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Editor’s Note: For Mental Health Month 2019 our theme is “It Gets Better.” As part of our campaign, we are interviewing Libero alumni and asking them to reflect on the past and share words of encouragement to those who can relate to their stories.
There were so many days when I wondered if life would ever get better.
I honestly didn’t believe that it could. How could I stop the obsessive thoughts and behaviours that were controlling every second of my day? How could I ever be happy?
Looking back now, it’s hard for me to put myself back there when I was so sick.
There were years of living in between sickness and health. I wasn’t dangerously sick anymore, but I was so far from well. I often wondered if that was the best it could get. I was stuck in that in-between place for so long that I didn’t think I had it in me to push forward.
I can finally say that I am well.
I am not controlled by my eating disorder anymore. I don’t restrict my food choices and I eat until I’m full. If I want more, I’ll have more. I am not controlled by a rigid workout schedule. My body has time to rest and heal now. I still love to run and lift weights, but my value is no longer dictated by the number on the scale or my ability to run a certain distance or pace.
I have more energy to play with my kids and I laugh every single day. While I like to be organized and have a clear plan, I have learned that I will be okay if things change or if something unexpected occurs.
I feel so free.
Free from thoughts constantly swirling around my head telling me I’m not good enough. Free from analyzing every morsel of food I consumed. Free from the need to obsessively move my body. Free from the exhaustion of obsessively planning every second of my day. Free from the constant need to be perfect and to prove my worth.
Being free from my eating disorder does not mean that life is always perfect and easy.
It means that when I have bad days, I can deal with it in a productive way instead of restricting my food and working out longer and harder. I will always be an anxious person and strive for near perfection because that’s just who I am.
However, I have learned to use my personality traits in productive rather than destructive ways.
My eating disorder took away so much from me. I lost years to a constant fog with my mind running wild. I was physically and mentally unhealthy for so long. My most challenging days now are far better than my best days when I was struggling.
My message for those of you still living in the storm of mental illness: IT GETS BETTER.
You don’t think it will or believe that it can, but I am living proof that your life can be put back together and that you can rise up from whatever is holding you down.
Don’t give up.
Amy is a full time mom and former teacher living in Massachusetts. She enjoys reading, running and playing with her kids. She strives to use her story of recovery to help others suffering with eating disorders.
SITE DISCLAIMER: The opinions and information shared in any content on our site, social media, or YouTube channel may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We are not liable for any harm incurred from viewing our content. Always consult a medical professional before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process. Libero does not provide emergency support. If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-784-2433 or another helpline or 911.