My One Year Ana-versary


One year ago today, I was the slightest bit willing. The slightest bit. The rest of me was still in denial.

One year ago, I couldn’t stand for very long without feeling sharp pain in my knees. I couldn’t lift a case of water. I couldn’t stay awake past 9 p.m. because I was often delirious with hunger by dinner time (which I barely ate).

I couldn’t cry because I didn’t feel any emotions. I didn’t have many friends and I noticed people actively begin to dislike or avoid me because of how mean I’d become. I only left my room when absolutely necessary. I pulled the skin on my arms, legs and stomach all day, every day, furious with how “disgusting” and “fat” I was.

The hair on my head was the thinnest it’s ever been. On the contrary, I had extra hair growing all over to compensate for my lack of body fat. My wrists were the size of a small child's. My greatest form of exercise was swimming—in all of my clothes (which were never bigger than size 00).  Oh, except I still went to the gym seven days a week, minimum three hours a day.

One year ago, my family didn’t know what to do anymore. They were scared but I was furious. Furious every time they tried to talk to me, furious every time they tried to feed me, until eventually everyone just stayed quiet and let me starve in infuriated peace.

One year ago today, I decided to become the slightest bit willing.

Today I stand on two big legs—legs I got from my mother. They’re thick and strong; they get me where I need to go without pain or injury. My feet are two sizes bigger (or rather, back to their actual size). My wrists are no longer tiny and dainty—they’re sturdy. They don’t make me nervous.

In fact, no part of my body makes me nervous anymore. I’m not afraid if I brush my hair too much it will fall out—now when I brush it, it grows in abundance, shiny. I can sit on any surface no matter how hard, because my ass is officially phat enough to handle it.

Today I go out with friends because I have the energy to do so. I’m also nice enough to make friends in the first place. Today I try new foods, go to parties. I get through the day without obsessing over food. It is, slowly but surely, not that important anymore.

Don’t be fooled—it still isn’t easy. Don’t think because I’ve gained the weight back and am living a much happier life that I’m over anorexia. It still lives in my head, which is quite arguably its most lethal residency.

I can get through most days without feeling massive or like I need to starve myself, but there are always going to be triggers. However, I choose to confront my triggers rather than avoid them. It’s never great for me to listen to others talk about their strict new diet or their rigorous workout routine, but I believe it would be even worse to cover my ears. 

Facing triggers is terrifying. The voice in your head, the voice that is begging you to fall back into the darkness, wants you to give in. To adopt a crazy diet of your own, just to see what it’s like. To go to the gym a second time because that person’s workout sounds way more intense than yours was that morning. But real power is telling that voice to go to hell. Gaining confidence back and truly recovering looks like resisting every urge your body has to destroy, destroy, destroy.

I’m one year into recovery as of today, and to say I haven’t felt this great in years would be a lie. I definitely felt better when I was young, before I was anorexic, when I was just a healthy kid who ate what she wanted and lived her life. So no, this isn’t the best I’ve ever been, but it’s the wisest I’ve ever been. It’s the strongest I’ve ever been. And if I keep working at it, one day I'll look back from an even stronger, wiser and happier standpoint.

I will never lie to anyone—this shit isn’t easy. But wherever you are in recovery, know that it’s doable.

A year ago today, I wanted to die. My biggest fear was gaining weight, but here I’ve done it. I’ve faced it. But I’m nowhere near done mentally healing, and I have to keep pushing forward. I promise you can too.

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