The Mighty Logo

5 Reasons I Want Recovery From My Eating Disorder

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

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 741741.

We all have reasons why we want to do things. Some of them make sense to other people, but others may not. As for me, I have listed five reasons why I want to recover from bulimia nervosa. Here they are:

1. I want my freedom back.
Eating disorders are extremely demanding, isolating and manipulative. There have been so many times that I have cancelled on friends because my eating disorder tells me to, especially if it has to do with food. A typical conversation with my eating disorder will go as followed:

ED: “If you go out and eat with your friends, you’re sure to gain all of the weight back you worked so hard to burn.”

Me: “That cannot be true. I don’t believe you.”

ED: “If you’re fat, no one will truly love you. They will think less of you because they see you like I do. They will see you as a fat pig.”

Without ED controlling my life, I will finally be able to do the things I used to do, such as wear a pair of shorts without feelings like my thighs are grotesque and large. I have slowly been able to wear shorts more frequently, but I still get screamed at by my ED voice. It is something that I will slowly have to get used to ignoring because ED is there to hurt me, not to help me.

2. I want to be able to smile and actually mean it.
I miss smiling and feeling genuinely happy. Yes, I smile now, but the smile is like a puzzle with several of the pieces missing. It isn’t complete anymore, because how can a smile be complete when you have a voice in your head telling you how insignificant you are to the human population? I miss being able to throw my head back and laugh my loud, obnoxious laugh because while it was loud and obnoxious, it was full and filled with love and happiness.

3. I want to be able to love myself again.
This is probably the biggest one. I haven’t been able to go swimming in such a long time because I am so ashamed of my body. Due to my body dysmorphia, I haven’t been able to see how truly beautiful my body is in a long time. While I am looking at what doctors consider a healthy body, I see an obese, completely unhealthy body. While down at Menninger, I had to cover my mirror up with sticky notes that had positive affirmations on them because if I looked in the mirror, I would cry. I would see what I thought was a disgusting beast looking back at me, and I would fall to the ground and sob. This is the one thing I want to change most. I want to be able to cry while looking in the mirror but from self-love, not from self-hatred. I want to be able to lose weight the healthy way, not by hurting myself. As my individual therapist from down at Menninger always told me, “Jordan, your body deserves to be loved and cherished because it is a valuable thing.” I want to truly be able to believe that. I will believe that phrase someday.

4. I deserve happiness.
This is another big one for me. I deserve happiness. I deserve to be happy. Those words haven’t left my mouth in a long time. My dietician asked me this week, “Jordan, why do you want to recover?” This was the first thing that popped into my head. I have not always believed that I deserve happiness, but I am slowly beginning to realize that I do. I don’t deserve to feel awful all the time. I don’t deserve to take out all of my anger toward myself and the world on my body. My body is so much more precious than I will ever give it credit for.

5. I want to recover so I can make myself and my team from Menninger proud.
Let me just start off by saying that I have a handful of specific people in mind when I say this, all of them being from Menninger Clinic. I will throw out their names just incase they ever get the chance to see this. I want to give a shoutout to my team from CPAS first. My psychiatrist, Dr. Walker, social worker, Andrea, primary MHA, Julie, and finally, my primary nurse, Jerel. They were the first people I met at Menninger who originally taught me that they were not going to give up on me. They taught me what self-love truly is, and they helped me learn that being myself is the best thing I can be. Now, moving onto my team from Compass; my psychiatrist, Dr. Ashraf, social worker, Kira, primary MHA, Edmond, primary nurse, Mona, IT, Lindsay, and I cannot forget about my nurse practitioner, Avani. I was absolutely terrified going into Compass. I only knew two or three people from the Eating Disorder Track who were on Compass. This team welcomed me with open arms. I cannot express how much each of these individuals have changed my life. They taught me that I want to go into the mental health field. I have always had a love for psychology and an even bigger love for helping people, but all of these amazingly beautiful individuals have taught me that I have an even bigger love for helping myself. I want to recover so I can make myself proud as well as all of these amazing individuals proud. I want to be able to send an email update saying that I am in remission for my eating disorder, whether that be a few months or a few years down the road. I know that no matter what, my entire Menninger team will be rooting for me. If any of my Menninger team reads this, whether you’re from CPAS or Compass, thank you. You have helped me discover that I want to help others, as well as help myself. You all have helped me find hope in my life, and for that I will be forever grateful. Know that I think of you all often and I miss being able to share my vulnerabilities with you all, no matter how hard it was. You all have hearts of gold, and you will forever be in my heart.

Recovering from an eating disorder is not easy, but it is possible. I have had to learn that while this will be the most difficult thing that I will ever have to deal with, it will be worth it in the end. To whomever reads this, if you are struggling with an eating disorder, read back through this list. I can guarantee there is at least one reason on here that you can relate to. You deserve recovery because you deserve to have a healthy, happy body as well as a happy and healthy relationship with food. No matter how down you get on yourself, never give up because I and many others believe in you!

Follow Jordan’s journey on her blog

Photo credit: Koldunov/Getty Images

Originally published: August 16, 2019
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home