My lucky number is 13, so I am going to write down my top 13 reasons why fighting for and staying in recovery is so important to me:
1- feeling healthy & alive - I wouldn't trade this feeling for anything! I used to be so exhausted, sick, numb, and my body was always in pain. My body was slowly shutting down. Now that I am weight restored, nourished, and healthy... the difference is truly incredible. I have energy to not only make it through the day (cause that was near impossible many times throughout my illness) but I also have the energy to do so much more! I don't pass out or get dizzy every time I stand up. I don't have heart palpitations and my muscles and joints don't constantly ache. I feel so much stronger and more alive. And I am so grateful for that.
2- mental clarity - I am able to concentrate on things. I am able to remember things. This one is so important to me because I am able to have conversations with people and actually be present in the conversation instead of a zombie or completely out of it because my brain has been severely starved. I am able to focus on my work, I am able to retain information and remember things that happen in my every day life.
3 - healthy relationships - When I was struggling with my eating disorder, my relationships suffered greatly. Especially with my family. It's been a long road back, but I am so thankful that I have been able to mend my relationship with my family. I am closer to them then I ever have been (especially my parents) and I couldn't feel more grateful. I also lost a lot of friendships and other relationships because of my eating disorder. Some of those friendships have become stronger again. And I have also been able to build new relationships with people and these relationships are healthy and strong. My eating disorder is no longer interfering in my connections with other people. And I want to keep it that way. Three is a crowd when it comes to the eating disorder. There is no room in these relationships for the eating disorder.
4 - focus on the things that truly matter - When I was consumed in my eating disorder, I didn't have much room in my life for anything else. And now that I am in recovery, I can enjoy the people, hobbies, & passions in my life that truly matter to me. I have been able to reconnect with things I used to enjoy and have also found new things to add to that list. I am discovering a life I never imagined would be possible for me, and it's possible because I am in recovery.
5- learning to enjoy food again (and discovering new foods) - I never thought that I would be able to say this, but I enjoy eating and I enjoy food. I forgot how good food can taste and I am even discovering new foods that I had never dared eat before. I am able to eat mindfully and enjoy food now instead of being fearful of it or giving it more power than it should have.
6 - learning to love and embrace my body - This one is still a work in progress for me, but I know that it will only continue to strengthen as I continue my journey in recovery. I love all the things that my body can do. I love that I look like a woman now instead of a 14 year old boy. I love that my body is healing from all of the damage that I have put it through for years and years... and years. This is the only body I have and I need to take care of it.
7- honesty - When I was struggling, I became an expert liar. We have to so we can protect our eating disorder. I did everything I could to hide food, lie about what I was or was not eating, where I had been, what I was doing, I avoided a lot, and lied a lot. I am not proud of that. I feel horrible for how dishonest I was. But being truthful is so important to me. I am grateful that I don't feel like I need to protect my illness any more.
8 - my future family - I want get married and have a family of my own. I want this very much, and I want to be healthy for this. I want to be a wife and a mother who is not still struggling and fighting for her life. I want to be a healthy role model for my children (and also my nieces and nephews). I want to be healthy and present in my relationship with my future husband and I want to grow old with him. I want to be around to see my children grow up and have families of their own.
9- to help others - I want to help others find recovery, and to do this, I need to stay strong in my own recovery. I want to use my story, my experiences, my voice to be an advocate - to educate, bring awareness, and support others who are struggling.
10- feeling my feelings - I never ever thought that this would be on my list of reasons because it is one of the biggest things that kept me trapped in my ed. I was so fearful of feeling my feelings. It terrified me. But something changed inside of me, and I love that I have emotions. The good and yes... even the bad ones. Because I feel alive. I feel human. Emotions and feelings are natural, and they need to be expressed and felt. I have learned throughout my recovery that feelings don't last forever. And I am able to believe that now.
11- being more social - I used to avoid social situations, or if I went I would have so much anxiety. My mind would be consumed with what food would be there, what was I going to eat, were people gonna make comments or get upset with me over what I did or didn't eat. And putting on my mask of "I'm okay, everything is alright" was tiring and it seemed easier to just avoid it and stay home. But now I am able to go to social events and the food is the last thing on my mind. I am able to enjoy the people, enjoy the activities, and yes... even enjoy the food. And that is such a great feeling. I love that I am able to be me and not have to hide behind that mask anymore.
12- I still have so much I want to do - I am lucky to be alive. I am grateful to be alive. I know that I am still here for a reason and I have so much I still want to do in my life. I still have so many dreams, goals, experiences, laughter, memories, ect. that still need to come true.
13- because it's worth it - A life with an eating disorder is not a life... but a life in recovery is full of endless possibilities <3