This post is written by co-blog manager Emily Costa. Check out her new site bodylovebabes.com
Today, exactly 365 days ago I sat in residential treatment for the eating disorder I had struggled with for years for the last time. After 3 and a half months of treatment, I was finally ready to leave the secure and safe walls of the place that made me me again. The place where I was given a second chance. The place where I was given back the hope, love and strength to live my life for the first time.
Those 3 and a half months were the hardest thing I had ever gone through. See, there is no escaping yourself in treatment. You are given this very rare opportunity to face yourself every second of every day by being vulnerable and letting your guard down.
This place changed my life. Correction, it helped me change my life.
But I didn’t know this would happen when I first arrived. I felt hopeless when I arrived. My mind was convinced simultaneously that 1) I didn’t have a problem and 2) I wasn’t worth this chance at recovery.
My first day of treatment I wrote this in my journal: “I feel as if I forgot how to be me in the most pure and natural way – or maybe I never even learned how to be me in the simplest form. I am holding onto the small bit of hope I have that things will get better”
And thank god I held onto that hope. That hope pushed me and grew wildly dat by day that I could do this, I could get better.
There were moments in those first few days where I sat and swore to my team I was going to pack my bags to return home.
Yet I stayed. I fought. All because of that small ounce of hope and I became Emily again.
Those days I spent there were the days I chose me again. Those were the days I let go of the chaos and comfort of my eating disorder to live in freedom. Those were the days I learned to use my voice again. Those were the days I learned that my eating disorder and struggles do not define me. Those were the days I realized I am worthy of life and recovery. Those were the days I allowed strangers to become my support system and aid me back to health and strength. Those were the days I realized I am MORE than my body.
Today, I sit in gratitude for that time and chance I got last year that gave me my life back.
Recovery is such a beautiful, difficult and amazing process and because of that I wouldn’t change my path for anything else. It is weird to be grateful for a disease that has made my life challenging – but I am. It has made me who I am, a strong girl who wants to share her truth with the world.
Hold onto the hope you have, no matter how small. Because things do get better.
Today I am proud for all the wisdom I’ve gained and the ability to live in my own truth.