My Scariest Secret3:04 PM
This is the most nerve wracking thing I've ever written on this blog.
Did you know that millions of people suffer from eating disorders?
Did you know that I am one of those people?
Well, I am. I'm a wife, I'm a mom, and I have an eating disorder.
Think of your life spinning out of control, and self sabotaging to the point of not being able to pull yourself out. Think of knowing that you are living a lie as far as your body is concerned. Think of being known for being honest and open, then think of the shame of being dishonest with those you love most. Think of feeling completely ridiculous for being so vain as to let something like this take over your life, when in truth, the root problem is much more than vanity. Think of feeling anxious anytime you're in a situation where you're expected to eat and be social and normal. Think of going to sleep every day hoping that tomorrow will be better, and falling over and over.
I went to counseling. I attended a 12 step addiction recovery program through my church, and still do sometimes. I finally got brave enough to talk to some people close to me about it after struggling for years alone. I've spent a lot of time putting on a facade of having everything together while feeling completely out of control on the inside. The truth is that I was broken. I am very imperfect. I struggle every day, and I'll have to keep myself in check for my whole life. But the fact that I am now in recovery and coming out the other side of feeling so trapped is nothing short of a miracle. I have never been happier or more at peace with life and with myself. I feel more like "me" than I have in a long time, and it's been a long road to get here.
I've never been more nervous to vocalize my eating disorder, except for when I told my husband a long time ago. This is the kind of confession that comes to light and brings on judgement and speculation from every side. But after all the darkness, I promised myself that I would turn this into something that can maybe, possibly help someone. Yes, it's given me the opportunity to learn a lot about health and wellness. But beyond that, I want to be a support system for others. I didn't know anyone else with an eating disorder, and I didn't understand it. I was lost and ashamed and trapped, so I kept quiet and tried to get better on my own (which I learned wouldn't happen). But now I get it. And I get that every day is hard, some much more than others.
I decided that when I felt brave enough, I would be able to share my story, so that's what I intend to do. It's a long story, and a hard one to tell. It will take a while, and details will come in increments as I feel ready to talk about them. It is so multi-faceted that I don't even know where to begin. Telling my story is not a decision I've come by lightly, and I'm terrified to be sharing something so extremely personal. I'm baring my soul in a way that makes me more vulnerable than I've ever been before, but I'm doing it hoping that in some small way, I can help someone.
Jesus is for real. Recovery is for real. I love my family and the people who help me through every single day. Never in my life did I think that I would fall into the trap of an eating disorder, or that I would be able to talk about it. But here I am, working through the shame and finally winning a battle I've been fighting for far too long.
I am not who I will become, and my eating disorder does not have to define me. I'm a work in progress, and I'm very ok with that.