October 29, 2017 and I’m finally realizing what it’s like to live life without fear. I have been under my eating disorder’s spell for 4 years. Four years of no smiles or laughs or kindness to myself, only devious plans, anxiety and sadness laid in my mind. I was going in circles day until night, because I knew I had the power to control what I wanted. Yes, I was able to manipulate situations but it left me with no room to breathe. I constantly had to think of what the next meal was going to be and how I could skip it, or make it a tiny portion and place it in a large bowl so it would look like a lot but all sink to the bottom. That was just one of my circus acts as I like to call it. Terribly silly that I would do such a thing to my body. Around this time last year is when things started going downhill and health was taking a toll on everything that took place. I remember in P.E. last year barely being able to run more than 5 seconds around the track without getting out of breath or having to stop at every level of the 3 story building (as I walked to class) before making my way to the top. I knew what I was doing was unhealthy, I was barely functioning as a human being.

I was letting fear win, I couldn’t do the “right thing” because then I would be like everyone else- normal. In my head I showcased my Eating Disorder (ED) as a prize because it’s something I have and I didn’t know anyone else who had it. Fear was taking over my life, I was more isolated and miserable then I had ever been in my entire. It was a very dark time. My ED didn’t mind though because I was obeying each and every one of his rules. Bundled up in blankets and jackets on the hottest of days, hair always falling out, even getting down to only one pair of pants because all the others were too big on me even though I had just bought them a few months prior. I was hiding, losing tons of weight, and my body was not liking it. I also stopped getting my period. I felt very weak and tired all the time. Moodiness was my natural state of being. I was cranky, sensitive, and crying all the time. I was deteriorating. My overall brain function was not even there as a result. I wasn’t able to concentrate in school. My body temperature was always very low and my mind was on food only. My grades were suffering immensely. There are so many more cons to the pros of this illness, I was slowly killing myself day after day. I knew I had to step up but I didn’t even know where to start because of fear. I was petrified of saying anything to anyone about it. I finally came clean about my Eating Disorder to my Mom, and asking for help was the best thing I have ever done. I started my recovery journey in the beginning of this year, fearful as ever. Over time, I have gained weight but more importantly mental clarity. I finally know the kind of person I was meant to be. I’ve conquered so many fears and I’m loving life again, for the first time in 4 years! Last night for example, it was my friend’s Birthday and I’ve haven’t been to a Birthday party for 4 years (mental clarity turned me into a social butterfly now!) and I had breadsticks, pizza & cake. All of those combined are foods my Eating Disorder would’ve never let me have – let alone with other people there, but why should I have to give up a good experiences like celebrating with my friends for ED? Some days are harder than others, but every day I power through it to prove how strong I am and how small ED is. I deserve to live my life no longer being in fear. Being happy is so amazing and something I’d never thought I would feel again! I’m so happy to be happy! Recovery is worth it!

By Charlotte T. (A teen formerly trapped in ED)