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“Freedom has come to mean the ability to believe in a future of unlimited possibilities. I am free to think of any future I desire, to work towards any goals I want to achieve, and to make whatever dreams I want happen. It’s a beautiful thing, freedom.”
It sometimes still hurts to think back to when my eating disorder started and on the subsequently dark, cold, painful years that followed.
It was a time when I didn’t think there was anything else for me besides the harsh realities of anorexia, a time I wouldn’t speak, write, or if I could help it, think about.
What began as school-related stress and a perfectionistic personality grew into innocently skipping meals so I could study longer and not have to worry as much. Which then grew into obsessively skipping meals and getting the scale involved because I wasn’t eating anyway, so why not keep track of something that felt oddly like success? Which morphed into a paralyzing fear of food and entry into an inescapable contest with myself to see how well I could make myself less, less, less.
I was angry.
Angry that my schoolwork was unceasing. Angry that I couldn’t for the life of me shake the bitter cold that had settled deep within my bones. Angry that I couldn’t eat –no, strike that, that I didn’t want to eat. Except I also did, I just really really couldn’t.
As I approached rock bottom, unable to extricate myself from what I’d somehow gotten myself into, unable to feel joy, unable to live life, the most amazing thing happened: the people around me offered their help.
With loved ones around me now on my side, I was hospitalized and officially began down the path to recovery.
Now, I realize my experience is only my own. I fully acknowledge that no matter how a person gets sucked into the depths of an eating disorder and no matter how they get out, their experience is valid. But I thank my lucky stars daily that my journey played out the way that it did.
It took crashing into the lowest of my lows for me to come to a point where I was ready to accept help and make a change.
And for me, that was phenomenally helpful.
What are YOU free from? Tag us (@liberomagazine) in your picture on INSTAGRAM or SUBMIT YOUR STORY!
My name is Laura! When I was a teenager, I fought what I call a crazy battle with anorexia. After three years of intense struggling, I was lucky enough to be shown that there was another option: recovery. It took years of hard work, mental grit, and introspection, but I learned to live a life of freedom. Now I’m learning (once again) that you don’t just choose recovery; you have to keep choosing it.
SITE DISCLAIMER: The opinions and information shared in this article or any other Content on our site may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We hold no liability for any harm that may incur from reading content on our site. Please always consult your own medical professionals 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.