TESA DREW: CHANGE

Change...

Change in life is inevitable. Things do and will constantly change. Friends, family, jobs, living situations, mental state. Change. 

I’ve never been good at adapting to change. I try to avoid it at all costs. I like being in control and the only kind of change that I can accept, is the kind that I can control myself. It's the changes that happen that are out of my control, that I have a tough time with. Being in control makes me feel powerful and capable of accomplishing anything. The second that something happens that I was unable to control, it sets panic inside of me. The debilatating anxiety comes out.

I have decided to make another change in my life and move back to Vancouver. To be back with my biggest support system, my family and friends. It’s easy to get caught up in life and not put yourself first and prioritize what is the most important. You’re mental health is truly the most important thing in life. You need to make yourself a priority. To do the best thing for yourself. Self love, and self care are VITAL.

I feel like in my recovery journey thus far, I have made a lot of improvements, but I also feel like i’ve taken a lot of steps back recently. I have put myself and my recovery at the bottom of my list of priorities, when truly it still needs to be first. I haven’t done any of the things I have learned to help myself feel and be better. Being too ‘busy” with work, has been the excuse I have been telling myself. But it is no excuse. You MAKE time for your recovery. I have recently realized that it still needs to be my number one focus and the thing I put most of my energy into. I’ve stopped attending my support group meetings. I no longer journal my thoughts and feelings. I don’t write daily what I am grateful for. I don’t acknowledge my accomplishments or engage in any self care activities, like yoga or meditating or going to the gym. I no longer pray and ask for god’s continual help on my journey in recovery and help getting me through meals. I no longer eat three meals a day or keep a food journal, as I could probably count on one hand how much I have been eating in a week. I honestly don’t think I can even say I am in recovery anymore. I’d say I am in relapse. Admitting this is honestly CRUCIAL for my recovery. I have recognized it and am wanting and WILLING to put the effort into making the changes to get back on track.

Moving home is going to give me the constant support that I need to get back on track. I’m tired of pretending that everything is okay, when its not. I’ve pretended for so much of my life and I want it to stop now. I hate how good of a liar that my eating disorder has made me become. I hate the person that my eating disorder makes me be. The self loathing, miserable, and exhausted human. I hate hating myself.

The positive that I can take from all of this though, is that I recognize it. I recognize that I am back to some of my old ways, and i’m doing something about it before its too late. Recovery is a journey. It’s a long ass journey, one that is much much harder then I could have ever imagined. In saying that though, I know that it’s possible to get better. I have had weeks of freedom and happiness, I know that it is possible, but I also realize that its something that I have to WORK on…. sobriety from my eating disorder will not come automatically, as much as I wish it would. It will take constant effort and hard work.

I am ready to face my recovery, once again head on, and to get back on track. I’m going to choose to look at this, not as a set back, but instead a speed bump on my road to recovery. I am ready to put in the work necessary to take care of myself again, and to get back on track. I am grateful for all of the friends I have made in Calgary, but i’m looking forward to going back home. 

Never give up. Life is precious and short and you have to make the most out of every single day. You are never alone <3

xoxo 

TESA DREW: THEY DO NOT DEFINE ME

Depression, Anxiety, and Eating Disorders. These are my diagnosis but they do not define me.

Depression: It makes getting out of bed in the morning feel like the most difficult thing in the world. Makes you think that there is no way out for you, other then ending your own life.

Anxiety: It makes you worry endlessly about every possible negative thing that could happen to you/ to someone you care about. It makes you feel like you’ll never be good enough.

Anorexia Nervosa: It makes you feel disgusting, fat, unlovable, and hopeless. Mental Illness.

For the years and years I struggled with the vicious cycle of my Eating Disorder, Anxiety and Depression. They all played a part in tormenting me to a point of no return, or so I thought. My Eating Disorder would tell me that I was so fat and ugly, which then led to me worrying that no one was ever going to love me. I had this constant fear of gaining weight and that if I weighed over 105 pounds (and I am 5’9), no one would even be able to look at me, never mind BE with me. The nonstop Anxiety and Eating Disordered thoughts then led to a Depressive episode because I was so damn miserable trying to maintain this extremely unhealthy body, which led to not getting out of bed for days and days, which then led back to my Eating Disorder telling me I was so fat and lazy and that I would never accomplish anything since I couldn't even get out of bed. And there continued the vicious cycle between my Eating Disorders, Depression and Anxiety, for years and years. Finally I was able to break that cycle. Well actually it was more just chance and my inability to end my own life, I got extremely lucky and was given another chance at life. I was determined to get better. To be better.

And there started my road to recovery...

They say that recovery is a lot like a roller coaster ride. There will be ups, where you feel like you're on top of the world, and that nothing and no one can bring you down. And there will be downs, and you will feel hopeless and lost once again, wondering why you even decided in the first place to choose this recovery bs. And there will be straight parts, where you feel like not much is happening, negatively or positively. You are kind of just in limbo.

My recovery so far has looked a little like this.... Hospital, Recovery Centre, Out patient programs, Group meetings, Counselling, Hospital, Out patient program, Group Meetings, Pills.

Pills... Something that I was so against for so many years. So many different doctors told me how much it would help, but I was just so stubborn and narrow minded I thought I knew it all. So a year went by into my recovery and I got to a point where I felt like I had my Eating Disorders under control. But my Depression was still lingering around. I just couldn’t shake this dark cloud that was over my head, day in and day out. I was exhausted and I just wanted to be happy. To not cry every damn day and just to not feel so sad all the time. I am extremely lucky and have so many wonderful people in my life, and have been spoiled endlessly by my amazing parents all my life, yet I was still just so sad all the time. I finally caved. I thought I had wasted enough of my life missing out on things because I was too scared or too sad to get out of bed to do them. I wanted to feel what it was like to be truly happy and excited about something again. So I went in to my doctors with an open mind and agreed to try anti-depressants.

There are many different kinds of anti-depressants, and by no means am I a doctor nor am I going to tell you this is the way to go and it will fix all your problems, because it wont. I am just here to honestly share with you my experiences with certain things during my recovery.

SNRI’s ( Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitor’s) is the class of anti-depressants we found (my doctor and I) through trial and error, that worked best for me. They are used amongst many other things, in the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Panic Disorder. Like anything new, it took my body awhile to adjust to this new medication. Many sleepless nights, horrible nightmares (some of which still occur), loss of appetite (Which is hard for someone recovering from an eating disorder), and mood swings all happened in the first few months. But for the first time, I stuck it out and gave it a chance and to my complete and utter surprise, I began to see that dark cloud slowly disappear from above my head.

Over the past couple of months, I have felt what it is like to not be sad 24/7, to not struggle getting out of bed every morning, and I can tell you it has been AMAZING. I know this isn't a permanent solution, nor do I want it to be, but for now if it can help me to truly start enjoying and living life again, I am all for it.

Because of the stigma around Mental Health and Pills, I waited a long time to give it a try. Even at first I wanted to hide it from everyone. I didn’t want anyone to know that I was talking pills to try and make me happy again. I was ashamed that I wasn't able to create my own happiness and I didn't want anyone to know. Because of the STIGMA around it all, I felt this way. Eventually I just realized that I didn’t care what people thought of me and of the things I was doing during my recovery. It was really helping me for the time being and I was happy. I just wish more then anything we could kill the stigma around Mental Health and different recovery options so that other people wouldn't be so afraid to give something that might possibly save their lives a try. The more we talk about it the less ashamed and alone people will feel about it.

Please never give up. There is so much out there to see and to do. Recovery is worth all the pain and tears. Life is worth it.

And most importantly, YOU ARE NEVER ALONE <3 xxx 

TESA DREW: BELL LETS TALK DAY

I write this blog in honour of Bell lets talk.. a day that has such a different meaning to me now. A day where I used to wish I was strong enough to tell someone about my struggles. Strong enough to speak up and get help. One year ago, I couldn't handle all the pain and suffering that I was experiencing anymore. I was exhausted and without hope. I was struggling alone for so long, and I truly believed I was so far gone, so empty, that no one would be able to help me. As painful as it is to think about that I tried to end my life a year ago, it is so important that I remember how far I have come. To remind myself how truly lucky I am to be alive. To remind myself that I have so many people in my life who love and support me.

This past year, I’ve done things that I never imagined possible for myself. I took risks, started a new career, moved provinces, lost friends, and made new ones. Did I struggle? of course I did. Was it hard? of course it was. I know its cliche but nothing good ever comes easy. Do I still struggle sometimes? yes. But thats all apart of life. Living and learning. Continuing to grow and learning from your mistakes. I’ve relinquished control over many aspects of my life, knowing that as much as i’d like to, I can’t control everything. I learned that I am so much more then an eating disorder, depression and anxiety. Yes they are a part of who I am, but they do not define me as a person.

I have come a long way but I definitely have a lot further to go. Its a long and hard road but one that is so worth it.

Within this past year I have come to learn a lot of things about myself that I never really knew, or at least was never conscious about. One thing for sure is that I don't like being alone. Throughout my life I have lost a lot of very important people to me, and it has left me scared of being abandoned and alone. The overwhelming fear and anxiety that something is going to go wrong and I’m going to be left alone again has ruined just about every relationship I have been in. I need to start consciously living in the moment more often, and I need to stop worrying so much about things that are out of my control, and trust that good things can happen to me, and that I deserve them to happen to me. 

Anxiety is a funny thing. It makes you think the absolute worst about every situation. It makes you feel like you will never be good enough for anyone, that you can never do anything right no matter how hard you try. It paralyzes you at times and prevents you from even completing the most simple tasks. It keeps you awake at night analyzing every conversation you've had, every little thing you've done wrong. ‘Why did that lady at the coffee shop today not smile back at me? She must not think I'm a good person, that I was being fake. I should have maybe smiled bigger, started a conversation with her, maybe I looked angry, was I angry?’ and it goes on and on and on. Sometimes even a couple of hours without a text or a call from a friend, family member, or significant other, can send your mind on a roller coaster and have you sitting there worried and thinking about the worst possible situation that could be happening or what you had possibly done wrong, when in reality they've just forgotten their phone at home. It’s important to check in with yourself when you are going through moments like that, and try to distinguish which of those thoughts are from anxiety and which of those thoughts are more realistic.

Life sucks sometimes. It will throw all sorts of curveballs your way. Loss, heartbreak, injuries, lies, fights. But thats life. We just have to learn to pick ourselves up and move on. Theres brighter days ahead.

We need to end the stigma around mental illness, so people aren't afraid to speak up and get help. I get it, you might be scared. You might think “I’m not sick enough”, “I am choosing to feel this way”, “ I don't need help I can do it on my own” “I’m not strong enough”, “ I don't matter”. But I can promise you that you are, and you do. Speak up, get help, confide in someone. I was scared. I was more scared then i’ve ever been in my entire life. I was scared what people would think of me, that people would think I was “damaged”, that I was gonna be know as the crazy girl. But I decided to do it anyways. I knew there was so much more to life and that I was on this earth for a reason, and I had to fight. I am not ashamed for the mental Illnesses that made me the person I am today. And neither should you. We are strong, we are capable, we are loved, we matter. And we are not going to let any Illness tell us otherwise. It’s okay to be scared, its okay to not be okay. I don’t want anyone to think that they are ever alone. Reach out. Take the risk. I know that I did and it was the best decision I had ever made.

You Are More xoxo

TESA DREW: CONQUERING MY ANXIETY

 

Anxiety, you will not win this time, I am much stronger

This summer I was the busiest I have ever been, working full time as a flight attendant. I can’t even put into words how much I love my job, and how grateful I am to have this career. 

Working days in a row, I had very little time for myself this summer. I didn't get to see my friends and family as often as I liked to, but it made it all worth it to have a job that I loved. I stopped attending my weekly support group meetings (most of the time because I was out of town, but other times I know I could have made the time to go). Being so busy, I didn't have much time to think about my recovery and to continue moving forwards. I found it very difficult to eat three structured meals a day with such a hectic schedule, but I am happy to say that I have not engaged in bulimic behaviours for quite some time now. I slowly saw myself slipping into restricting my food intake again; Although most days I was just too exhausted to fight with myself and just ate the proper nutrients in order to keep me going. 

Summer came to a close and and my crazy schedule began to slow down, but this is when I began to notice the anxiety slowly trying to consume me again. In a span of a week my great grandma had passed away, I found out my parents were selling our house and we would be moving from the city I had grown up in, to a new (completely different) home, and was also waiting to hear about my future with the company I was employed with. This may not seem like a lot, but to someone who has struggled with many things in the past, it had felt like my entire world was being turned upside down. I was really struggling to get through each day and to do the things I knew I needed to do for myself, without slipping back into my old ways again.

I loved my job and I knew being a flight attendant was something I wanted to do for a long time, and the thought of not being able to work full time doing what I loved, crushed me. When I found out I had received a casual position for the winter I was devastated. Looking back now, I know that it happened for a reason. It pushed me to apply for a larger airline based in Calgary, something that I would never have done if I didn't get that casual position. I went to Calgary from Vancouver for the interview, and two days later received a phone call with a job offer. I had mixed feelings about it. On one side it felt like my dream was coming true, I was going to get to see more of the world, but on the other side I was going to be moving out on my own, leaving my friends and family to start a new life in Calgary. I’ve never been good at stepping out of my comfort zone and taking risks mostly because of the anxiety that usually follows that, but this time will be different. I have lots of support and have learnt many different coping mechanisms to help me get through all this change. I am excited for what the future holds for me.

Jeremiah 29:11 - My plan for your future has always been filled with hope

Recovery is a constant roller coaster. You will have good days and you will have bad days but it’s all about how you react and treat yourself during those bad days. I no longer beat myself up if I miss a meal, or don't eat a “proper” portion. I no longer exercise excessively after eating a little too much at a family dinner. I understand that this is all apart of my journey and with each day I am getting a little bit stronger.

I am also very happy to say that I am no longer constantly haunted by thoughts about food. I am able to wake up some mornings and not be consumed by negative thoughts about myself and food. Living in the moment, I chose not to focus on what I had eaten the previous day or things that I did or didn't do. Each day is a fresh start and a new chance to do the things that you want to do for yourself. That alone is something I never ever thought was going to be possible for me.

John 16:33 - I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

There are so many things in life that you are not going to be able to control. Things will constantly change and most of the time there isn't anything you can do about it. Stressful times will come and go. People will come and go out of your life, but the sooner you try not to control everything and every aspect of your life, the sooner you will find peace. I had to take a step back during those tough times and really realize how little I could do about any of it and just put it in gods hands and let him take control. I am a strong believer of everything happens for a reason, and sometimes you may not know exactly what that reason is, but eventually everything works itself out. 

To anyone who is struggling, I want to give you hope. I have gone from the darkest of places; not wanting to live another day filled with misery, pain, self loathing and no hope. I never thought i’d be able to get to the place where I am now. I have found peace with myself, with the support of friends and family and learned many different coping mechanisms to help me during tough times.

Having a mental illness makes you no less of a person. If anything it just makes us all stronger, because we have to work and fight that much harder to overcome obstacles and achieve what we want. You can still accomplish anything you set your mind to. Your hopes and dreams CAN come true.

TESA DREW: WORLD EATING DISORDER ACTION DAY

Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa. There is so much stigma around these diseases. What people don't realize is that Eating Disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Yet it is the least recognized and the least taken seriously. You don't have to be 60 pounds to have an eating disorder. In fact sometimes the sickest people are the ones who look completely healthy. 

In my early teens I was not a depressed person. I was that girl who was always smiling and happy with an absolute love for life and everything that it had to offer. It wasn’t until I was in the depths of my eating disorder, when I really began to struggle. I had just felt so hopeless, and that I would be stuck like this forever. I thought I would never be able to rid myself of all of this self loathing and misery. Within the last year, there were times when I would just sleep for days. With no energy to eat or get out of bed. Isolating myself from many people, including my family, I was just an all around miserable person. Then there would be times where I would go days without being able to sleep. No matter what I tried I could not clear my mind from all of this negativity. I no longer cared about anything, I hated myself and my eating disordered life so much I did not care if I would live another day or not. I wanted to die. After hospitalization in January, I remember lying in the hospital bed just wishing that god would let me die. I was suffering so badly I saw no other way out. I had no hope for myself and my life. I was so wrapped up in my own disease that I did not think of my family or friends and how much they loved me and how much their lives would be effected if I chose to no longer live, but in my mind I knew I couldn't go on living the way my life was going. Anorexia and Bulimia Nervosa had completely consumed my whole being. This is what this disease does. Takes you into a place where you see no other way out.

That’s when I knew I needed to get help. To free myself from this every day torture.

Laying hopeless and miserable in the hospital bed I heard a lady in the next bed praying. I’ve grown up in a fairly religious family. We attended church on all the major holidays and I believed in God. But at this point I was angry at him. How did he let me get this way? Why did he let this terrible disease consume me and take my love for life away from me? But being at this “rock bottom point” I decided to give prayer a try. I prayed. I begged god to help me get through this. Deep down I knew I didn't want to die. And at that moment I knew God didn’t want me to either. 

Shortly after, I was introduced to this support group, Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous. And this is when my life truly changed. I attend two meetings a week, in which we read from our own literature and follow a twelve step program to help us reach freedom from this potentially fatal disease. I have a sponsor who I can call or text whenever I am having a tough time and she helps to keep me on track. I pray multiple times everyday; when I wake up and before I go to sleep, before and after every meal and anytime during the day I might be having a tough time. I have surrendered my food, body weight and shape and exercise to God, and I ask daily to be freed from my sins. This program has changed my life. It has given me the hope back that I never thought I would have again. I still have bad days, but I am trusting in God and his plan for me and that he will continue to help me through this. I have accepted the fact that I will never have a “normal” relationship with food, but it doesn't always have to be this hard. And I've had proof that it doesn't always have to be. I’ve had moments of light, of happiness. And the longer I am in recovery, the longer these moments seem to last.

That day in the hospital bed, I made the decision to continue to live and to fight with every ounce of energy I had left in my body. Recovery is hard but it is SO worth it. Life is worth it. I still get emotional talking about it now. Thinking that just 5 months ago I didn’t think my life was worth it and that I would never be able to live without my eating disorder. But here I am. Having experienced the peace recovery has to offer. I’ve graduated from my program. I am about to start a new job as a flight attendant for a regional airline in BC, with plans to go back to school at BCIT next September. I’m able to appreciate so many amazing things in life and cherish all of the meaningful relationships that I have. I can easily say choosing that day to live, was the best decision I have ever made.

I write this blog in honour of World Eating Disorder Action Day, tomorrow, June 2nd. By joining 200 Organizations and thousands of activists in over 40 countries dedicated to promoting worldwide knowledge of eating disorders and the need for comprehensive treatment, we can help to end the stigma.

No matter how hopeless, or alone you may feel. No matter how much you think your life doesn't matter, take it from me, someone who has been in that place, it does. There is light at the end of that tunnel. We need to keep fighting. To be stronger then our depression, our anxiety or our eating disorders. And you are certainly not alone. I chose to share my story and my struggles to hopefully help anyone who may be struggling and to let them know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. If I can reach even a single person, then I have done my job. Each and every one of us are beautiful in our own ways, and we are all worthy of life and all its beauty. You Are More <3 

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?" - Matthew 6:25

TESA DREW: BATTLING MY WAY THROUGH RECOVERY

Everyone said that recovery wasn't going to be easy, but it wasn’t until I was tackling it, full force, that I realized how truly difficult it was going to be. For as long as I could remember, my eating disorder was there to help me cope with all of life’s difficulties. Now, in recovery I am forced to deal with it all like a “normal” person. Having to actually feel my emotions as they come up and not just keep them all bottled up inside. No one told me about the endless sleepless nights, lying awake with millions of thoughts running through your head. No one told me about how truly tough it would be, mentally AND physically, to teach yourself how to eat properly again. But all of the exhaustion, tears, and pain are worth it to be able to experience life

In the early stages of recovery, you are still so vulnerable, trying to reverse years and years of insane eating habits and behaviours. The smallest little thing or “trigger” can send you off down a very very slippery slope. At the bottom of this slope is ED, waiting for you with his arms open wide. Ready to embrace you back into his miserable life. This slope is so dangerous. Sometimes you don't even realize how slippery it actually is. You begin to make your way down it, and then by the time you realize how slippery this slope truly is, you’re stuck in the middle of it, trying to figure out what your next best option is. Do I fight and climb my way back up? That way seems like a lot of hard work. Do I just sit on my butt and slide down the rest of the way? Surely that would be much easier. Or I could always just jump off the slope into the waters below. No, that option is most definitely not the right one. I refuse to let ED win.

To some extent, this is where I am right now. In the middle of the slope carefully observing my two real options. Surely it would be easier at this moment to slide down and be embraced by ED, but i’m not even letting myself consider that option anymore. I will fight and climb my way back up to the top. Yeah its going to be tough, and there will be lots of frustration, anger, hurt and tears along the way, but this choice is going to be the one that continues moving me forward in recovery.

“Short term pain for long term gain”.

I’ve experienced the freedom that recovery from an eating disorder brings you. I’ve seen the hope in my eyes. I’ve heard the stories of other recovered people and continue to have their words of wisdom and encouragement resonate with me. I have gained the tools and skills to help me through difficult feelings and situations. These are the things that I have to constantly remind myself of. I must take the time to appreciate the moments of freedom and happiness that I experience. I must sit with the bad days and bad moments and remember that these feelings are just temporary and they too shall pass. I must remind myself daily that “you look so much healthier” is a compliment from people trying to be supportive for me, and there is nothing more to it. I must continue to reach out to people for help; family, friends, girls in my support group, counsellors or my dietician. I must remember I am important and loved by so many people. I must remember that there is so much more to life then this eating disorder.

“Be gentle. You’ve been at war with your body for so long. Peace takes time.”

Recovery IS possible. It is possible for anyone. Those of us with eating disorders like to think that we are extra special, and that we are going to be the one person who isn't capable of recovery, but in reality thats not true. Each of us are just as capable as the other, and if we work hard enough we all can experience the freedom and happiness of living without ED.

So that’s what I am going to do. Fight my way back up the slope, however difficult it may be, and to the life I know that I deserve, ED free.

“Philippians 4:13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength” 

Tesa Drew

ED is not some ex boyfriend I had fallen in love with, gotten hurt by and then broke up with. ED was so much more to me then that. ED is the name for my eating disorder. 

I have been in a relationship with ED for 5 years now. Many people say that their relationships with their eating disorders is much like that of an abusive relationship. Both physically and mentally he controls every part of your life. He loves to tell you what to do, and how to do it. He makes you feel depressed and hopeless by feeding you with constant negative insults about every single thing that you do. But regardless of the pain that he caused me, I stuck by him.

ED was always there for me, or so I thought. I had a bad day? He was there. Bad grade on a test? Fight with my boyfriend? He was always there telling me how he could solve my problems and make me feel better. But little did I know he was actually trying to destroy me.

Nothing was ever good enough for him. I’ve always been an active and fit person. I was a cheerleader for 5 years, and played soccer since I was 6. I loved going to the gym, for hikes and on runs, but ED took my enjoyment out of all of that. He would say that running 5 miles was not enough, I had to run 10 or else I was just a failure. 1 hour at the gym would do nothing, I should stay for 2. No one would like you if you stopped now. No matter how much I did and how much I obeyed everything that ED wanted, it still wasn't good enough. I wasn't good enough. He made me believe that if I wasn't good enough to him, I would never be good enough for anyone. He expected me to be perfect in every single aspect of my life. No one is perfect. What I was striving to be, was impossible to attain. 

“People will only like you if you are skinny” a common phrase ED would use with me. It’s hard to believe now, that I thought people only liked me because of the way my body looked. I am my own person. I have a personality, opinions, my own thoughts and feelings, and I like to think that I am pretty funny. It’s hard now a days living in a society predominantly focused on appearance. Between social media, TV, and magazines (all with airbrushed filters and edits), all telling you how you should look, it makes it next to impossible to feel satisfied with the way you look, and it makes you idealize people and looks that aren't even real. It is important to focus on what is on the inside. I know that it super cliche and corny, but it is so true. People will like you because of who you are as a person, and if they don’t, then its their loss. In life you will never be able to please everyone. People are different. Personalities clash, and there is no need to change who you are as a person to make everyone like you, because it is impossible and you will just drive yourself crazy. Be true to yourself and your values, and I promise you that you will be a much happier person.

Choosing to come out about my struggles with mental health and to get help was the hardest, but best decision I have ever made. I spent the last month in a treatment centre in Manitoba,  where I found myself again. I learned to disobey ED, to distinguish between my own thoughts and feelings and ED’s, worked with a nutritionist and am now proud to say I am following a meal plan that includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two snacks! Im continuing to learn to build a healthy relationship with food and myself.

But I am by no means perfect. Im not going to tell you that its been easy and that I have fully recovered in the short month I was away, because I haven’t. I am continuously going to be working towards a full recovery. What I have done, is learned to be able to acknowledge ED thoughts, but step back and realize ED is not someone I want in my life anymore. Why would I want to be with someone who is trying to kill me? I don’t. Breaking up with ED was the best thing I have ever done. I am learning to live my own life, ED free.

Of course, in such an early break up, ED is trying to linger around. Trying to crawl his way back into my life. But I refuse to let him. I am so much stronger and better off without him. I will continue to fight him everyday, until finally the day comes where he will leave me alone for good. I have complete faith in myself and I know that day will come.

I would not have been able to get this far without the support of my family and friends, counsellors and nutritionists. Their words and constant strength and encouragement is what kept me going in my toughest moments. You all helped kick ED’s ass to the curb.

Leaving ED opened up so much more room in my life for happiness, other HEALTHIER relationships, and gave me hope. I have found myself again, and learned to love myself, flawsand all. To anyone out there that is struggling with an Eating disorder, there is hope, and most importantly you are not alone <3