I mentioned that on the first Sunday of October I was blessed with a surprise. My fiancé had decided to surprise me and bring me to the NYC NEDA Walk. NEDA is the National Eating Disorder Association and they host walks all over the country to fundraise money for research into eating disorders, treatment scholarships and promoting awareness around the mental illness with the highest mortality rate. It was an incredible surprise for me because I thought we wouldn’t be able to make it this year and I really needed a boost.
For years I had struggled with my eating disorder and with accepting that I even had one. I’m not writing this post about how miserable and dark the life with an eating disorder is. I like believe that people may know and understand that now. I want to discuss the other side of eating disorders, recovery.
Life isn’t a dark and lonely place; it’s beautiful and filled with love. When you decide to accept that you need help and you’re going to fight, you’ll soon remember how bright and warm the sun is. Recovery is hard and it’s a struggle but it doesn’t replace the freedom you’ll feel when you can say you are recovered. Whispers and laughter from friends will replace that voice making you feel guilty for nourishing your beautiful body. Your skin will glow, your hair will shine and your smile will be bright.
You’ll learn to love every moment and step you take in life instead of fearing them. Waves of relief will wash over you when you walk into a grocery store or when you go out to dinner with friends because you know you don’t have to worry any more. You will no longer feel chained to make excuses when invited out to either the beach or a party where there may be food. You learn that you are capable of so much when you occupy your time with new hobbies and adventures rather than counting over and over again in your head. All you’ll want to talk about is what you did last weekend or the silly moment that happened while at school rather than think all those damaging thoughts. At a point you forget the horrible things you used to tell yourself, they become faded memories. Looking back, you’ll say where did the time go and why didn’t I adventure more?
You will take risks when it comes to learning new things and applying for that dream internship or position instead of not being confident enough to even try. You’ll learn to embrace the beautiful body you were given and every perfect imperfection that comes with it. You will truly believe that you are enough and worth so much. You will know what it means to love yourself and to love others.
The biggest part of the other side is knowing that it’s there, it’s possible and you can and will do it. I promise.