Recovery Story: Finding Myself Again
Jen, from Wellington, New Zealand, is 18 and an Author.
My Advice: I just want to be gentle with you, and I want you to be gentle with yourself. Just for a moment.
It's so scary, I know. It may feel like you're alone on this earth, that no one understands and if they do, they can't help.
I'm going to ask you to do something a little bit scary, but just take your time. Find a space where you feel safe, you don't have to look at yourself but just sit or stand, close your eyes and whisper to yourself "I love you, and you are safe" just three times. Even if you don't believe it, your body will soak the love up like a sponge, it will love to feel love from you.
My Journey: I would love to inspire you with my journey, to make you feel capable and beautiful and free. But I can't do that, only you can.
That statement, "only you can" is what has helped me the most on this journey. It has also been one of the hardest, most painful things I have had to realise, knowing that the only way I can heal, is if I do it myself. Along with realising that asking for help is okay, speaking up is okay, listening to my body is okay, realising that only I canis both reassuring and terrifying.
My Story: Where does a story begin? There are so many starting points I could pick, as far back as childhood. The comments that formed beliefs in my growing brain, the boys on the playground picking names to call me, that were far from true. It was their creativity that was lacking...
The way that lack of food became a way to make the boys like me, to make me feel good enough.
My story begins in a kitchen, aged 8. Exactly ten years ago, when a comment from a family member allowed me to question the body I resided in. Soon to be fuelled, by traumatic experiences, the wildfire began.
Ultimately, I wanted control. But how can you control a wildfire? My bleeding throat, dizziness, hunger, racing heart and uncontrollable thoughts, became unstoppable. The point when I asked for help is the point I should never have reached.
At 17, I made an appointment with my doctor and went alone, I just sat there and cried. I wasn't sick enough for inpatient treatment, so I went on a 3 month waiting list before my first outpatient session. I went alone, ashamed and feeling like a failure.
Discharged and optimistic, I easily slipped back into my old ways when I felt anxious. The embers of the wildfire weren't fully extinguished, I knew I'd have to fight this fire by myself.
Self-Publishing 'If Only Roses Were Red,' a poetry book about my journey through seed to blossom, was my main focus. In December, 2018, I was a published author, high school graduate, scholarship recipient, award winner and moving alone to another city.
You don't have to be better to feel better. You can still succeed while healing, you don't have to be fully recovered right in this moment. It takes time, but I believe you can do it.
- Aug 2019