RECOVERING FROM AN EATING DISORDER | I HAVE A DREAM
Whoever said “be careful what you wish for, you just might get it”, knew what they were talking about. I am a walking, talking, disco-ball-in-heels example of the fact that if you desire something—if you truly want it badly enough—it can happen.
Let me backtrack a few years. It’s 2004 and I am lying in a hospital bed. I am hooked up to feeding tubes and IVs; my fashion choice at the time was a grey hospital gown. My best friends were the guys who came to take my blood every morning and the janitor who would empty my trash every night. I can’t count how many times I was eating green jello and staring out a window that led nowhere. It’s quite a lonely place to be. I was so sick, but I knew that this was not the way I wanted to be remembered. This was not the impact I was meant to have on the world. I was wasting my life.
I thought about dying, about how the only thing that people would remember is that I was one of the worst anorexics on the planet. The last memory people would have of me is that of a skeletal corpse. I had made no difference in the world except maybe to be a living example of how to totally screw up your life.
I was so disappointed with myself and what I had become.
Through my 17-year struggle with eating disorders, there was a part of me that did want to be someone else. I would often wonder who I would be now, if I had never gotten Anorexia. Would I be married, successful and pretty? Would I be loved?
I would envision a woman, not a little girl but a really cool, on-top-of-it woman, who was independent, sassy and funny. She would have a killer attitude, tons of confidence and she would light up any room she walked in.
She would have a really great job and it would be one that she loved. It would be one that involved helping people. She would live somewhere sunny and warm. She would drive a cute little sports car and have boys chasing her all over town.
Her life would not revolve around her weight, or her food, or the size of her thighs. She would be FREE.
So a few years after that, I had gotten to a semi-stable weight. But emotionally, I was still in a miserable place in my life. I was living by myself in a little apartment in my hometown.
I was living off of social security and the kindness of friends. I would rarely go out and I wasn’t binging and purging but I was not eating much, exercising everyday and popping pills like they were skittles. In the midst of extreme depression, I remember asking myself the question: “what change did you make in the world today Melissa?” … insert crickets here.
One day, my neighbor came over and gave me this DVD to watch, based off that book “The Secret.” I think that was her way of telling me ”your life is going down the toilet. Snap out of it!” Although I thought the whole thing was kind of hokey, I did get something out of it. It’s a quirky way of looking at life, that if you want something in life, it can happen. If you envision the dream; think the dream; become the dream, then any dream can be realized. Ya….well I think this is possible but only if you put forth the effort to make it so.
Don’t think you can wish for something and it’s magically going to fall from the sky. If that were the case, people would be a lot better looking, richer and happier—and I’d be married to David Beckham.
No.. It’s more of that saying in baseball, “become the ball”. You have to become your dream. You gotta work magic with that bat to hit the home run.
They talk about making this thing called a vision board, where you basically put the things you want in life on it. Each day, you look at your board and envision each one of your dreams becoming a reality. You know, like a collage of your future.
I was bored so I decided to do it one day. I got a bunch of my old Cosmos and cut out a picture of a really pretty woman wearing a business suit and going to work. I cut out a picture of a beach house, and a picture of palm trees and a sun. I cut out pics of woman who had boobs, and hips and an actual ass. All of these women were either happy or had that great “just got out of bed look”( it’s Cosmo, what did you expect.)
I had a brochure on eating disorder treatment centers, and I actually—no lie—cut out the the name “Rader Programs”, because that was where I wanted to go.
I cut out a picture of a little green Volkswagen bug, and a picture of Johnny Depp … lol. Hey, if you reach for the stars you might end up in the clouds, right?
Can dreams seriously come true? Can you just walk into a fairytale one day and never walk out?
I’m here to tell you I actually think you can…stay tuned for my next blog and I’ll tell you how I did it, and how you can to.
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