Your Inspirational Recovery Stories – How I Overcame Anorexia with Spirituality

EDRECOVERYGRAPHICTRUSSTORIESwithlineThe following story was submitted by an incredible lady from America who would like to remain anonymous. When she contacted me to share her inspirational story I knew I had to share it with all of you here on the blog, as it demonstrates that recovery is possible for all of us, however dark or difficult things become. Her feelings of self-hatred and that all-consuming feeling of worthlessness really resonated with me, and I know a lot of people reading this will feel the same too. I’m not a religious personal at all but I am very spiritual, and it’s so interesting to see that this lady kept her faith even when times were difficult.

I hope this motivates and inspires anyone who feels like there is no way out (THERE IS!!) – and for those of you who are in the later stages of recovery I hope it makes you realise just how far you’ve come 🙂

 

“Learning to love myself unconditionally after a near death experience” – Anonymous

“It is selfish to only think about yourself.”

“You will never amount to anything good in life.”

“What is the purpose of life, to suffer and die?”

These used to be the thoughts I had in my head growing up. I grew up in a not so loving household and have dealt with all kinds of abuse at a young age.

I used to stifle all my feelings as a way to cope with everything. I didn’t realize that in time this manifested into self-hatred and a full blown eating disorder by the time I was 13.

All I saw when I looked at my reflection was someone that is worthless and not worth loving or living. This is what I deserve. I couldn’t see what my purpose was. I didn’t see the reason for living another day.

I had a spiritual near death experience (NDE) when I was 24 years old after battling on and off with anorexia for 11 years.

Near death experience

I had become severely depressed at the time before my NDE. I had gotten into a car accident a year ago and suffered short term memory loss. My neck and back was also under a lot of pain and my left eye would twitch at times.

I was asking God why another setback, another trauma? Family life was unbearable, dealing with school, mom’s chronic illness, dad’s neglect and gambling addiction, and brother’s focus on himself. My sanity and patience started to dwindle.

My moods were up and down. The only way I knew how to cope with all the stresses in my life was through starving myself. I began to eat less and less and los t a lot of weight. My stomach was always in pain and I had no energy to do anything. I was very fatigued and hanging on by a thread.

I began to see many doctors: a cardiologist that diagnosed me with heart arrhythmia, a gastroenterologist that only diagnosed me with IBS, a psychologist that diagnosed me with depression but all the medicines they gave me seem to make me feel worse.

As the days go by, my will to live began to fade. What’s the point of living if I were to continue to suffer like this, haven’t I been through enough?

The night of my NDE, my heart palpitations were getting worse but I just brushed it off as another symptom. I had no appetite and my vision became blurry. I cried for a few hours and collapsed on my bed.

Laying on my bed, I asked in my head ‘Why am I suffering so much, how is there a creator, a benign God that would allow all this to happen to me?’ I closed my eyes with tears on my face, but when I started to fell asleep, I felt like my breathing was slowing down and I began to gasp for air after asking that question.

What happened next was the strangest feeling. I saw myself, my soul, lift out of my navel/belly button. I was looking down at my own body and I was perplexed. I went what the heck, I can still exist out of my body? My essence traveled through an umbilical cord/tunnel that was white and grayish with wave like patterns. I was so distraught, I didn’t know what to do.

Was I dying? My spirit was traveling super fast like the speed of light. On my way to this never-ending tunnel, I yelled at God to save me. I was so scared that I yelled out at God to help me. I was desperate because I didn’t know where I was heading. I said I would miss my family and my two cats.

Healing

The tunnel then reached to this luminous white dome-shaped room that didn’t blind my eyes. But before I could go further, my spirit quickly traveled back down the tunnel and fell back into my body. When I woke up I felt instantly refreshed. I had a sense of peace and happiness than I ever felt in my life.

I also had healing from my anorexia. I had a lot more appetite and gained weight. I had more energy and was genuinely grateful and happy. Things that used to bother me did not bother me anymore.

I have more compassion and tolerance to everyone. I used to be judgmental and materialistic. Now I don’t buy as much and like to help others more. I felt as if we are all ONE.

If I’m in pain the other person absorbs my pain, If I’m love, the other person receives my love. I began to be more spiritual, more praying and meditation. I felt connected with source energy and felt protection and love for me.

What I know now is that we should love each other and everyone’s flaws, we are all here to learn, to make mistakes, to grow. We should serve humanity, be less selfish and self absorbed, and do more acts of kindness without asking anything in return.
What I have learned

Growing up I didn’t understand what love really is. It seems that love meant giving up on yourself to take care of everyone else.

Now I realized that almost everyone we come across is a wounded child at heart. And that in order for us to change our reality we must heal our internal wounds that has been there since childhood.

What if I told you the most i mportant thing you can do in life is to fully love yourself, imperfections and all.

And that it is not possible to love another unless we take care of ourselves.

I’m sure most of us who have battled an eating disorder know how hard it is to find hope in midst of struggling to survive.

But I’m here to tell you that it is possible and that brighter days are ahead of you. All it takes is that first step.

Music was really healing for me. Here are some songs that helped me through my experience:

 

 

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5 things NEVER to say to someone with Anorexia

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If you’re going through Anorexia at the moment, or have been through it as I have, you’ll probably know that people who don’t understand have an unfortunate habit of putting their foot in their mouth! It’s awful when somebody says something to you which really has a negative impact on your day (or worse, stays with you) whilst you are so poorly – purely because they don’t understand what you’re going through and are ignorant as to what they should say and do.  At best it’s naivety; at worst it’s people feeling as though they have the right to bring you down because they think what ‘you’re doing’ is wrong. Of course they have no idea that none of this is your doing!

I’ve put together my top five comments which just make my blood boil when I hear them. I hope that by sharing these I’ll help you to feel better knowing that even though people say these things, they are not a reflection on you and you should try your hardest not to take them on board on concentrate on yourself because they can harm your recovery. Remember that you deserve to recover and keep focusing on the positive things you want to have in your life and if you encounter one of these people, limit the time you spend in their negative energy.

‘Why don’t you just eat?’ You need to eat’ – ARGHHSGSHDGAjfksfjsj as IF it is that simple. As IF you would put yourself in this position knowingly. As if it’s your fault. People who say this to you have NO understanding of what you’re going through. They see Anorexia as a choice – they don’t feel the strong compulsion not to eat and they don’t hear the cruel voices in your head that taunt you.

‘You’re selfish’ – Again, when Anorexia is a choice, making the person struggling feel guilty seems like a genuine method of turning things around. Of course all it does in reality is make YOU feel awful and Anorexia more angry and determined. You know that what is happening affects the people around you – and you wish it didn’t. What you don’t need it someone pointing that out as if you are deliberately poorly. Remember – mental illness is the same as physical illness – and if it would be unreasonable to accuse somebody with cancer or physical disability of being ‘selfish’ then it is DEFINITELY out of order to say the same thing to you.

‘You used to like that’ – Yeah, I know. Please don’t point it out. One day I may eat it again but I am struggling with a demon in my head which won’t allow me to eat it. Please be patient and recognise that I am trying.

‘You’re VERY thin – you look so ill’ – Yeah I know (again). This comment is annoying for several reasons because no matter how it’s said or who to, it has a harmful effect on the person you’re saying it to. I had (and still have) body dysmorphia when I had Anorexia, so I couldn’t focus on the bigger picture and still believed I was ‘fat’ because I was meticulously measuring parts of my body and scrutinising them 24/7. Nonetheless, Anorexia still lapped up comments like this as compliments which drove it to carry on.  I know that not everybody with Anorexia has BD too, and speaking to those people, it’s clear that on this side of the spectrum it’s still VERY unhelpful. They are fully aware of how they look, thank you very much. They DO NOT need somebody else to point it out.

‘You’re not even trying’ – Again, recovery is partially out of your hands. You are doing as much as you possibly can at the moment – even if it doesn’t feel like it or others are trying to make you feel as if you could be ‘trying harder’. To use the physical example again, if someone accused a person with a broken leg of ‘not trying hard enough’ to fix it, it would be ludicrous. The same goes for you.

I could go on! Have you got any of your own to add?

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5 things NEVER to say to someone with Anorexia

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