I lived in fear for over 25 years, rejected happiness, loathed attention, sought every self-destructive “ism”, and believed that I deserved to die a long, slow, self-induced death. I believed that ED was my life and that it would always be a dark, lonely path, and the only activity I took pleasure in was the daily cycle of self-destruction. ED convinced me that the world, including my now 18 year old son would be better off without me, I accepted my fate & prepared myself for the end, until the morning of September 19th, 2012, I looked at myself in the mirror and said, “Please God, I don’t want to die, but I don’t know any other way to live, I surrender.” Two weeks later I was admitting myself to the Ranch, for my second round of inpatient.
After being a frequent flyer within the Rosewood system for almost five years, I learned another way to live. Rosewood taught me that it was okay to love myself, it was okay to feel emotions, it was okay to not be perfect, it was okay to forgive myself, it was okay to let go, it was okay to ask for help, it was okay just to be me. After living with ED for so long I had no idea who “me” was, I was scared to live outside of my eating disorder, because who was I without him?
It has been over a year since I left Tempe IOP, and almost three since I left Wickenburg, while my recovery has not been perfect, it has been mine, I feared being happy, I was convinced I was undeserving of anyone’s love, I thought living in recovery was too hard, I thought of myself as Kelli, the bulimic, the anorexic….today, I think of myself as just Kelli, no labels, no shame, no guilt.
I love who I am, who I have become through this process and I would not be here today if it wasn’t for the Rosewood staff and the lifelong friends I made. I am 37 years old and have been given an amazing opportunity to start my life again, to do it the way I want, not for anyone else, not for ED, only for me. I have an appreciation for life, for my family, my friends, and for myself. And for the first time in my life I can honestly say, I love my body and it loves me, because it hung in there for over two decades while I did nothing but try and destroy it, my body fought for me, now I fight for it, I fight for me.
Find Your Voice. Use Your Words. Speak Your Truth.