“I wasn’t sick enough,” was the first thought that crossed my mind when I was asked how I was able to recover from an eating disorder. Thinking back on my struggles, I know that isn’t true, but yet that idea is still there and is a very common thought for people who have struggled with eating disorders. Many times its because we think we weren’t small enough, rather than thinking about the continuum of disordered thoughts and behaviors.
The thought that I wasn’t sick enough dismisses all the work that I have done though. It dismisses my writings, my yoga practice, my thoughts and decisions, my research, and my persistence. It dismisses all the time I put in and the grit that I have had. I don’t really think there was one specific thing that helped me, but rather a combination of a lot of things.
There were so many times that I thought that I would never improve, and I was expecting all the help from others. I remember my psychologist getting a little frustrated and asking me if I even wanted to get better. That was when it clicked that I had to want it. It wasn’t just going to magically happen because I got help. Life doesn’t work that way.
I had to work through the healing and continue to do so. I had to sit through the discomfort and pain. I had to reach out for help when I was struggling. I had to understand that I needed to try to give it my all. I recovered because of me, and yes, definitely some support that I am so grateful for. I know not everyone is able to get the support that they need when they are sick, and it makes it a lot more difficult.
You can recover though and when you do or if you have, don’t dismiss yourself or your illness. You are the one putting in the work day in and day out and you deserve some credit. You are not an imposter.
You were sick enough and your story is valid.