How Love Inspired Me Through Eating Disorder Recovery

Recovery from eating disorders, and recovery from mental illnesses in general, can be strenuous. Recovery is a journey full of ups and downs, forwards and backwards movement and constant triggers. It took a lot of time and energy for me to learn what my triggers were. There were times I felt so far away from full recovery that I wasn’t sure if it would ever happen. I wasn’t sure if I would ever see the light.

I remember the first time I told my partner about my eating disorder. I said I was in recovery — I didn’t say I was recovered, so that meant there was still a long journey ahead of me. A journey I wasn’t quite sure if he was up for or not. But he was more than up for it — he was all in.

All those moments I was up at night contemplating my worth, all those times of self-hatred — he was there to hear it and to provide me the support, strength and words I needed to hear to help pull me away from the darkness.

You see, recovery was never meant to be a linear path. It pulls you backwards and forwards and up and down so that you can be grateful for the strength you’ve built along the way. Recovery was never meant to be done alone, either.

My partner never gave up on me — he stuck by me through it all and helped lift me up when I needed it the most. He’s a guy with an extraordinary heart that’s devoted and loving and that makes him more than super to me. He turns seemingly ordinary words into an extraordinary feeling of inspiration and love. He’ll forever be my superhero for staying by me and giving me the inspiration needed to learn to fight for and love myself.

I think one of the things someone in recovery needs most is inspiration. I know I needed the feeling that there was something more for me to live for and look forward to. Love was just that. He provided me the support and love that helped inspire me to make choices that helped me truly live. Being with him didn’t just help me survive, it helped me thrive. He’s my superhero — he’s who I look up to when I think about someone who does good and selfless acts outside of themselves, who sticks around even when it’s tough and is not afraid to stand up to a challenge. He protected, supported and walked with me through life’s trials, not knowing what he would face, but he did it anyways because he’s brave and kind. His heart was — and still is — my saving grace.

I hope anyone with a mental illness or who is in recovery can find their love and inspiration too. It helps shine a light amidst the darkness. It helps provide the hope people need to continue fighting. To my superhero — you’re my guiding light out of a journey of darkness.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Lead image via contributor

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Anorexia Nervosa

pregnant woman sitting with hands in front of stomach

5 Things I Want Pregnant Women in Eating Disorder Recovery to Know

I struggled with anorexia from the time I was 10 until I was in my mid-20s. I had a hate-hate relationship with my body that made romantic relationships incredibly challenging. Even the idea of having children — allowing my body to blow up and house another human inside me — repulsed me. In fact, to [...]
Hand drawn young woman fashion sketch. Vintage design for fabric, card, poster

When You Go From 'Underweight' to 'Overweight' in Treatment for Anorexia

Editor’s note: If you live with an eating disorder, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “NEDA” to 741-741. This is a topic that I don’t think is discussed as much as it should be. I also know that this is a very touchy topic. I [...]
two best friends stand looking up as they throw leaves into the air

5 Things My Best Friend Who Recovered From Anorexia Teaches Me

I met my best friend while we were both receiving treatment for anorexia in a partial hospitalization program. The program had a strict “no outside contact” rule, however, she and I bonded and connected so quickly that it was impossible to continue adhering to that rule. She and I used our art therapy sessions to [...]
A woman with long hair standing in rain

6 Symptoms of Anorexia Nervosa We Don't Talk About

When you think of anorexia nervosa, what comes to your mind? Sometimes, the media, and even our brains, like to blur out the messiest, most raw parts of struggles. Here are six symptoms of anorexia nervosa we don’t talk about. 1. Mood swings. Malnutrition has a profound impact on brain health. Before my eating disorder, [...]