5 Lessons Learned Through Recovering From An Eating Disorder
Typically, the most important life lessons are taught to us in the most challenging ways. My struggle with an eating disorder put me in some really low, lows and it’s usually in those lows that we realize we need to make a change. Through my healing process there was a lot of pain and discomfort, but there was even more love, happiness, and joy. I wanted to share 5 cherished life lessons that I have learned from my struggle in hopes that maybe one of these will resonate and lift you in your time of need.
You Are Worthy of Love Just As You Are:
This one for me, even now, is still hard to resonate with. You are worthy of love just as you are. Say that out loud to yourself right now. How does it feel? The
"people pleaser" in me never wanted to accept that statement. I had this fear people would only love me if I was good enough, but just like everyone else, I have imperfections and I couldn’t see past those. I wasn’t capable of letting people in because I believed that once they got close enough, there would be a part of me that wasn’t worthy of loving. If you feel this or have felt this, you don’t have to. You don’t need to obtain a “perfect version” of yourself to get people to love you. You are already worthy of that love right now, with every imperfection that you have. I can’t even begin to describe to you how true that sentence is. You are worthy of love just as you are. Now, when I say that sentence out loud, I am overwhelmed and I get chills up my arms. If you don’t have that feeling, message me.
You Never Know What People Are Struggling With
I was at the bank the other day and I was in one of the cubicles with a bank teller. As he was typing on his computer I glanced at his calendar on the wall. The date was July 31 and he had the words SAD DAY :( written in all caps. I had no idea what that day was for him. Maybe it was the day he lost a loved one or maybe it was the anniversary of something he wanted to forget. As we were finishing up, I remember being especially kind to him and it reminded me that you never really know what people are going through.
Since sharing my story, so many people have reached out to me about their own personal battles, whether they are related to mine or not. A lot of the time I think to myself, “I never would have thought they were dealing with this.” Human beings love suffering in silence. We don’t want people to know that we have hard things going on. No one knew when I was struggling and if I hadn’t glanced at the calendar I wouldn’t have known that man was struggling. Random acts of kindness can go a long way with people. Smile at the cashier who is going a little slower than you had time for, have a little more patience for the waiter who got your order wrong, and have compassion for the best friend who couldn’t make time for you. Give a little more love to the people in your life -- you never know what they are carrying.
Your Worst Enemy Should Not be Yourself:
I remember starring at myself in the mirror and thinking horrible things. There would always be something: I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t smart enough, I wasn’t this or that. I was so hard on myself and I would deflect every compliment that would come my way. There are so many things we get down on ourselves for: looks, laziness, personality flaws, even just our minor, careless, mistakes throughout the day. There is a quote that is so often used that it’s almost become a cliche, “You would never talk to someone you love the way that you talk to yourself.” Why are we our own worst enemy? If you are going to live the life you have always wanted, that voice in your head should be your greatest cheerleader, not the villain in your story. You get to choose what you say to yourself. This is your reminder to strive to be kind to the person in the mirror. Be quick to catch yourself in a discouraging thought, accept the compliment for once, and be kinder to yourself! As you do, you will find that the person in the mirror is actually amazing.
You Can Come Back From Anything:
When I struggled with my eating disorder, I didn’t think recovery was possible. I was certain that I would be “this way” forever, but that was not the case. We have all gone through something. There are hard things that have happened to each of us, and believe it or not, an eating disorder isn’t the worst thing that has happened in my life. Our lives are full of ups and downs and you are strong enough to come back from anything. You don’t have to feel so sad, alone, heartbroken, betrayed, scared, disappointed, or hurt forever. You can put the pieces of your life back together and grow from where you have been planted. There is hope for you and happiness waiting. If you feel you need help to get there, use your support system. Call a friend, get a therapist, reach out to me! Your support system may be larger than you think. Healing is the hard part of any struggle, but it’s the most rewarding part.
Be Actively Grateful:
I was so hard on myself that I was unable to see any of the good parts of me. I have learned that gratitude can help you balance the perspective scale and see things as they are. Actively choosing to be grateful can be hard. I started by writing 3 things that I was grateful for. It then turned into 3 things I was grateful for about myself, and lately it has become something even more. In moments of self doubt, self hate, or otherwise, I have chosen to balance the perspective scale by recognizing the things I am doing right. As I result I have begun to love parts of myself that I felt were unloveable and that has been a huge milestone for me. If you are need a little self love boost, I challenge you to be actively grateful.
I am very aware that an eating disorder is not something people tend to openly talk about, but I want to. I am truly grateful for what I have gone through because of what I have learned. I hope that through my own struggle I can help others. I can’t even begin to tell you how scary it was for me to put this all out there for everyone to see, but because of it I have been connected with so many people. I’m so grateful for the opportunities that sharing my story has given me and for the relationships that I have made by sharing it. Regardless of your current circumstance I hope one of these lessons that I have learned resonated with you. If you need support please call me. I am also a CTA Certified Life Coach and I am giving away a free coaching session to anyone that wants one. Schedule here. Until then, subscribe to my email list to get the next Little Piece of Bri Elise.