*Warning sensitive topic*
This is my story of survival. Brace yourselves, I’m about to share intense vulnerability. I do not do this well.
If you follow my page or my blog, or if you know me in real life, you know I find connection through humor and laughter. This is my comfort zone.
This story is not funny.
I’m not sure why but I feel compelled to share this with you. Maybe it was the message in church this morning. Hopefully I can offer encouragement to anyone else who is struggling with the same demons or someone who feels like there is no way out of the mess she has created. There is. There is a way out. I promise you there is.
My survival story took place a few years ago when I had to fight like hell to pull myself out of such a deep depression and self-sabotage that I truly did not believe I would survive. I am grateful to be alive.
Read on if you feel compelled.
The unique nature of this story of depression is that I put myself there. Literally, I did it. No one else. I made selfish choices that resulted in gut-wrenching consequences and I deserved them. At the time, I truly didn’t know if I would make it one day to the next. When you’re in that type of depression, knowing it’s because of your own actions, life seems helpless.
The photo on the left is from 2 years ago – deep in the throws of a severe eating disorder and mental breakdown. Heavily medicated, sleep deprived, starving myself, and not wanting to live anymore.
The photo on the right is a few weeks ago – in a place of peace, faith and confidence in my own self worth.
When I lose control in my life, I spiral. I know this about myself. Everyone handles these types of situations differently. For me, the one place I can control when I’ve lost it everywhere else is what I put into my body.
Eating disorders are real. They are scary and consuming. They make you believe false truths, embrace the lies in your head, and even people who seem to have it all together can be silently struggling.
Contrary to popular belief, eating disorders aren’t always about body image or food either. For me it was always about control. I’ve dealt with this for the better half of my adult life. Most of the time I can manage it, control it, maintain it. Most of the time it does not consume me.
Two years ago, when I spiraled downhill fast, I lost all control in my life and this was something I could control. I almost killed myself in the process. Literally, a few more weeks at the rate I was going and I am confident I would not be here today.
As a mom, to admit you’ve lost your will to survive is not only scary, it’s debilitating. I separated myself from reality and believed these horrible stories I had created in my head.
The lies: I am worthless. I am not loveable. I am a terrible mother. I ony hurt people. My children deserve better than me. Everyone would be better off if I was not here.
The truth: I needed help and I needed it fast.
I sought out therapy thanks to the forceful nature of my beautiful sister who physically removed me from the couch I had refused to leave and took me to a doctor. That doctor diagnosed me quickly and referred me to several specialists. I will spare the details of the rest and just leave it at this: I survived.
After a lot of therapy and the support, love, forgiveness and kindness of those who truly love me, I managed to find myself, my faith, and my purpose in life again. As a woman. As a mother. As a wife. As a person.
I’m proud of myself for overcoming this horrible state and at the same time so disappointed in myself for letting it get so bad. What kind of example was I setting for my sons?
So why am I sharing this with you?
Because so many of us are silently struggling. No one would know it from the outside. We hide it with humor, with generosity, with perfection, with anything that allows us to not allow anyone to see what’s really going on.
If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, with self-harming thoughts, with an eating disorder, with anxiety… You are NOT alone. Seek out help. Find your support. Talk to someone. Whatever you do, do not go through it alone.
I will never let myself get here again. I had amazing doctors and friends who helped me fight to survive. I keep the photos as a reminder. Please don’t be afraid to reach out if you’re having a hard time. I don’t know where I would be today if I hadn’t.
I am healthy now. But I will never forget what I had to overcome to get here. I’m just a message away if you need to talk to someone who’s been there. Do not ever let yourself feel alone, because you’re not.
You are a child of God and you are worth it.
Love and hugs,
Feel free to share this story with anyone and everyone you think it may help. You would be surprised how many people feel alone in this.