Individuals with eating disorders understand each other when no one else does. I discovered that statement just a few years ago, when I finally accepted mine. I was 32 when I realized something was not 100% with me. All throughout my life I tried so hard to be the perfect child, woman, wife, mother. Perfect, proper, and pleasing. Everyone else mattered but me. I experienced losses, too painful to deal with. Never share with anyone, that meant you were weak, just stuff them away, LeAnne, it will all go away in time. Sorry, life doesn’t work that way.
I slowly began to lose reality, my mind, my body, my family, friends, my husband and then 5 year old son. Anorexia nervosa had control, 100%. I lost my being; I was no longer LeAnne. I was this unknown, a misfit, a failure. I was an eating disorder. It was what I had grown up to be. With the support of my husband and family, I found therapy, treatment, and finally hospitalization. The structure, therapy, persistence, setbacks and being able to look forward to the future rather than back at the past enabled me to take one day at a time and accept me for me. It was really hard. I had this wonderful husband and healthy son. I had many things to live for. My empty heart needed fulfillment. I needed them and more.
I found a rewarding job in my school district working with children in the library. This gave me great pleasure and meaningfulness. My final stage into recovery was writing my story, my book, Inside Amy, Adults and Eating Disorders. Writing it all down helped me to understand my anorexia. I realized I did matter, I do have a place on this earth. I began to speak about eating disorders in my area of northeast PA. I share my experience to educate others. I have come a long way, and you can, too.
Encouragement for Others
Ask for help, you deserve it. Talk to a trusted friend or family member who is a good listener. Better to have things out in the open rather than inside holding the real you back. You are a beautiful person. Show others inside you, a step at a time. It’s OK to enjoy living. I’ll say a little prayer for all of you, too. Promise.