ED

‘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.”

‘If I’d arrived 15 minutes later, I’d have been dead. I woke in hospital after almost drinking myself to death on an empty stomach, in reaction to my relationship ending.’: Woman thrives after no longer allowing eating disorder to ‘take away my voice’

“The look on my parents’ faces when I asked them what had happened and why I was there, broke my heart. I never thought I’d be one of those anorexics or bulimics who ‘took it too far.’ I started seeing glimpses of what it was like to feel happy without feeling hollow.”

‘It’s a girl!’ My heart sank. On the way home from my gender reveal, I cried. Hard. I was hoping it was some mistake.’: Woman candidly shares reality of ‘gender disappointment’ after years of mother’s abuse

“‘Wow, she must be shallow to care about the gender of her unborn baby.’ ‘She should just be happy to have a healthy baby!’ ‘How selfish! Some women dream of getting pregnant and can’t!’ Gender disappointment is real. We are afraid to speak about it. We fear judgement.”

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