Hi all, I’m Tayla and I blog over at She’ll Be Free! It’s so nice to meet you. I’m really excited to do a guest post for Cj, she is such an amazing women!
I can relate to almost everything Cj writes in her posts, as I am also recovering from an eating disorder. I was diagnosed with anorexia when I was twelve and I’m nineteen now, which is scary because it’s been seven years and I’m still struggling. It takes time and a lot of hard work to be free of this nasty disease though, and I know it’s completely worth all of the fighting and tears.
I wanted to share a bit about my story and how the theme of motivation has played a huge role in my progress through recovery. First off, let me tell you that I love motivation, self-motivation to be exact. It’s something that has always been a major factor in my recovery, something that has pulled me through in the roughest of times and something that I think is always needed in the recovery process.
Motivation, to me, means something that makes you want to get somewhere better or pushes you to do certain things in order to achieve your goals.
In terms of my recovery, I have been through many different stages, thus requiring many different motivators. When I first began recovery at thirteen, my motivation was lacking. I was forced to do everything and it got me nowhere. I saw doctors as devils who were just out to get me and my family as the food police who were trying to make me fat. I had no incentive to get better because I couldn’t grasp why I needed to. Sure, I was told over and over again that I was at a low weight but I didn’t care because I felt fine and was thin, and that’s all that mattered.
I can’t really remember the moment when I finally started to see what was wrong and thus wanted to get better. I think everything just began to get to me, feeling tired and depressed all the time, hair falling out, losing friends, feeling stressed beyond words. I was just so sick of being sick and tired. I wanted to be “me” again. This is where my motivation kicked in, and at this point, it had a lot to do with what I loved to do but couldn’t because of the ED. Hiking, biking, walking, rollerblading, having fun with friends, wearing t-shirts and shorts, enjoying the summer, etc. These were all things that had been taken away from me due to my low weight.
These motivated me for a while and through treatment, but then all of a sudden I was at a healthy weight and could do these things again. I could go running if I wanted, I could go hiking and not worry my mom, I could wear t-shirts without people staring at my stick-like arms. I had reached a point where I needed to find new motivators in order to continue to recover.
As the time got closer for me to go away to college, my motivations were now to be healthy and strong so I could do well at school and be able to live away from home without losing weight. I also used the fact that one day I wanted to have children and if I didn’t stay at my healthy weight, I would surely lose that capability as well.
Again, these motivators only lasted so long. I got to college and did fine for a bit but eventually lost a lot of weight, almost getting down to my lowest. I had failed to keep the motivation alive and I backtracked completely.
Pulling myself out of my relapse was probably the hardest thing I ever had to do in recovery. At first I couldn’t see the point in doing so. Everyone around me was worried for my life. They didn’t know how many second chances I could have before everything would just end. It took me a good four months to finally realize I wanted something more than a life full of sadness, bones, heartache, and hunger pains. I wanted to be happy and healthy again.
I needed to find my motivation again.
This time my motivators included gaining muscle in order to become stronger, going back to school, having happy relationships with the people around me, wanting to look more like the young women I am as opposed to the little girl I looked like, and knowing that having children would be taken from me if I didn’t get my act together.
I was totally gun-ho with these, especially the weight training one. It helped me to be more confident in myself and in my body. I gained the weight back and am a lot happier with my body, my relationships, and my strength! When the days come where I hate the way my body looks, I can remind myself that looking strong and healthy is a thousand times better than looking weak and fragile. And those children I want will thank me for pushing through.
In conclusion, as recovery moves along and you go through different stages, you must find motivators that work for you in those moments. If you find that the things that used to help you are not doing the job anymore, you need to find new ones. If you don’t want to live in the depressed state of this illness (or really any sort of prison), you can’t just sit around feeling sorry for yourself. Get motivated and stick to it.
Practice always makes perfect and you can never, never, never give up.
I still have a long way to go, but every day I learn something new and am pushing forward the best I can. Sure, there are days where I don’t even want to get out of bed, but I do it and I move on and hope for a better day tomorrow. Sometimes that is the only thing we can do.
Oh and stay positive! We’re all stronger than we think.
I loved sharing this with you today, come check me out at She’ll Be Free for more about me and my life!Take care ❤ Tayla