Body confidence, self worth and recovery 

I have suffered with anxiety for 7 years now, and my god it has been challenging. I’m not really sure where to start with this but I just want to give a quick *trigger warning* for those who have suffered or are currently suffering with anxiety, depression, body image & self worth.. 

So… I have struggled with my body image since I was about 10 years old, and was diagnosed with an eating disorder 4 years ago at the age of 14. In all honesty I don’t really know how it started? I just got very anxious & depressed, hated school and hated life in general.. I started to exercise thinking it would improve my mood but I actually got addicted.

Healthy eating wasn’t healthy eating anymore, I stared calorie counting & it went downhill from there. I fell into a trap.

Counselling helped, therapy helped and the medication helped but nothing could fight off the voices in my head. I weighed myself every day, restricted my calorie intake & was desperate to be ‘skinny’. (I was already a size 6 at this point.) I was eventually admitted to hospital and seen as I was refusing to eat – they threatened me with feeding tubes. It felt like I was fighting a losing battle.

After seeing me suffer for so long, my partner of now 2 years finally asked me out (this was the day I was discharged from the hospital) and this was the start of my new beggining.. I got myself into recovery & then found out I was pregnant in July 2015 (scary stuff).

At first I really struggled to come to terms with my pregnancy but soon realised that my baby was my ‘safety barrier’ – I had to eat, and I had to look after myself in order to keep my baby safe.

Remaining in recovery, post-treatment, is very difficult.

When you are at home and back in the “real” world there is no one “watching you” like you’ve been watched while receiving inpatient treatment. I mean, yeah you still have your therapist, doctors, nurses, family, and friends, who all keep a close eye on you, but at the end of the day, you have to make the choice to eat what you are supposed to eat in order to maintain your “goal weight”.

And then you have to deal with a horrible rollarcoaster of emotions that come back when you begin to eat “normally” again. Eating disorders are in a way, crazy.. but they make sense to those who suffer with them. At one point in my life it was a massive help to me, a way to deal with all the ‘crap’. But now what? What are you supposed to do without it? Even years later you may find yourself asking the same question & you start to miss your old “coping mechanism”.

I was finally discharged from the mental health team in April 2016 when my daughter was 2 months old and I am happy to say that at 10 months post treatment – I am doing well.

Body confidence is definitely something that I lack of, but i am really trying to love myself more this year. I hate the way I feel sometimes, I wish I could be smaller (we all hate our “mum tums” right?)

But I have definitely noticed a change in my thinking.

Every day, I aim to better myself rather than go back down the slippery slope of an eating disorder. The amount I have achieved in the last year and a half is incredible & that is worth so much more than losing 10 pounds so I continue to power through.

“Life is way too short to spend another day at war with yourself.”

Thanks for reading

Zoe x

(This is an old post from my old blog – I had to move all my posts individually to my new self hosted blog) 
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