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Lately I've been grappling with this idea, this notion in my head that I didn't have an eating disorder. There's no way that the girl I look at in the mirror who eats dessert every day, who no longer fears pizza and bagels, who accepts her curves and her natural body size could have ever struggled with such a horrific disease. But I did. I was there, in the thick of it, at war with my body and my mind.

 

It honestly feels like a different life sometimes. I was a shell of a person, a fraction of who I am today. I feel detached from that "before" life almost. Before I knew all foods were good. Before I realized exercise wasn't just to have abs by a certain time of year. Before I realized that there was more to life than the calculator on my phone. I can't even fathom going back to that place.

 

Which is why I also can't imagine ever having an eating disorder. Because how could I have ever sacrificed my freedom for a monster of a disease? How did I find the courage to break free from the crushing hold my disorder had on me? How am I able to be so positive and reassure myself time after time that life with an ED is not worth living? It astonishes me really, this hidden strength and bravery I have. I'm not being sarcastic, I don't remember where it came from. What motivated me to fight and push and conquer.

 

All I really know is that I'm so grateful that I did. I don't know where I would be without recovery and everything about it- the tears, the arguments in my head. But also, the pure love I was able to build for my body, my mind, and my soul. Everything happens for a reason, and I embrace all of mine.

Copyright 2016 © Colleen Mann.   All content can only be used with permission from the artist.