Julie Allen-4/29/21

Healing Journey: Trigger Warning: Eating disorders and self-injury

Desperate, hungry, lonely, and so afraid to live without my eating disorder. Anorexia was all I knew and I defined myself by her. I was not a person with anorexia. I was anorexic. The thought of leaving her behind to live this so-called life everyone told me was so worth it, terrified me. I was not worth trying to recover only to fail again. I had been in and out of treatment for years at this point, what made me think I wouldn’t fail at recovery if I tried again? I resigned myself to accepting this was how my life was going to be. Anorexic. Sick. Hungry. Alone. 

I was stuck in a cycle of numbing my pain, doing anything possible to quiet the feelings even if for only a moment. Starving, purging, cutting...these were the only things that gave me relief from the screaming in my mind. I just wanted it to stop.

 One day, I was babysitting my young cousins. Twin 1 year olds and a 3 year old who lived in a disabled body. It hit me when I locked myself in the bathroom to rid myself of the food I had eaten, that I was no longer in control. My eating disorder was putting the lives of young children I loved so deeply at risk. I looked at myself in the mirror and did not recognize that person. That sad, sunken eyed, desperate young woman finally knew she needed help. That was not me and I could not live like this anymore. 

Healing Journey

A month later, I took a 3000 mile airplane ride to my last residential treatment center in Manitoba, Canada and lived there for 3 months. That was the beginning of my healing journey. That was where I first began to learn how to treat myself with compassion. That is where I took my first steps towards recovery. Terrified, far away from the safety of my home, but finally experiencing that glimmer of hope, finally read to heal. 

I know what it is like to feel stuck and desperate for the pain to stop. I know the depths of despair that living with mental illness can feel like. I know and I have overcome. Turning struggles into strength and letting compassion for all humans guide everything I do. Knowing the pain has allowed me to truly know joy. Never give up, loves. Healing is possible. Healing is so worth it. 

True beauty of the power of a woman

Respect. Honor. Learn and grow. Much love to all you beautiful humans.

Photography by Sierra_selene_

Today I choose to honor my body.
Today I choose to accept Her exactly as She is.
Today I choose to love myself with actions.

Article credit : Julie Allen. CEO, Mary Rose NW Boutique. Founder, Mary Rose Foundation. Author and Eating Disorder Awareness Activist

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