Stories of Recovery
Hi! I’m Denise. I am 48 years old and have suffered with an eating disorder for 19 years. I have been in treatment for 5 years and in recovery for 2 years. Through a lot of hard work and changes I have found peace and good health and wanted to share my good-bye to my eating disorder.
What is really amazing is how ED’s voice has quieted, freeing my mind to rest or choose my own thoughts. Don’t get me wrong, he occasionally sneaks in his little comments when I am struggling a bit; “You’re getting fatter” or “I can’t believe you ate that and are keeping it in.” But, rarely do I ever really hear them and when I do, I just ignore him. There will never be another person, real or in my head that will control my thoughts and feelings, a mistake I made all of my life.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t afraid, afraid that I will become weak and fall into my old behaviors, but as of right now these are not options. I have experienced a few lapses on my journey to good health, but that is all a part of recovery. I am sure they may occur occasionally, but less and less if I remain strong.
I have so much to live for, so much to experience in life leaving little time for worrying. I have placed my life in God’s hands, and pray for the strength to deal with tough issues as they arise. I am living a well-balanced life including family, friends, work, fun and relaxation; and choices, healthy choices.
I always thought it would hurt to say good-bye to what I believed was my best friend, ED, but through recovery I have lost several relationships with family and friends who did not understand my disease. I have no control over those losses, but I do have the control to let go of something that has brought nothing but heartache to my life. If I can accept people who loved me letting me go, I can surely accept losing something that hated me and wanted nothing more than to see me miserable and eventually dead. Goodbye ED.
I am not sure what brought me to this place in my life; actually I think it is a number of very difficult changes I have gone through, changes that were necessary for my recovery. I realize that a butterfly cannot become full in life and beauty without experiencing many changes; tough changes. I am so ready to emerge into a butterfly’s life; a life of freedom, choice, grace and beauty. A life that people gaze at, in wonder; a life they want to capture, but rarely do. I want this more and more everyday. I want to be known as the person who chose life, God’s wonderful gift of life.