A Year of Healing

5:51 PM

A year ago sometime around today, Trevor looked me in the eyes again and asked if I'd been throwing up again. I had told him about a year and a half earlier for the first time, did better for a while, got pregnant, spent a whole pregnancy sick, and had a good couple of months after giving birth, only to go right back downhill, and fast. I was withering away at 87 lbs and was completely out of control. I couldn't hold in my secret any longer. I immediately broke down and he knew- but I'm sure he already knew. I never want to relive that evening for anything. I could see the sadness and fear and hurt in his eyes. He had been asking, and I had been answering, just not truthfully.

As a man and my husband and the sole person in this world who loves me the most, he immediately started trying to think of what he could do, and what we could do. As it turns out, maintaining an eating disorder starts to suck the life out of every other aspect of your being. I was really starting to see the effects of my actions on my family's life, and the shame and embarrassment and disappointment I felt in myself was insurmountable. One of the most basic of all human needs, fueling my body, was nearly impossible to me. I couldn't mentally make myself first eat, and then keep it down. Every day was a battle. And I was a wife and a mom. I had people depending on me every day! All I wanted to do was live every day in peace with my little Milo, while this whole huge piece of my life was spiraling out of control. It was clear that I had to figure a way out of this dark hole in order to live the beautiful life I had right in front of me.
We made a plan. I would go to the 12 step Addiction Recovery Program through our church. We would leave all the doors open at all times. No fans on that could block noise. We would go to sleep at the same time every night. We would stay together as much as possible. I started keeping a food journal and making sure I was eating enough calories to be healthy, and keeping every last one of them down. Thinking about it now, it's crazy how stringent these actions seemed but how completely necessary they really were. But all I could think about was what was at stake and how desperately I needed to get healthy for my family.

Those first days of recovery and cleansing, every hour felt like an eternity. My digestive system was shot. I felt bloated and huge anytime I ate and kept it down. It was miserable. I would regularly break into a sweat of anxiety knowing that I had to keep everything down. I went to sleep feeling gigantic every night, all because I wasn't starving. I only ate foods that I had labeled in my head as "safe". It's such a testament to how skewed my thinking had really become. I would take naps every day with Milo just to escape having to focus on it for a while. Literally every minute I had to keep myself in check, remind myself that I was doing what was best for my body, and tell myself that this was so much better than the alternative.

It took a while, a few months even. But once I finally let myself be "normal", or at least a version of it, for a period of time, the sensitivity of the nerve started to dull. I would go hours without being preoccupied, and then days. But I noticed that as soon as I had a good run and got lax in my focus, I'd start to struggle again. So I'd reset. And remember to keep it in my head every day again. I've come to realize that part of recovering from an addiction is the fact that somewhere inside of me, anorexia and bulimia will always be a part of me, but hopefully only for the sole purpose of helping me remember the pain and live healthy.
Fast forward to today. I've put on about 20 lbs. and I feel more like myself than I have in a very long time. I still run every day and I still keep a food journal. I still read out of the addiction recovery manual sometimes. But I no longer chase after feeling empty. I'm gradually getting better at not basing my self worth on my appearance. I still have a long way to go, but just one year of truly working at recovery has made all the difference. I could not have done it without the support of my family, close friends, and my Heavenly Father.
So here's to a year! I can't wait to see what another clean year of serenity will bring.

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  1. Thank you for sharing your story, it has really touched me.

  2. Thank you for sharing Danielle!! I hope you know how WONDERFUL and AMAZING you are!! I just think you're cutest - always have!! Love you and miss you!! <3

  3. Good for you! I can't imagine the struggle. It sounds like you have an amazing hubby and support system. You are beautiful and sooo blessed!

  4. Wow, Danielle! Thank you for sharing! I could feel the pain but also the help that you are getting. I'm grateful that you are still here to share. Your story will help those that are reading. And I'm grateful you have the support that you need!

  5. So this may be weird but we totally just followed each other on insta and I read your blog and I just wanted to let you know you are SO not alone in this, or your fertility issues and I am
    happy I found you because eating disorders are REALLY hard and REALLY hard to talk about and I'm proud of you. Much love sister- kategonzo

  6. You are amazing, and strong, and brave! Thanks for sharing, I have actually never read about the experience from the person recovering. you go girl!

    xo, Lauryn

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