My friend forced me to go to a Vegan food festival – ME, at a food festival. So of course, because I’m in a loving relationship with a man who loves me, I forced my partner to come with me. He’s my rock and the thought of doing something seems impossible when you have a eating disorder. I could not go without him. Thank GOD he came with us.
I was shaking for the majority of that morning. I almost didn’t go. My eating disorder was telling me that if I went I would either binge, spend money, and feel guilty; or starve, waste money and feel guilty. I felt as if there was no way I could win and I almost gave up.
And I didn’t.
I went to the food festival and honestly, the reality was a lot better than the scenarios that were in my head. At first, I was very panicked – THERE WERE SO MANY OPTIONS – and I could hear ED in my head just screaming at me. However, it’s brought an important issue to my attention that needs to be brought to light.
How is it that people can be proud of me for eating a cupcake, while so many others accomplishments go unnoticed? I have friends who are all at different point of their recovery journey. While speaking to one of my dearest friends, Never, I realized that there’s a part of recovery that goes completely unnoticed.
Never inspires me constantly to work towards recovery. They’re one of the biggest motivators in my life and I don’t know where or whom I would be without their love, strength, and wisdom. We were on a video call and after she congratulated me for eating a meal, I congratulated her as well. She just stopped in her tracks, lost in deep thought.
“Thank you. Not a lot of people congratulate you once you’re weight-restored and out of hospital; especially if you’re as far into your recovery as I am. Everyone just assumes that once the doctors say you’re weight restored and you transition back into your life, that you’re just automatically better – and that’s not the case. I’m still here, struggling everyday to get my meals in. It just sucks.”
I want to say this for every single person who may be reading this:
wherever you are at your struggle, I am proud of you.
Whatever you are fighting, I am proud of you.
When nobody notices your successes, no matter how big or small, I am proud of you.
Whenever you do something that 10 years ago seemed impossible, I am proud of you.
When you smile despite the darkness inside, I am proud of you.
Whenever you pull yourself out of bed to face the day, I am proud of you.
I’m sorry if you ever feel unacknowledged, alone, empty, guilty, hopeless, exhausted.
You deserve to be noticed.
Your experience is valid.
You are valid.