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Actually, I would take your therapist up on that offer & go immediately into hospitalization. You are already dangerously thin. The ED is consuming your life. You say you try to eat more...but it's always safe, low calorie foods that doesn't equal more calories in the end. It's a vicious endless cycle.

I had a deal with my therapist that I would go into hospitalization if I reached a certain weight and I did reach it but we know how devious the ED can be. I did recover on my own, as it turns out, but this was extremely difficult and I don't recommend this for anyone. I hit absolute rock bottom, OD'ed on my meds, woke up 2 days later on the floor lying in my own vomit and feeling like I had been run over by a truck. Definitely I don't recommend doing this, but it's what finally got me to start giving recovery a chance when I realized I could have died. The reason I OD'ed in the first place was directly related to the ED--I was miserable and not sleeping (it gave me SEVERE insomnia), I didn't want to die, I just wanted to shut my brain up for awhile. When I realized what had happened and that I could have died, I was very scared of what I had done.

It's about retraining the brain to think. I still do get ED thoughts after all these years, but I never, EVER act on them. Usually, they go away and they are nowhere near as intense as they used to be. The funny thing, when I started gaining weight, I began to be able to think more clearly. It's like I did but I didn't think. When the ED was so bad, it was a distorted way of thinking I had.

Moving on from the ED was the best decision of my life. I have a life now. Imagine all the time you don't waste overexercising, counting calories, panicking at the thought of social functions. I pretty much eat whatever I feel like now--foods I like--not bland ED foods, and my weight has hardly changed in 5 years, except now it's changing a little, but I'm almost 10 weeks pregnant, so it's to be expected.

You can live with an ED--if it doesn't kill you first, but it's not really a life, and people stop viewing you as a person. They look at you and see a disease. Even now, I can just look at other women & teenage girls, occasionally men too and I think I know more than the rest of the public, yes, that person is grossly thin, look at the way they're exercising, only eating salad, buying diet pills, they have an ED and need serious help.

Once I recovered, I started to appreciate life again, especially the beauty of the outdoors & nature. I opened myself up to new & better relationships. I met my husband, stopped killing myself to get perfect A's in school--grad school was so much better for me, I stopped overachieving and got some B's but had more fun, we bought a home, and now I'm pregnant and going to have a baby in December. I'm focusing on being the best wife, sister, aunt, daughter, and mother that I can be, and none of that includes the ED.

I would be lying if I said I still don't have body image issues; I do, but they do not rule my life. These days, I'm generally happy.

Please do go in and get the help. There is so much out there to live for.

I've said before you have 3 outcomes with the ED: 1) you die from it 2) you live with it your entire life never to the extent it kills you but you're miserable and depressed all the same and would rather be dead 3) you recover and move on with your life.

You're never, ever happy living with an ED. You have to let it go. It's scary, but it's necessary if you want to move on and enjoy life.

If you really, truly want to get better, you can do it! For the longest time, I claimed I wanted to recover, but in my heart, I didn't. I was doing everything to thwart recovery. I said, oh, I'm going to group therapy (which was actually triggering for me & not what I needed), seeing my therapist, my psychiatrist, the dietician, the registered nurse weekly, I'm doing all I can to recover. Really, that was lying to myself. I was going through the motions, but never following through on my actions when I went home. I have a very real feeling that you are in this place right now. It's a dangerous place to be. It's very tough to change your thinking to envelop recovery & accept weight gain & move beyond the ED and into a place where you are 100% devoted to recovery, but really, that's what needs to happen in the end. Inevitably, and this was how I thought of it, I would have to recover eventually if I wanted any kind of life and it might as well happen sooner than later. I'm just sorry I wasted 5 of what could have been wonderful years of my life embracing the ED & being miserable & depressed before I decided to turn things around. If I had made the decision sooner, recovery would have been less traumatic for me.





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