For two and a half years, I was trapped in a pool of overwhelmingly dark and confusing thoughts, acting through destructive behaviors towards myself-and-others and caught in an attack of unidentified feelings battling against numbness. I was drowning. The deeper I sank, the more I became attached to the pull taking me under. I couldn’t break my own patterns even though there were times my heart wanted swim to shore. The truth is, I was being sucked under by the strongest tide of my life. I came to a depth where I was barley able to breathe, but at my deepest point, I asked for help.
I remember the moment I told my mom. At this point, I had no idea why or what I was even doing. I just knew I was drowning and couldn’t find the way up. I was petrified of her reaction. She was petrified of the truth. With tears, fears and years of shame surfacing for the first time, I felt a glimmer of hope. Treatment was the best decision I’ve ever made. Though I was in total denial that I had an eating disorder, I thought I could perhaps learn a thing or two from treatment. Little did I know I would learn that I did indeed have an eating disorder, followed by 100 tools and truths that ended up saving my life.
Recovery began at the point I asked for help.
Asking for help takes courage. Courage to ask yourself: is what I am doing truly healthy? Am I helping myself or hurting myself? Courage to ask someone else: can you listen to me as I share my secret? Can you help me with a recovery plan?
Do more than just think about it, speak about it. Courage comes the moment you speak up.
Whether you know you have an eating disorder or not. Speak up. Ask for help. Be courageous.
Courage builds strength. Courage is the point where you meet fear in the face, look it in the eyes and rise above. Rise above the waves. Being courageous keeps you above water.
Strength comes when you stay above the water and begin to swim through the current. You cannot swim without your hands and feet. It takes energy. It takes effort. It takes intention. That is all true with recovery. You must do the work, starting by speaking up, followed by sticking to your recovery plan. You must take the step towards healing, which begins by moving your feet, one stride at a time. Until you find yourself walking along a foundation of restoration and healing.
This past week was Eating Disorder Awareness Week, a week devoted to educating and supporting those affected by eating disorders. The truth is, we all are affected. Whether it’s our own experience or we are associated by an experience of another, eating disorders are spreading rapidly. Do not allow this epidemic to spread. Instead, Spread awareness and hope.
Too many people are suffering and too few are asking for help. The first step in recovery is asking for help. Whether you think you might have issues with food or you know you have an eating disorder, start by speaking up. Then, continue to speak up about your struggles and your strengths. Find a team of recovery support. Share your truth to inspire others.
Speaking up was the first step I took towards recovery and now, almost 9 years later, I am strong, stable and enjoying life, one stride at a time.
Inner Door Center is here to listen and support you. We have a team of clinicians ready to help you rise above the waters. Call Inner Door Center to speak with someone at 248-336-2868 or learn more about our treatment programs at www.innerdoorcenter.com.