Anorexia and depression robbed me out of five years of happiness. I did not "choose" to have an eating disorder, just so we're clear. It kind of just unintentionally evolved from my desperation to cling to some element of control in my life. With all the health issues that I was facing, and all of the uncertainty and unpredictability, food seemed like the only safe element of my life. I wanted to control something so desperately, I didn't even care that the control I was clinging to was slowly leaching the life right out of me.
Anorexia destroyed any bit of self confidence I had in myself. It destroyed relationships I had with friends and family. It made my hair fall out, my skin to take on a permanent grey colour, and to make my blood pressure so low that simply standing up made me want to pass out. Despite the physical, social and psychological manifestations this disorder brought on, I was reluctant to change. It took me five years to realize that this illness could very well end my life.
There will come a time, (like the time came for me) where you have to choose to let go of whats destroying your life, even though it will destroy you letting it go. Anorexia had become an identity to me. It allowed me to retreat to this place in my mind, where I didn't have to cope with what else was going on in my life. Letting go of my eating disorder meant that I had to own up to the fact that I was struggling with my other health issues, and accept the fact that my genetic condition would likely lead me to a life of uncertainty.
Healing and recovering from mental illness doesn't mean that the damage it has caused is gone and forgotten about. Instead, healing means that the pain and suffering no longer has control over your life. Remember, mental illness is never a choice, but recovery always will be. Recovery won't be easy, trust me on that one. But it will always, always, always be worth it. Recovery is slow, and it can be painful. Don't be the one to stand in the way of your own success.
I just want to leave you all with one more thought. Through the process of recovery, I've learned that it will take time to love yourself — and that's okay. I still don't think I am there today, but when I look in the mirror and look at the person I have become, I'm comforted by the fact that I fought like hell to become her.