I’d like to introduce ED. ED has been with me for as long as I can remember. At some point, ED moved in permanently and we become so intertwined that you couldn’t tell where ED began and I ended.
I didn’t realize ED was always with me until about a year ago when I was diagnosed with an Eating Disorder. In my mind, ED encouraged me to be super “healthy” — I didn’t see that this “health” had huge costs. ED cost me friendships, children, joy, peace and happiness.
It has taken me a year to find the courage and strength to share my story. I was ashamed of having a mental illness. Ashamed and scared of being vulnerable, authentic and judged because most people don’t understand Eating Disorders. Eating Disorders are rarely about food; they’re related to deep-seated beliefs that don’t have a positive purpose in a person’s life.
My healing journey has been remarkable. For the first time in my life, I can look in the mirror and am not ashamed of the face looking back at me. I am learning to accept and love who I am, because nothing is inherently wrong with me as a person. I am good enough.
I have learned compassion for myself and others. I have learned that fear is usually the only thing holding me back from a good life, from a life that I deserve. I have learned that true connection is fostered with authenticity, bravery, vulnerability and courage. I have learned that everyone struggles, and most people hide it because struggles, in our society, are seen as a weakness.
“I have learned compassion for myself and others. I have learned that fear is usually the only thing holding me back from a good life, from a life that I deserve.”
My journey would not have been possible without the Canadian Mental Health Association and the love and support of some amazing people who largely didn’t understand what I was going through, but simply held a safe place for me and listened. I am so grateful to have [my husband] as my sidekick in this lifetime because he holds me up when I don’t have anything left to give, listens without judgment when I just need someone to hear me and literally gives me a hug and shoulder to cry on when it all gets to be too much.
The wounds that caused the Eating Disorder aren’t fully healed and I know I have a lot of healing to go, but I’m no longer afraid, because I have an awesome tool chest and I have seen how good life can be when I don’t let fear dictate my journey.
I’m sharing my story for anyone who is struggling. To let you know that you are not alone. There are people who have your back and I am one of them. Please know that if you need someone to hold space for you, to listen without judgment or to be a shoulder to cry on that I am here. I will listen. I will be a safe, soft place to fall.
- Eating Disorders Family and Friends Education and Support Group
- Getting help for someone you know with an eating disorder
- Getting help for yourself in overcoming an eating disorder
- Important resources for topics related to eating disorders
In order to protect the individual’s privacy, their name has been withheld.