I am still in shock from the amount of responses and positive words I got from everyone after sharing my story. It was amazing to feel understood and accepted for my past as that was never something I felt like people would understand. Hearing from old friends, new friends, acquaintances, family, and those who have or still are struggling with the same issues helped me realize that I did the right thing. One of my best friends asked what prompted me to talk about my past and quite honestly there were many reasons.
Last year one of my good friends from high school past away from a drug overdose. Some people may get mad at me for talking about this because we hadn’t been in contact for several years but what people may not know is that she confided a lot in me when we were younger. She struggled with an eating disorder long before I did, she showed me everything she learned in how to cope with her pain. She was the sweetest person and I know that her actions were a way of reaching out for help. At the time, and for a long time, I didn’t know how to help her. Instead I told her it was okay. She fought many more demons that I could even imagine, and ultimately lost her battle. Every day I look up at her picture in my car and wish that I had been able to help her, and that maybe if she could see that it is possible to get better than she might still be here today. I hope that this message is seen by others that struggle and gives them hope of a brighter tomorrow, it is possible.
While I mention a friend that I lost touch with, I should add that 95% of my friends I lost touch with over time. Not because I didn’t care about them, not because I didn’t enjoy spending time with them, but because I was overwhelmed with the battle that I was in with myself. It encompassed much of my life, I missed out on everything from our senior cruise in high school to vacations with my family and mounds of other activities that I couldn’t commit to because I never knew when my eating disorder would command my attention. I hope that all of those friends who have read my story understand that it was never them, it was always me. I didn’t make decisions, my eating disorder did, and of all my regrets, missing out on memories with amazing people is the biggest.
Last but not least, I often times find myself having conversations with people about health and wellness. It’s something I am very passionate in now, as I learn every day how to better heal my body and what things work and don’t work. I’ve learned that nothing is black and white and no circumstances are the same for two people. Although most people are looking for “THE solution, THE perfect diet, THE answer to all the questions” but there is no ONE FITS ALL in life. Everyone has a story, everyone has gone through things that has made them who they are today. I had a friend tell me that “I would never know what it’s like to deal with eating problems” because he is overweight and I am not. He was right and wrong. He was right that I would never know what it’s like to be extremely overweight, because I have never experienced that, but you better believe I have used food to cope with my emotions. To assume people “couldn’t possibly understand” what you have been through is naive, but in this world people do it all the time. They judge a book by its cover and can’t POSSIBLY think that the opinion they formulated in 5 seconds could be wrong. If we just take a step back and realize that we ALL have more in common than we think, perhaps the world would be a little less judgmental and hostile.
All most people want and need is someone to read their story, to understand them and to not judge them for who they are. Everyone is at a different point in their journey and everyone benefits from love and compassion. I hope that people will read this and be reminded to be kind to themselves and those around them, you never know how much something as simple as acceptance can impact someone else’s life.
CFD & KEG ❤