My Story | Recovery from Eating Disorders and Self-Harm

Hi everyone! My name is Marge. I found out about this website/app through Philip’s Youtube channel.

Introduction

So, I’ve never used any illicit substances. I had a close friend from junior high that dropped out in our sophomore year because of her methamphetamine addiction, so I decided to research drugs and what they did to the user’s brain.  I watched documentaries, read books, and dove into learning about addiction. This information combined with finding out I’m genetically predisposed to addiction steered me away from drugs and alcohol. I never had anything stronger than weed or a bit of wine when I was underage, but I’ve struggled with addiction. I have had problems with self-harm, anorexia, binge eating disorder, and bulimia. I was in a mentally and emotionally abusive and manipulative relationship. I also used smoking weed as a way to mask my depression and anxiety.

The Good Times to Becoming Self-Aware

With each of my addictions, everything seemed fantastic, until it wasn’t. Losing weight, eating less, and exercising an hour before school started was great until I couldn’t stand for long periods of time. As someone who had always been the “fat friend” and would get picked on for her weight, weight loss was my way of feeling like I was enough. I was never good enough, from my grades to my appearance, so I made a change. Getting compliments on weight loss was flattering until I realized my hair was falling out.  Fitting into clothes was felt refreshing until I realized I had body dysmorphic disorder, which I still struggle with as I’m typing this. Eating 500 calories was my goal until I wouldn’t have the energy to walk to the store. I cut off everyone I loved when I was in the worst part of my anorexia, my grandma especially. I went to treatment, but I ended up getting pulled out. I went to a different therapist who was no help at all, and I felt like I had no one. I started experimenting with self-harm with a razor blade. It was like nothing I’d ever felt. No more worrying about my calorie intake, no more feeling like I wasn’t enough, no more self-hatred all because of a blade. It was a solution that worked for me, a short-term damaging solution.

At My Bottom

When I was 16, I developed a relationship with a guy from my junior high years that I’d lost contact. He got me hook, line, and sinker with compliments. He ended up using me for his sexual gain, and I would feel worthless. I developed binge eating disorder to fill the void I had inside of me. I was also still self-harming at this time. I ended up gaining about 20 pounds, and I hated myself. I cried at school every single day, I’d fix my makeup, and I’d go back to class. I had A’s and B’s, and I kept telling myself as long as I had that, I was fine. I was able to get over my binge eating disorder, but I developed bulimia to lose the weight. That was my junior year, and it was a complete mess. I tried killing myself a week before prom. I went to the hospital and was able to finally be diagnosed, get medication, and be honest with those around me.  I did not stop self-harming, though. I smoked a lot of weed with my best friend from high school the summer before I turned 18, using it masked the pain I felt from being in a toxic relationship. Thankfully I got smart, and I cut him off. I changed my number, everything I needed to do. But, when I was 18, I was sexually assaulted, and self-harm was a way to numb what I felt. 

Open Minded to Self-Harm and Eating Disorder Recovery

When I was 19, I met my current boyfriend. We were young when we first started dating, so there were a lot of bumps. I had a lot of baggage, and so did he, but we got through it. Both of us gave up smoking and drinking because we felt it only brought negativity into our individual lives and the relationship. I haven’t touched weed in three years.  Of course, I wasn’t clean of self-harm or engaging in disordered behaviors like taking diet pills and skipping meals every day. Even into my 20’s, (I’m 22 almost 23, so nobody’s going to like me.) I would lie in bed and look at models on Instagram and Facebook to remind myself why I wasn’t eating. I’ve now deleted all my social media, and my confidence has gone up a bit. 

I relapsed in June of last year during a massive panic attack, less than a month before my birthday. I came clean to my boyfriend, and my mom found out once again that I had cut myself. I decided to devote time to recovery. Learn how to stay clean for the rest of my life. I started watching YouTube videos, I learned about how to apply makeup, I watched nature documentaries, I watched so many Shane Dawson videos I can’t even count them. I spent time with those I loved. I focused my energy on school, and when I felt uncomfortable, I cleaned my house. The most significant part of my recovery was facing my demons head-on, talking about what led me to self-harm and hurt myself, and just being honest with myself. I learned my triggers. 

In Retrospect

It’s been nine months since I last cut myself. I’m still working on my ED behaviors, but I am doing a lot better. My addictions will never entirely go away, but I’ve learned how to manage them for the most part. Recovery from self-harm and eating disorders is possible; it’s a long road to get there.

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Comments

    1. CG Kid

      This is a content platform so people can share their experiences anonymously to help those who can relate and further education on the subjective experience