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February 2, 2017

To the Ones who Feel Alone in the World with an Eating Disorder.

To the ones who feel alone in the world with an eating disorder, let me explain something…

We often see these models, fit women with perfect lifestyles, and then look at ourselves. This can start at a young age, as it did for me.

For those with an eating disorder, however, it’s not just about body image. It’s not just trying to fit into society’s ideas of what we should be and how we should look. It is way deeper; far more complex.

We use eating disorders to numb ourselves from negative things in our lives—trauma, emptiness—and escape.

Many people think it’s a simple diet fad, wanting a perfect, skinny body. Sometimes we wish it was just that. Yes, body image is a big part of an eating disorder, it’s emotional weight we’re seeing. It’s a voice telling us we’re not worth it; we would be happy if we just followed this monster.

An eating disorder is a monster that stays by our ear every minute of the day. A monster that does not let us sleep.

And when we don’t eat, or we purge, or we over-exercise, we get a false sense of relief—numbness. We stop thinking about our deeper troubles, because we’re so focused on following our monster’s rules:

If we just lose 10 more pounds, we will be happier and everything will be better.

But it never ends; it’s never enough. The monster wants us all to itself.

I listened to it from age five, and really followed its instructions from age 10—until, when I was 17, it gave me a heart attack.

I wanted to disappear. I hid everything that was different about me until I ended up hiding from myself. I followed my eating disorder because it took all my pain away.

But it didn’t really; I was just blind to the pain of my condition at first. I isolated myself, because this eating disorder wanted me to itself. Almost like an abusive relationship.

I survived the heart attack, but still followed the monster. It numbed me from everything. I lived my life in and out of hospitals, over-exercising until I passed out, fighting against the thought of food. I knew that each bite would open the door to tough emotions, and I couldn’t handle that.

I lived with anxiety over everyday things, taking it out on my body. Perfectionist thinking. I lived my whole life like that. I want everyone out there with an eating disorder to know:

You are not alone in this battle, and there is light.

To the ones who feel alone in the world with an eating disorder:

You are not alone.

Support is out there; treatment is out there.

Don’t let this monster take any more of your life. Gain control back, because it is possible. It feels amazing to be on the other side—to help educate about and advocate against eating disorders. Not many people understand these conditions, but I believe they need to be understood.

Too many lives have been lost. If we all come together, we can change that.

We are all here for a reason. We were born with a purpose. I firmly believe that. I am finding my purpose today; we can all find our purpose once we let go of the things holding us down.

For those who think they don’t have a purpose…you do.

To the ones who feel alone in the world with an eating disorder:

Each of you is worth so much. We need to let our light shine, so don’t let anything dim it. That includes your eating disorder. Our body does so many wonderful things for us, and we need to acknowledge that.

We must do only what keeps us at ease—not in dis-ease.

To the ones who feel alone in the world with an eating disorder:

It’s not easy, and every day won’t be a breeze. But nothing in life is a breeze. If we are grounded and healthy, we will be able to move forward. This eating disorder only makes everything harder.

Our bodies are the paths to our souls. Through my recovery, I realized I needed something else to keep me connected to and happy with myself. I got into yoga. Find what works for you. Make schedules, and try something new. We never know unless we try.

To the ones who feel alone in the world with an eating disorder:

We need to think about all the things we want to do and make ourselves whole. Recovery is possible; and I and many others are living proof of that. I know it’s hard, and some days it may feel impossible—but take it one day at a time.

Remember, there is no such thing as perfection.

Even if it’s not an eating disorder you are struggling with, remember that there is always light—and there is help. We have our very own blueprint on this earth that no one else has.

That right there is incredible.

Living with an eating disorder is like living in a prison. We feel as though we must follow these rules that it tells us. Fear leads to negative thoughts, which create negative habits, which in turn lead to unhealthy lifestyles.

It’s time for us all to know that we can overcome fear.

To the ones who feel alone in the world with an eating disorder:

I want you to know that in recovery we start to see all the beautiful things in life. It is such a great feeling to count months in recovery rather than numbers on scales or calories.

We deserve to live a full, free life.

To the ones who feel alone in the world with an eating disorder:

We can look at our bodies as the hosts for our spirits. When we are hosting something, we should make sure that our home is treated well and our guest has everything it needs.

Our bodies are also the vehicles for our souls. We can’t run our vehicles without fuel and proper care. Our bodies work the same way. Our lives are precious, and eating disorders are not needed in our presence!

It’s our job and our responsibility to enjoy our lives. In recovery, you can live the life you want for yourself. Be the warrior that you are.

To the ones who feel alone in the world with an eating disorder: you are never alone.

~

Author: Jeanette Suros

Images: Author’s Own

Editor: Toby Israel

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