Yesterday was my birthday, what a fabulous celebration it was. It was inspiring, touching, sharing, growing, and supporting. Tracy and I planned out an entire weekend of celebrating, something I have never done before for myself. From going to the art museum, a healing drumming circle, and having friends at my house I was transformed. It was the best way to start day one of my new year. I thank everyone who sent a card, a gift, came over, or celebrated my life in some way. My life has an abundance of meaning now, I can't begin to put into words how grateful I am to be alive and doing so well.
Have you ever wanted something so badly you started dreaming about it, visualizing it, seeing the space, the people there, and hearing yourself talk in that space?
I have been dreaming of opening a community space and so badly want to make it a reality. The need is out there, there are many people with all forms of eating disorders looking for help and there people dying each day. There are parents and family members scared and unsure of what to do or where to turn.
I was looking online, just searching for anything related to eating disorders and I found many people asking for help to pay for treatment. It is extremely expensive to go to treatment, most insurance companies don't pay for it. There are many people that feel that they are at a dead end and don't know what to do. I want to help those people. There is hope, there is a way out. I can attest to it. Please help me to see this vision to fruition. Please contact me if you are interested in helping in some way.
A little while ago, I was asked "what would you tell your younger self?" Gosh, that's a good question. Everyone starts out so innocent and naive, but the world changes you, it changes the way you think, the way you interact, the way you respond. When I first started engaging in eating disorder behaviors, I had no idea I was doing so. It just happened slowly, and over time it got worse, and snowballed. I was young, about 7 when I can first remember restricting. I don't think it was a conscious choice, more like an unconscious response and result of what was going on around me.
My little sister was born and the house I lived in changed. My parents changed when she was born. I guess I was mad about that. I was mad that I was treated differently. I don't know why I began punishing myself, through restrictive eating. It is hard to understand why anyone would do that in the first place. Eating is a necessary daily task. It doesn't matter how old you are, or what you do for work or leisure. The body needs food and fuel to survive.
It is intriguing to contemplate how a young child would use food as a way to cope with stressors. We all have stress, we all manage it differently, and stress teaches us something. Unfortunately, even without eating disorder symptoms, I still have stress in my life, but I don't cope with them through food. I have found other outlets, and other ways of working through them.
To my younger self: first and foremost, it's important to understand, nothing is your fault.
The month of march makes me feel happy and sad at the same time. It's my birthday month, I'm so happy to be alive and healthy, yet it makes me sad to think about how many years I suffered with my eating disorder.
I am grateful for each day that I have living in recovery, and look forward to my kick off event of Living Proof MN on March 31st.
The Beyond Rules Recovery blog is written by people who are passionate about mental health and wants to spread the message of hope, resiliency, and recovery.