Getting real and getting raw: NEDA week

February 23, 2016 in Recovery

As it is NEDA week, I am going to be getting real and raw for some of my blog posts this week. This is a very important and very heartfelt week to me; and I am a full believer that my struggles with anorexia happened for a reason- I don’t regret my struggles as they taught me so much and gave me an incredible amount of strength and wisdom. I think that this eating disorder happened so I could be one of those brave souls who chooses to be open about her journey; who can help other girls and boys struggling with the same thing to find light and happiness in this world of twists and turns.

ALSO: This post does contain triggering thoughts and behaviors that I once had in the midst of my eating disorder. If you are currently struggling or are on the path to recovery yet can easily be triggered; please do not read. Put yourself first and your health first- that is ALWAYS the most important thing. 

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A picture can tell a thousand words…

//I think what was on my mind in this picture was anger: anger that I could’ve been doing more to get thinner, anger that I could’ve been exercising at that moment but instead I was on my ass sitting even though it was after a 4 hour workout. And I think what was on my mind was how many calories I had eaten so far and those new 200 calorie breakfasts I could try this week. I think the disgust I had with myself and the self hatred mainly just consumed me all; I think my mom was trying to make jokes with me that day and I couldn’t believe she had the audacity to do so because well; how could anything be more important than the fact that I actually ate three meals today?? God I was so mad at her because she tried to talk to me when I just wanted to sit and talk to Ana, my new best friend; the one that taught me about how to lose weight in the quickest way. You see, Ana was my new best friend and she tried to get in the way of that; asking if I wanted to go out to dinner.. how could she be that silly to think I would want to do that? How could she be so selfish to get in the way of my new friendship? So I sat there and stared at that pool water. In my one piece bathing suit because well fuck, I was too horribly disgusting for a two piece. And I planned the amount of laps I was going to swim because Ana told me to and she had my back more than anyone. So I sat. I stared. I thought about how much I fucking hated myself and how much I fucking hated food and I continued to be on the path to victory with my new best friend Ana to become the smallest version of myself. And you bet your ass Ana and I wouldn’t stop until we achieved what we wanted. And ten minutes later, ten minutes later I was in that pool swimming those god damn laps: back and forth, back and forth. Even though I felt like I was going to collapse…//

All of that is the harsh reality of an eating disorder. I never knew that my quest to become a healthy eater would lead to a full-blown eating disorder. The obsession just took over; the obsession with food and exercise filled other voids in my life- it made me feel like I was actually good at something. The relationships with family, with your parents? They get ruined. Eating disorders don’t allow for any sort of happiness in your life. So cut out all those friendships you once had and all those great family memories. With an eating disorder, those get taken away. You aren’t going to be able to go out to eat for your mom’s birthday, you aren’t going to have a slice of your friends birthday cake, and you sure won’t be asking for a cake on your birthday. Your eating disorder is going to isolate you. It is going to make you stay home from fun nights out because of the food that is involved. So beware of that too. It will use this time to become more obsessed with food and more obsessed with ways to lose weight; it will use this time to let more horrible thoughts about yourself and your body fester. So don’t expect to be happy, at all.

A picture can tell a thousand words… well isn’t that true here? The anger on my face is SO visible; the fact that my mind is racing is clearly evident, and the most noticeable emotion of all is unhappiness.

Sunday night after I had dinner with my parents and before heading back to school, I showed my mom this picture as she was the one who took it during the summer before my freshmen year of high school. Of course, these pictures don’t bring back any pleasant memories for her either. They bring back sadness; sadness because she remembers all those feelings from that exact day too. She remembers seeing her daughter become frail and starve herself right before her eyes. And she asked me, “Alyssa, what do you think you were thinking about in this picture?” And I just said probably food, it was all I ever thought about. But later that night, I looked at that picture again, and all those memories just came flooding in so hard and all those feels from that day returned. So I texted her what I was thinking in that picture, that long paragraph towards the top of this post.

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And she responded with this. My mom is an angel, she has such a big soul. And I am so thankful for recovery for giving me my best friend back. For giving me back by #1 supporter, the person that continues to be there for me through it all.

(Don’t you love the sleepy time part of that text too hehe)

Eating disorders aren’t a joke, they are something I would NEVER wish on my worst enemy: they are a life or death disorder. They flat out suck. But recovery from this IS possible, and recovery from them is absolutely beautiful.

No questions today, but I would love to hear your thoughts on this post! Thank you so much for reading. :) 

Hope you guys have a great day!

Sending my love as always.

Xoxo

Lyss<3

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26 Comments

  • Reply Lynne February 23, 2016 at 11:07 am

    That was so real. Thank you for sharing. x

    • Reply Alyssa February 23, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      Thank you so much Lynne for your support and kind words of encouragement <3

  • Reply Taylor February 23, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    Your honesty and openness is so inspiring. You are very brave. I am so happy for you that you overcame your eating disorder and are in a better place today 🙂 You are awesome!

    • Reply Alyssa February 23, 2016 at 2:47 pm

      That means so much to me, thank you Taylor for your kind words and support!! 🙂

  • Reply Marina @ A Dancer's Live-It February 23, 2016 at 12:51 pm

    You are INCREDIBLE, Lyss. Thank you for sharing more of your story. <3 I never knew how much our stories had in common! Have a wonderful day xoxo!

    • Reply Alyssa February 23, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      As are YOU! Thank you for reading and being so supportive Marina 🙂

  • Reply Stephanie February 23, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    Wow, I do not know what to say! You just keep on amazing me.
    I am so glad you came back to me and all those who love you. I really had thought I lost you to that terrible disorder! Keep up the good fight my dear!

    Love you!

    • Reply Alyssa February 23, 2016 at 2:47 pm

      Thank you so much Mom!! I love you!!

  • Reply Jillian February 23, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    Your strength is unbelievable. Words can’t even begin to express how proud I am of you. Love you so much xo

    • Reply Alyssa February 23, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      Thank you SO much Jilly, I love you!!

  • Reply Kate February 23, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    I think my relationship with my mom was the most strained throughout my recovery, especially when I was in treatment. She was there for me 100% but I resented her so many times b/c I thought she wasn’t letting my live my life. In truth, she was trying to save my life. We are now closer than ever and I consider her one of my closest friends.
    I’m so glad you were able to mend the relationship with your mom. It is wonderful how supportive she is of you! You certainly look much happier now 😀

    • Reply Alyssa February 24, 2016 at 2:02 am

      It is so crazy how our relationships with family members get so strained as a result of an eating disorder. I am so glad that you and your mom were able to mend your relationship as well. Thank you for your constant support and encouragement, truly means a lot!

  • Reply Melanie February 23, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    Thank you for being so open and honest Alyssa <3 Your story really resonates with me. You are so right that our struggles only make us stronger. You have come so far and should be so proud of yourself!

    • Reply Alyssa February 24, 2016 at 2:08 am

      Thank you SO much Melanie- truly means a lot to me!!

  • Reply Sarah February 24, 2016 at 12:12 am

    Reading this broke my heart Alyssa because I have been there and I know those feelings and that awful ED relationship. The dialogue that goes through our heads when suffering anorexia is just horrendous. I am so proud of how far you have come. Your strength is incredible and I know you inspire many many other girls in recovery or starting recovery. Keep up the amazing work love!

    • Reply Alyssa February 24, 2016 at 2:09 am

      Those ED thoughts are just plain awful!! I am so proud of how far you have come as well Sarah. You are a huge inspiration girly!

  • Reply Ellie February 24, 2016 at 1:26 am

    Oh Lyss how emotional this must have been for you to write. Those dark places are so scary and I would never ask anyone to feel how I’ve felt during those moments. I remember being in your position for a time and it is the worst hell I would not wish on my worst enemy.
    This post also provides great hope. Look where you are now! Beautiful, thriving, loved and worthy of love. Thank you for sharing this snapshot of your journey <3

    • Reply Alyssa February 24, 2016 at 2:10 am

      Those dark places of my life were so scary but they taught me a lot. Thank you for your support Ellie! I am so happy for you as well and that you could beat your inner demons. You rock girl <3

  • Reply Emily February 24, 2016 at 6:45 am

    Precious girl, do not stop sharing these stories. It reminds me of Psalm 23. ‘Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, thou art with me…’

    • Reply Alyssa February 25, 2016 at 5:07 am

      Thank you soo much Emily!! Your support means the world to me 🙂

  • Reply Hayley February 26, 2016 at 2:18 am

    Aww babe I can relate all to well to this. I am so happy we have both gotten out of this vicious cycle. Love you!

    • Reply Alyssa February 26, 2016 at 4:36 am

      Thank you so much Hayley, I love you!

  • Reply Edye February 27, 2016 at 1:28 am

    I am so proud of all the progress you’ve made Lyss!! You’re a true inspiration <3

    Blessings,
    Edye // Gracefulcoffee

    • Reply Alyssa February 27, 2016 at 6:00 pm

      Thank you SO much Edye 🙂 xoxo

  • Reply Jillian March 5, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    This was an amazing post. I am so glad that we have been able to share stories and become friends. I am so thankful to have such a courageous and lovely person in my life. I think it is so important that you are sharing your story and that you have found a positive way to bounce back from the struggle that too many people go through and are going through.

    I remember how strained the relationship with my mom became when I was going through this same time. I was consumed by my phone, looking up ways to eat healthy and lose weight on Pinterest. I would tell her I couldn’t eat her food and get mad at her if she put butter or salt on anything. I became a burden in her life because nothing she ever did for me was ever enough. It was never enough because the only person who could satisfy me was Ana.. and I have never thought of that until just now, reading your post. Thank you for liberating yourself and for inspiring others to do the same. Love you always.

    <333 Jill

    • Reply Alyssa March 5, 2016 at 10:11 pm

      Aw Jillian, this honestly made my day. I am so thankful we have gotten closer this past year!! And I am so proud of you for overcoming such a challenging and difficult illness. It’s crazy how much anorexia takes away from us. I use to be the same way with Pinterest- I was obsessed with finding ways to be the healthiest and lose weight and I became consumed with finding low calorie recipes. I am so blessed that we were both able to find our way out of it! I love you girly, very thankful to have you in my life!! xoxo <3 Gonna miss you this week!

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