In 2009, I was staring death in the face…
My life had gone to shit. I started indulging in unhealthy eating habits when I was 11 years old – although the detrimental thoughts began long before that. Over the years, my starvation became more of a priority to me, along with self-harm, alcohol, pills, and promiscuity. I spent a few years in and out of mental hospitals for depression and suicidal thoughts. My self-hatred was managed but I still didn’t love myself.
In 2007, I became an extremely heavy drinker. I was dealing with severe PTSD and wanted to drown the thoughts, the flashbacks, and self-loathing. I would drink nightly, many times passing out. I made a fool of myself more times than I care to count – and I didn’t see a problem with it. To me, it was worth it in order to not face reality.
By 2008, I became frighteningly thin – anorexia had taken over. At that point, I was also using both alcohol and pills to numb my pain. But I still wasn’t happy. No matter how much weight I lost, I kept wanting to lose more. No matter how often I would get stupidly drunk or pop pills, it wasn’t enough to hide from the world. I isolated myself from friends and family so that I could pursue my dangerous behaviors.
Anorexia is basically the slowest form of suicide. I had to be admitted into an inpatient facility for
re-feeding and ended up also discovering the extent of my drinking and drug use. I attended my first AA meeting while I was inpatient and found out that I was not alone. Over time, I went to more addiction meetings, including ANAD (Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders). Through treatment and meetings, I found that I could regain control of my life and that I wasn’t alone.
After finding life without addiction, I decided to dedicate myself to helping others who were facing the same battles. The hardest part of my own journey wasn’t even kicking the habits; it was finding out who I was. I had succumbed to addiction for so long that I had lost myself. I needed to discover my passions, my goals, and self-love. And I knew that trying to do so was a stumbling block for many addicts.
I am not perfect; I still struggle daily. I find support in my family and support groups. Recovery is not something that you eventually accomplish. It’s a lifetime journey with bumps in the road, hurdles to jump, and walls that you have to figure out how to scale. It is hard AF. But I am proof that it can be done.