Kim at Adventures in wanting proposed some questions. I decided to make a post of my answers!
- What do you think were the keys to your recovery?
I needed to understand why I was going through what I was, why I was living in a horrendous nightmare, and why I just wasn’t like your average Joe. I needed to understand the brain chemistry and science, the genetic connection, and how diet played into nutrition and health. It wasn’t until I understood the link to nutrition and brain function that I could “key in” on my own recovery and really want recovery as opposed to making others happy. My parents have been my EVERYTHING in the whole process. I used no doctors, nutritionists, or therapists when I took recovery into my own hands. It makes you feel good about yourself and boosts your confidence knowing you can do it
2. What effect did it have on you to work with recovered staff?
I worked with no staff when I really took a stab at recovering. When I initially did it was outpatient and it was horrible. Not one of the people I saw knew what anorexia even was. They would say things like “so you throw up your food” WTF ANOREXICS DO NOT THROW UP! They hounded me time and again with NO support, only criticism and eventually telling me I would never get better and it is all my fault and vain. GET REAL
3. How would you describe the concept of an eating disorder self vs healthy self?
Every recoveree knows the ED and the ME. It is a compulsion in your head, an anxiety provoking stimulus, and an imbalance in chemicals. It is an insulin surge or drop that causes your brain to snap into RUN mode and thoughts encompass everything from self hate to food hate. The healthy self catches the feeling before it comes. I personally can feel when my body is “low” and needs food. I know from my thumping temples when I have a surge in insulin and I need to write, talk it out, or find a way to calm my head. The ED is absolutely hateful, it’s that image you see when you look in the mirror and want to cry. The healthy self looks at the mirror, praises her body, checks out her ass and smiles.
4. What would you say to those struggling with reaching out to people instead of food? How did you learn to do this? How has it changed your life? What made it so hard?
I never reached out to anyone. I was forced into recovery. I would most likely be dead had I not been approached and forced to start changing. It is just a selfish uncontrollable disease when it is active and youre encompassed in it. When I wasd forced into change, I hated it all and I despised food. However, when I got a break and was allowed to start a low-carb regime with my parents is when I took studying nutrition and mental illness into my own hands. I eventually concluded that ll mental illness can be linked as a disease of civilization due to bad dieting. It is all encompassed in the fact that humans do not eat how they are supposed to eat. This leads to malfunctions, in genes, in biochemistry, and one of those side effects are eating disorders. TRUE REAL nutrition is the only cure for mental illness. This fact has changed my life. What made it hard? I was being told my entire recovery that is is all my fault, I has fucked up almost to the point of death, and I would never get better. Again, I was out to proved people wrong and thus far have done just that!
5. “It IS about the food”: Thoughts?
I agree to disagree. Hippocrates said “let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food” This rings true to any sufferer. You cannot get better without the food, but the food per say did not cause the disorder. The only way to fix the malfunctioning mentally ill brain is through food, i.e. nutrition. You cant get healthy without food. The body must catch up before the mind is able to understand. On the same note, once you learn to eat again, the disordered does not magically disappear. Now, with rational thoughts you have to learn how to de-stress your life, get rid of the clutter in your mind, and learn socialization again.
6. How have you found meaning outside of your eating disorder? How have you created a fulfilling life for yourself?
I separate my ED and my present life. My ED is a PAST separation from who I am now. I cannot change the fact that it happened, and I know and realize anorexia nervosa, the mental disease, will be with me forever, but I am no longer “anorexic.” I am Mallory, a healthy 24-year-old girl who needs to get laid (haha). I am a full time employee as an accountant. I am a lover of the sun, the beach, and football. I am NOT anorexic. I fulfill my life by achieving success at my job, by helping others, and now by getting my story out there for others to understand and hopefully benefit from. I am still working on what it is I think I want to “do with my life.”
7. How did you get motivated to get better? What helped you stay motivated? How did you find motivation after losing it?
This took the longest. I kept wanting to “just hang on” to my ED long enough because I was never convinced I was “good enough” at anorexia. I had no motivation to leave the comfort I had in my own little world and bubble which never changed. Not until I was forced did I decided “well if I HAVE to do this, I mine as well do it right” this got me into studying NOT DIETING, but nutrition, evolutionarily. This in a way saved me, because I understand so much more the how and why’s to anorexia and the whow’s and why’s to stay free from relapse.