*EATING DISORDER RECOVERY STORY*
If this post is triggering for you, please do not read it.
It all started when I was 10. I started covering my tummy with my arms. I started seeing the skinny girls in the magazines at the grocery store counter. I started realizing that I wasn’t skinny, and my brother saw this anxiety in me and told me, “It’s just baby fat, Brooke. You’ll grow out of it.”
Once we moved to Sacramento, I started playing volleyball. Volleyball helped me immensely. It gave me confidence, comradery, and a fit body. But I was still insecure.
I knew other girls at my school were going through the same thing. I could see them sneaking to the toilets and I’d follow them in minutes later seeing them rinse out their mouth.
But I didn’t take on their choices.
Throwing up has never been appealing to me.
Instead, I started taking colon cleansers.
Why not let it come out the other end instead? You know?
And that plus starving myself worked.
And of course, dating a boy who was also anorexic fuelled the obsession even more.
I lost a lot of weight my senior year of high school.
A few girls even wanted to know my secret, but I never told them.
I then became vegetarian in college, another boy influence.
This helped maintain my low weight because of the low-calorie consumption.
But I started getting sick. My immune system started failing and luckily, I had mentors along the way telling me, “If you want to reach your fitness goal you need to eat more, Brooke.”
Thankfully, I listened, and I started eating more.
My gains in the gym then became significantly noticeable. I was finally reaching my goals; however, I was still dating men who were living by my same fears of “not being enough” and these relationships hurt me.
But one day, I met a boy who was secure with his body and I was astonished.
His laid-back attitude left me defenceless. I had never met anyone so naturally confident in who they are, and boy was it attractive!
So, I moved here and got lost in him like I did with the others, but this time the pendulum swung the other way. I started overeating. I felt so safe with him that I over indulged. I’d eat what he’d eat, thinking I would be fine, but in reality, I had again stopped listening to myself.
And here I am now, 8kg lighter after months of discipline, focus and listening.
It takes courage for me to tell this story, but I hope it resonates with you that anxiety comes in many forms. Most people with anxiety fear uncertainty, therefore they create structure in their life in order to cope. This structure can then become very rigid and obsessive, but I promise it doesn’t always have to be that way. Releasing control and accepting small pieces of uncertainty will help you recover. It just takes practice.