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‘When my dad whispered, ‘I love you,’ I knew it was more than that. It was a final goodbye. They were ready to let go.’: Woman diagnosed with eating disorder at 13 finally accepts help, ‘I am ready to start the next, better, decade of my life’

“My parents had shed too many tears over me, and I couldn’t bear it to break their hearts again. I felt ready to die, but knew it wasn’t my time. I was weak. I gave up the reigns and opted for inpatient treatment. I was frustrated, and I let this be known. I would shout and hit the walls. I would argue. But gradually, I came to life again. I am no longer held back by my demons.”

‘No one else has the guts to tell you this, but you look like a crack addict.’ I was starving, and horrified.’: Woman beats long battle with eating disorder, ‘I get up every day and FIGHT FOR MY LIFE’

“For 9 years, I didn’t tell anyone my secret. On the morning of my grandma’s funeral, I went full detox. As we sat in the pews, I kept telling myself, ‘Don’t be selfish. Don’t cause a scene.’ I started convulsing. Completely paralyzed, I couldn’t move. I was so angry and embarrassed. My mother wouldn’t let me out of the car at the cemetery. I sat in our SUV and watched my family, huddled around her grave, from afar.  It was like watching them gathered around my own coffin. I knew I was next.” 

‘Get out. I’ll kill myself if you stay in this house with us,’ my mom said. I was given 2 weeks notice to move out.’: Woman overcomes neglect, eating disorder, ‘I wake up every day and choose recovery’

“My parents were avid members of a money-making cult disguised as a religion. According to the church, I was ‘riddled with aliens.’ I was forced to falsely confess to crimes. ‘Maybe my parents would like me more if I eat less.’ Before I knew it, I lost my period. My hair fell out in chunks. One day, I snapped. I took 40 pain killers. I woke up poisoned and scared. Embarrassed as hell, I called the ambulance. ‘What do I do?!’ I knew something had to change.”

‘Oooh tough week? What happened, honey?’ I was 15. Women I’d never met were commenting on my weight.’: Woman discovers intuitive eating, self-love after struggling with weight for years, ‘My children will see a vibrant, smart, STRONG woman’

“’Really? That’s what you’re going to eat for breakfast?’ I vividly remember holding my two pieces of cinnamon toast in my trembling hands. Every single one of my siblings had already toasted their bread, buttered it, and sprinkled it with cinnamon and sugar. Yet, I was the only one singled out by my grandpa. Age 15, I began attending meetings every week with my mother. Strange adult women would applaud and beam at me. I was given jewelry to celebrate my ‘hard work.’ Women twice my age would ask what my ‘secret’ was.”

‘Look, she’s eating something!’ I hear the whisper. I feel the cold gnawing at the bottom of my stomach. I hate it and I love it.’: After 12 years battling anorexia, ED survivor learns to accept new plus-size body

“My brother makes me a sandwich when he sees I didn’t eat lunch. My bones poke up under my skin. ‘Please eat it,’ he begs. ‘You need to eat.’ It is so sweet of him, so I eat a few bites. But when he leaves, I give the rest to the dogs. They leave no evidence. Nothing in the trash for my dad to find when he empties it, nothing to clog the toilet. I have become clever in the ways of secret self-destruction.”

‘The smallest amount of saliva could drown him. 2 hours later, an angel of a nurse was handing me the tiniest little guy.’: Couple adopts 2 children with special needs making them parents of 5, ‘He has defied every odd and broken every barrier’

“It was my first blind date. We met at a park. He had a horrible outfit on. Green long-sleeve silk shirt, cut off jean shorts and boat shoes. He was bragging about his wild weekend. I was annoyed. 3 weeks after our first ‘date,’ I was hospitalized for an eating disorder. The first time he called I was in rehab. Our whirlwind romance began. We were engaged 6 months later and married 4 months after that, just after my 18th birthday. All I wanted was to be a mom and start a family.”

‘She’s a size 5 now.’ Those words were spoken with delicacy, and met with silence. They’d call me ‘the big one’ of our friend group.’: Woman beats anorexia after almost ‘wasting away, dying,’ now inspires others to recover, ‘I’m not alone’

“Thanksgiving break in my sophomore year of college, something specific happened. To this day I can remember the horrible pain I felt that night. I was using diet pills, purging, self-harming. I was a mess. I told myself, ‘This is what you deserve.’ I was given an ultimatum. ‘Move home and go to treatment, or you’re on your own.’ Frightened, I listened.”

‘Our beautiful, once vibrant Sarah is now a shell of a human.’ I was spiraling out of control. A monster was being born.’: Young woman overcomes eating disorder, ‘struggling is not a character flaw. You are worthy of help.’

“I was struggling in secret, terrified someone would find out. Bit-by-bit, I was disappearing. ‘You don’t need to use your body to show you’re hurting.’ School no longer mattered, and a monster was being born. Everyone walked on eggshells around me. Then all of a sudden, my parents learned what was happening. They were shocked.”

‘You better stop, or we’ll haul you off to the loony bin with the REAL crazy people.’ My father was in a drunken rage.’: Woman overcomes eating disorder from childhood trauma, ‘I’ve found strength to set that baggage down’

“Conditions at home reached a fever pitch. My father was laid off again, my grandmother moved in with her hoard, and I became sick. I tried my hardest to suppress that cough, barricaded with my little brother in my room, holding him back as the sounds of my father’s drunken rage filtered from the kitchen. My grandmother turned cold, hateful. ‘You’re old now. You aren’t cute and you have a bad attitude.’ The chaos was too much to bear. So I stopped eating.”

‘You need help.’ I got her from preschool, pulled over ‘to rest,’ and woke with officers knocking on my window.’: Mom-of-4 finally gets sober after being institutionalized over 20 times, learns she is ‘not alone’

“This started long before ‘wine mom culture’. Earlier that morning, I was running errands alone. I pulled into a grocery store without thinking. That’s all it took. Horrified, my husband said, ‘You’ve got to stop. Emily, you need help.’ He breathalyzed me daily while taking away all access to money. I was greeted by judgmental preschool moms. These were the same women who cooked dinners every week for my husband and kids while I was gone.”

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