Mental Health: ED recovery by Cayla
I have struggled with my body image since I was a kid. I never felt like I had a place in this world and because of this I found myself craving control. Unfortunately food restriction was the only time I felt I could get this. My restriction went from a way to get control to something that was all consuming. Every waking thought I had revolved around food. Around this time last year I decided I was tired feeling this way and got the help I needed.
The beginning of eating disorder recovery is an interesting place to be. For so long I had kept this part of me hidden from my loved ones and even myself at times. Then all of a sudden I was expected to share it all with someone who seemed to be a stranger. I felt many different emotions, anger, sadness, but most of all I felt lost. I had spent 21 years of my life feeling numb to my emotions. Anytime I would feel something I would stuff it away. I thought it was easier that way. With time I was able to learn to express those emotions in a safe space. For the first time in my life I could put into words what I was feeling without fear of judgment. I realized it was not control that I had been craving for so long it was freedom.
I also learned that in order to stop my eating disorder cycle I had to seek control through a safer practice. This I found in art. I like having the ability to choose the brush, color, and type of paint I use. I can also express the way I am feeling through art. It feels similar to journaling however, I could hang it in my office and no one would know what it said. Like a secret between the paint and I. Over the years art has become a safe space and I am very thankful I have somewhere to go when life feels overwhelming.
This is not to say that I am all better. Sometimes I do find myself reverting back to who I used to be. When I was searching for my place. Although I do believe that my eating disorder may always be a part of me. I also know that I am not broken and the things I struggle with are not what defines me but is just a small part of my story.