Smashing the Scale: McCall's Recovery Story, Part II
This two-part article was written exclusively for EatingDisordersOnline.com by McCall Dempsey, founder of Southern Smash and author of the blog “Loving Imperfection.” After a 15-year battle with an eating disorder, she is solid in recovery and has made eating disorder awareness and prevention her life's work and passion.
I admitted myself into the Carolina House on Dec. 14, 2010. Amongst the many feelings of fright and anger, there was a sense of relief as I walked through the house’s loving doors. I knew at that point that my eating disorder was completely out of control and this was the only option left. My body and mind were hanging on by a thread. I was exhausted and wanted to heal, but I had no idea how.
A Leap of Faith
When I entered treatment, I desperately wanted to find recovery, despite having no idea what recovery really was. Treatment professionals kept talking about this magical word, but I could not imagine living in a house with food in the pantry.
Clearly, my way of life was not working, so I decided to put my faith and trust in the extraordinary treatment team. This does not mean I skipped through the Carolina House halls waving my recovery flag. Far from it. I entered with a willingness to try, but there were plenty of days of defiance and anger.
Week-by-week, day-by-day and minute-by-minute, I slowly found myself. Each day my skills and recovery ‘toolbox’ grew stronger as I learned how to cope without my eating disorder. After three months, I was discharged from the Carolina House with my feet firmly planted on the path to recovery.
The Power of Recovery
This December will mark my three-year recovery anniversary. I do not mark this special date with the first time I went to a therapy appointment or the last time I used symptoms. I mark my recovery date with the first day I made a blind leap of faith onto the path of recovery.
Recovery is not always pretty, but it is worth it. In many ways, I consider myself lucky to be on this journey because in my short three years, I have learned more about who I am and what I want in life than most do in a lifetime.
Recovery is not about eliminating symptoms, and it is certainly not a straight line. It is a lesson in imperfection and accepting that the journey is bumpy and sometimes ugly. There will be many stumbles and tears, but you have the power and choice to stand up and continue forward, doing the next best thing with each fall along the way.
The choice of recovery is certainly not an easy one, but it is a choice nonetheless. Whether you believe it or not, you do have the strength to choose recovery. Do not waste your life being ‘half alive’ like me. Take that blind leap of faith and choose recovery today. Trust in yourself, and trust in your team. Never give up, never lose hope and never ever stop believing in yourself.