one year of recovering
Updated: Oct 26, 2018
this post is a little different than all of the other ones that i have posted so far. this is a little more personal and a little more serious. i have yet to post about my eating disorder on this platform, but i figured what better way to do so than to talk about my first year of recovering.
while sitting in my own home, with our pup chewing on his bone, coffee and netflix on, it's hard not to think about one year ago. november 2, 2017, last year, it was one of the hardest days for me and to relive it is just as hard. it was the first day that i "chose" recovery. i put quotes around chose because i didn't really choose it. i just did it. one year ago, i went to see an eating disorder therapist and a nutritionist out in Wisconsin. i kept it from most everyone except for my dad, suz, brooke and my grandma. i didn't even tell justin. though he was only 40 minutes away from me at the time, i felt like i was living a completely different life than the life that we created together. see, at this point in my life, i pushed away everyone, my closet family and friends being a few of them. it's not something that i'm proud of, but it's a part of my journey. jumping back to that night at the therapist, sitting there, waiting to go into the room with my dad next to me, i felt nothing. i could see the hurt and the fear in my dad, yet the excitement of me getting the help i needed. still, i felt nothing because i did not want this help. but i couldn't tell him that, i didn't tell anyone that. i was at the point in my disorder where i didn't care, i didn't want to lose this comfort that i felt of being this far in my state of feeling nothing. i went into my meetings, said what they wanted to hear and i left. dad and suz, being so excited that i was finally there doing what was best for me, i said i was so glad i went. but brooke didn't buy it. she knew it, she could see it that i was not going to give this my all. she knew i didn't want this. but didn't say anything because she didn't want to push, to bother me, to make me angry. which at the time, i was thankful for, but eventually she didn't care anymore either. she gave it to me how it needed to be and told me i needed to do this or this disease was going to kill me. and, at that time, i was so mad at her, so frustrated, annoyed. but now, i am so thankful she told me this. she is a huge part of my recovery process for many reasons that don't need to be said. she is a part of my "whys".
my dad and suz left that night after the appointment and i felt like i lost a sense of home and it made everything much worse.
i got a diet plan that i needed to follow in order to start the refeeding process-- which let me tell you, is the most painful thing that i have experienced thus far. but, i didn't really want to start recovering, so i lied and cheated my way out of following this diet plan. lied to my therapist, and lied to my nutritionist every single wednesday. lied to my family every day. that's hard for me to say because if anyone knows me, they know that i love my entire family with absolutely every fiber i have in my body and doing those things hurts me now but it didn't even phase me then.
really wanting to recover didn't come for about a week or two after "choosing" recovery. one morning i was sitting in the parking lot at work, crying. crying because my dad would call me every single day to see how i was and to make sure i was eating. asking me if i wanted to come home to get better. and while i would lie, he would know that i wasn't telling the truth and back at home he was communicating with nurses, nutritionists, therapists about what he and i should do. and while most everyone knows, my dad isn't an emotional person, he hates showing his feelings and has been this way since i was a little girl. but you could hear the hurt and the pain and the disappointment in his voice every.single.time he would call. my dad is my best friend, and that hurts. knowing i was so depressed and unhappy to even care? i did cry while talking to my dad all of the time, but it didn't change my mind. that night, i came back from work and did some homework, but had plans to go out with brooke and some of her friends for dinner. now, at the time, i was a vegan because my eating disorder convinced me to do so and eating out is an absolute fear. it still is to be 10000% honest. but, brooke convinced me to go and to challenge myself with getting a seafood of some kind. while i started out having a good time, it quickly escalated. i could not get out of my head. all i could think about was home. how i needed to be there to get healthy again. i was texting my grandma all that week to figure out if i really needed this. but, one thing was holding me back. justin was in Wisconsin still, playing football and going to college. i just couldn't leave him. he eventually convinced me that he would be okay there with brooke 40 minutes away if he needed anything. eventually at dinner i went to the bathroom to text my dad saying i wanted to come home. my dad wanted this so he replied with "then come home. it's fine." i was scared to tell brooke, though. growing up and even still now, when i'm scared to speak my mind, my dad has always been my voice. it's something that he just does for me. he was willing to talk to brooke about it, but i did it myself.
i remember dave was taking the dog out and i just said it. i just said, "would you be mad if i went home?" and she reassured me it was definitely okay, that i needed to do what i had to and she loved me. it was a very emotional conversation, but i think that this was on a wednesday? i decided to move back that weekend. justin was actually coming to visit that weekend because it was the start of thanksgiving break. weston and lucas had also planned to come and visit us that weekend. so while i was packing during the day, justin would hangout with boys and we would all actually hangout the day before we left. i packed my life up in Wisconsin and headed back home to where i needed to be in Michigan.
so, justin was back in Charlevoix for that week because of thanksgiving break, which helped me a ton to get back into the swing of things. so, with numerous trips back and forth to Chicago, Wisconsin, and home with grandma to go and get justin (which i'm so thankful she did for me), i was so over the long distance thing, again. it was so hard for me with the recovery process. justin was the missing part of my recovery to help me get better and he wasn't there. i didn't want to tell him i needed him home because he was living his dream playing college football because that would have been awful. but, one night sitting at home alone i noticed how much hair i was losing. when you have an eating disorder and are severely malnourished, you lose hair. a looootttt of hair. i had bald spots on my head when i would put it up. i cried, i was so over it. i was over laying in bed and crying myself to sleep every night because i was so disgusted and tired and depressed and i missed justin. i hated being lonely while my dad was at work. my dad and i both decided i wasn't going back to work or school for awhile to figure my life out and to get healthy again. i still haven't started school yet, as i don't feel ready, but have since started a new job. so i was bored and always stuck in my own head and my thoughts. honestly, thinking about how long i could go without eating. weston and my grandma really helped with the boredom, always taking me out to do things, or just hanging out. but, i hated going out because i could see the stares of the people looking at me, knowing what was going on with you but not saying anything out of politeness. but eventually i told justin i needed him to come home, that i couldn't do it without him. and it must have been God's plan because he replied with the fact that the school he was attending, while we loved it and thought it was a good fit, were screwing him over financially and that he couldn't afford it if that were the case. so, after his j-term was over in February, 3 months after i had moved home, he packed up his life there and he moved back home.
i am so thankful that everything was God's plan the way that it happened. justin moved home and it was just like everything fell into place. i was getting healthy again and my depression was slowly fading. and, after about 6 months of actually recovering, my hair started to grow back. i thought i would never get my hair back. that was one of my "whys" along with many other things. i will say, an entire year of the hardest year of my life, struggling, recovering, struggling again, the constant cycle that happens with this disease, it feels some days i've made no progress. some days i have made all of the progress in the world. this year i've had relapses, and to be completely honest, about a month ago i told justin i couldn't do it anymore. that it was coming back. i'm not sure why, no one knows why it comes back, it just does. it's the season where everyone is starting the new trendy diet and cutting out all of the foods that are ACTUALLY healthy for you! it doesn't bother me much, just only when i see the disappointment in their faces when that "diet" didn't work. or even worse, when the "diet" does work from basically eating nothing. also, wedding season and planning your own wedding causes a huge strain on someone who struggles with an eating disorder--- especially after wedding dress shopping. seeing yourself look so different than what you were, in one of the dresses that is the MOST important thing you'll wear; that everyone will see you in. wondering everyday, "should i eat this? what if my dress doesn't fit when i get it back?". you just hate yourself and your body. though it's a much healthier body, you hate it. justin has since helped me since that relapse, but i won't lie--- every day is a constant struggle. no day is without one. but, i am so grateful and blessed to still be here. so many people have saved my life from this. i love the life that i live, my own home, our puppy, our life together, my friends and family. while planning a wedding is stressful, it's the most amazing thing to do and i am so thankful to plan this day.
i'm not making this post to sound like i hate my life-- i love my life. i'm writing this post to maybe just help one. to use this platform to get my story out for #nedawareness (national eating disorder awareness) to show that you can get through this, you will. that you're beautiful no matter what size you are. that you don't need to change. and while loving yourself is hard, it is possible. there are tons of resources out there! use them, do not wait. @neda instagram page has so many resources, inspiration, etc to help you with this process. a year of recovery has brought me a lot of ups and downs, but i am so happy to say that i am on the right track, and without everyone i have in my life, there is no way this would have been possible.
if God brings you to it, He'll bring you through it.
ps. a fantastic book for anyone struggling with their mental health, body image, or just needs a reminder that you're amazing and don't have to change; a great book is #BodyKindness (Body Kindness) by Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN. i will 100% recommend her and that book every single time.
book linked below
a few other insta socials that have helped me as well:
all of these ladies are so intelligent, beautiful, and have so much self love when it comes to having an amazing life. they have such a great women positive, body positive platform and they use it to share such positive messages and they have helped me and my journey in more way than one. definitely check them out.
the clinic that i went to in Wisconsin was the REDI Clinic in Wauwatosa. and while i, myself, wasn't ready to get the help i needed right away when i was attending, they actually saved my life in more way than one now that i look back at it, in a healthy state of mind. my therapist, Katie, was the absolute best and if i still lived there, i would definitely be going right back to her and would recommend her and the REDI Clinic with every fiber in my body.