My name is Cara, I’m 22 and I live in Wellington, New Zealand. I also now consider myself fully recovered from my eating disorder and I’m writing this post because I want everyone reading it to know that recovery is possible; every day that you have without clinging on to eating disordered behaviours and thinking through an eating disordered mind is another day you’ve lived to the full.
I think I would generally call myself a pretty passionate person. I have huge dreams and aspirations of helping people and advocating for people who don’t necessarily have the voice or know-how to do it for themselves. I truly believe that I have to give my best in doing this and that is something which inspires me to maintain my health. If I’m having a bad day where skipping a meal or engaging in some detrimental behaviour is looking increasingly tempting, I just have to tell myself that I need the nutrients and sustenance in that meal to keep going and to reach my goal.
Apparently perfectionism is a big problem in people with eating disorders, and I would definitely say that I fit that stereotype. I’ve found that refocusing that energy and that drive to succeed on something concrete and obtainable has been a useful tool. Letting go of the part of myself that self-sabotages and hangs onto uncertainty has been a huge part of my recovery. As a result I've learned what things truly interest me. The point I'm trying to make I guess is that eating disorders devastate who you really are, they try to take that away from you. Recovery is all about taking your true self back and refocusing. It's not easy, in fact it can be incredibly difficult, but coming out the other side is a unique experience and it is something you can take back from all the time, emotion and self-respect that your eating disorder has tried to take away from you. I get so tired of people saying it's not possible, because it is and it's magical when you achieve it.
We all have our bad days or bad times, but picking up and keeping on is the most important thing. Sometimes I have days when I feel like I'm back at square one, but I just have to keep telling myself that I'm not, because this disorder is no longer part of who I am and I want it to stay that way.
And with that I'm going to show you some pretty pictures, because I like pretty pictures:
|Mt Taranaki poking through the clouds (taken from a plane).|