Saturday, July 22, 2017

Anorexia and Libby--Second Stanza

About a month or so ago I posted a blog that my Granddaughter Libby had written about the struggle with anorexia. Her brave words must have struck a chord because over 1900 people have read her words she let me post on my blog. Libby has written a second piece about that struggle. I thought you might want to read this second stanza of her journey with ed (eating disorder) and what she has learned. She is doing well--studying at South Carolina Upstate, continues to run on the cross-country team and is making good grades. She works this summer as a lifeguard at a Spartanburg (SC) County Club. She has just been admitted to Nursing School. We are mighty proud of her. Run, Libby run! --rl

Recovery is such a simple word, yet it is the furthest thing from simple. You don't just choose recovery, you have to keep choosing it over and over and over again. We all wish recovery was just as easy as walking into your therapy session and coming out cured; but we all know that's just not a thing. At all. Ever. First off, realizing that you are even worth recovery is an obstacle in itself. "I'm fine. Nothing is wrong. I'm not hungry. I'm not tired. I don't need help. I have this under control." Those are some of the biggest lies I ever told myself. ED constantly told me that I was okay, and that if I stepped into the world of recovery then that would mean I'm of course the last thing I wanted to do was step into that world. I couldn't let go of ED; that was just unheard of in my world. I thought I was nothing without him. Every time someone asked me if I was okay all I wanted to do was talk about it; scream, yell, shout about it... but all I ever did was say "I'm fine."

​I knew I needed help. The voices inside my head were literally killing me. I felt paralyzed, and I felt nothing; the only thing that would put a smile on my face was if my stomach was growling and if I was shaking from hunger. Depressing, I know; but that was the truth. I had friends and family constantly telling me that I needed help and that if I got it, then I would be free. But I just could not do it, until I got to my breaking point. I would go to my annual doctor's appointments and they would name everything that will happen to me if I did not gain weight, one of those things included death. I wanted to be free from this more than anything, I truly did.

One day, the voices along with the anxiety attacks got so bad that I screamed I needed help, and shortly after, my mom got me help right away. I went to my first therapy session, and I thought it was going to be a lot easier than it was. I remember her blindfolding me while she weighed me, and then measured everything on my body. I was confused, because I did not think I was even that skinny. I also remember asking her a bunch of questions like, "wow, so you're saying if I eat pancakes, I still won't become fat?!" You guys are probably laughing at that question as you're reading this, but that was a legitimate concern for me. I loved pancakes dude, but I wasn't allowed to ever eat them because of ED. After leaving the session, I felt a little better. I had a professional dietician telling me that I will not become fat if I ate pancakes...I mean that's like the greatest news ever. After leaving that session, I thought I would go home that week and be able to eat pancakes, or really just eat whatever I wanted...but ED had other plans for me.

This is probably when I realized most that I had a problem. I did not realize I was addicted to this behavior, until I tried to stop. I wanted the pancakes, or the cookie, or the flipping salty chip for crying out loud, but ED wouldn't let me, and of course I listened. I thought to myself, "dang Libby you are really stuck." I wanted to recover more than anything in the entire world, but I couldn't. The therapy sessions continued, but I just kept getting worse. Each week I was supposed to challenge myself and eat a "scary" food...but I would never do it. NO way. I thought that I could still hold onto parts of my eating disorder while working to be recovered, but that's just a bunch of booty; because that little part will always be there and when something slips up, that little part willblow up. I would have eating disorder specialists look at me in the eye and say "Libby you will die if you keep this up much longer." You'd think that would make me wake up and change everything right? Well, nope. I was involved in more than one therapy sessions a week. One of the sessions was with a group. I only went one time, and I cancelled every other time we were supposed to meet. I came up with some lame excuse in my head and convinced myself I couldn't go to it...when in reality I could have totally gone, I was just too scared.

Months went on, and as I have previously explained in my story on the home page, I did get better; so
I won't go into the details again. Recovery is the best thing that has ever happened to me, because without it, I obviously would not even be writing this right now. Recovery to me is never-ending. Ya I don't spend most of my time in therapy sessions or doctors appointments anymore, but that doesn't mean I don't still struggle. That doesn't mean "poof! you're cured." It has gotten easier of course, and  have learned through recovery how to deal with the thoughts. This blog is a part of my recovery journey. It's very easy to "miss my eating disorder," but when I write about it and share it with the world, it reminds me that I have come such a long way, and that going back to that life that almost killed me, would probably kill me this time... and none of us want that am I right?

​That doesn't go to say that relapsing isn't okay, because it is totally and completely okay, and normal.I  relapse to this very day; but I don't ever give up on the fight. There is no cure for an eating disorder; it will never be gone forever. But you can chose to take those small steps forward rather than backwards; there will be an easier day, a true meaningful smile across your face, and most day there will be a mirror that does not matter to you anymore. ​If you have this illness you will probably carry it for the rest of your life; so it's your decision to let it kill you, or fight like hell and make a good story out of it. No food will ever hurt you the way an eating disorder will.

You are allowed to scream, and cry, and struggle, but whatever you do, do not ever give up. There is always light at the end of that dark tunnel.

​​If we "fail" at anorexia, we win ​at life. Remember that. We don't choose anorexia, but we sure as hell can choose recovery, so please do it. Whatever it is you may be struggling with...depression, anxiety, bulimia, anorexia, etc...just tell it to screw itself because it is not welcomed here. Not today, not tomorrow, not ever. I am living proof of saying that recovery was more than worth it. ​And by the way, choosing to step into the world of recovery does not mean you're weak, it means you are one of the brave souls that admitted they needed help.

​Thanks for reading,

​P.S.- I can now eat pancakes without having a total freak there's another reason why recovery is worth it.

--Roger Lovette /

1 comment:

  1. Libby's story is incredible. I can only imagine how triumphant she must feel after conquering something as devastating as an eating disorder. I suffer from Bulimia, and for over 20 years, I have tried to control my weight by throwing up. It doesn't work, I have never been thin, and I have suffered other illnesses as a result. Libby's story gives me courage; maybe I can get some help too.