I begged my parents not to tell their church, discuss it with close friends, notify the family I was home. DO NOT MENTION THIS TO ANYONE.
I was embarrassed. I was scared. I was so disappointed in myself I couldn’t bear anyone else know about it. I feel awful now. They were scared. It was all new to them too. They had fear and they needed the same love they were showing me.
I also came to HATE being labeled. You may not understand it until you are labeled and only viewed in one way. For YEARS when people would run into me or see me at a family event they immediately would size me up.
The worst is then when they say “You look like you’ve gained weight thats great.” ????Now I know they meant well. But you would never tell someone as a compliment they gained weight. Its a major struggle to accept your body changing and returning to a healthy state. I heard this several times from the same family cousin, and it went up me sideways!!!!
The reality is people will look at you differently for a really long time. At gatherings they will glance at whats on your plate.
Its something I had to learn to deal with. As the years went by and those around me were comfortable knowing I wasn’t going to go backwards, the stares, the awkward hellos, the family gatherings were no longer something I dreaded. Eventually Life went on as “normal”. So to those struggling, man babe fight for it. Life has been hard but it has been so amazing too. I am a whole new person someone I never imagined I could become.
I also have had the privilege of experiencing love, thee most romantic proposal, the most magical wedding, and a dream honeymoon. I discovered a new passion I get to live our daily. I have made some of the best friends and traveled to some amazing places!
There is so much to fight for. To those who love someone struggling, shower them with love, remind them how beautiful life can be, and be extremely mindful of how you speak to them. But just know, there is always hope!