How I fought my battle with anorexia and defined recovery

At age 35, after my family continued to experience tragic events, my eating disorder worsened. I have lost weight dangerously. I stopped eating. I was too depressed to get out of bed. I stopped working. My life was shattered before my eyes until my parents finally intervened. My missing body caught their eye.

“Mer, we won’t sit back and watch you die. You’ve had this eating disorder for 25 years. You need help.”

So, even though I kicked and screamed, I entered a partial hospitalization program (PHP) on the Columbia Day program in New York City. It was a program specifically for those with eating disorders. Although I desperately wanted to be a perfect anorexic, I had hoped that I would find a more fulfilling purpose in life.

My two nephews were also born — I called them my guardian angels. I wanted to be a nice aunt. I wanted to see them grow up. I have to survive to do it. I had eating disorder competition.

For six months, I sat through endless psychotherapy groups and participated in lunch and dinner support groups. Simply put, food exposure saved my life.

I kept the thorns in my mouth with each meal, I slowly snatched the chains from my wrists and ankles. I previously had sexual injury process. I have identified more effective ways to express my feelings and express my emotions. I have learned Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills to challenge my all-or-nothing thinking and other cognitive distortions. I have practiced mindfulness. I connected with my body through yoga and stretching. A supportive recovery community surrounds me.

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