As I sat at my daughter’s tumbling class last night, I chatted with another mom about what I did for a living. I held her sweet baby boy as I told her about my job at Recovery Warriors. It opened up a beautiful conversation. I always enjoy talking about my journey with people who have only known me in my recovery, after I completed treatment.
I explained I have been in recovery for 3 years and she congratulated me. Then she asked,
“What was the turning point for you in your disorder? What was the one thing that really pushed you to reach out for help?”
This Time It Felt Different
I have been asked this question time and time again. For some reason, looking at this mom who is in the trenches fostering and fighting for the little one-year-old bundle of joy in my arms, I teared up with gratitude, pride, and deep sadness.
You see, I was there, sitting, enjoying watching my little girl tumble and bounce across the mats. And I was holding a baby I knew might not be in the hands of this beautiful soul much longer. At that moment I remembered where I was when I decided recovery was a must, not an option.
The Day It Hit Me
I was reluctantly sitting in my dietitian’s office. She was trying to convince me that lying about my meal plans was getting me nowhere. She asked me to question everything I had ever been taught about food. I felt confused, angry, and scared.
She said, “You can enjoy a meal.” I thought she was crazy.
She said, “You can eat for pleasure.” Yeah right.
She said, “There are no bad foods.” Now she had crossed the line.
I had been taught the opposite in my life: Food was to be feared. What you ate had a direct correlation with your worth. If you ate something that was “bad” you needed to compensate ten-fold for that transgression. You eat to live, not live to eat. Your body and well-being were all determined by what goes in your mouth. The negativity towards food and body went on and on and on for me…
The Truth Hurts
So as I sat on that couch with a professional telling me that “everything I believed about food was wrong,” I stopped her. I exclaimed, “Why was I fed all these lies? Why am I sitting here now? This shit is SO unfair.”
She looked at me and asked me the question that changed my recovery trajectory for good. She asked,
Do you want your son or daughter sitting here with me when they are 30 having the same conversation because you didn’t get the help you needed to get better to teach them differently?
Boom. This was one of the most defining moments of my life. She was saying if I wanted it to be different for my children, I had to break the chain of deception and false truths around food and body. And this, my friends, took going to inpatient treatment.
The decision to go to treatment
Was it easy? Hell no. Was it worth it? Hell yes. Would I do it again? 1,000 times over and over to help me understand that not only did my kids deserve different, but I deserve a life worth living, too.
We deserve to live a life that is consumed with joy, not fear.
Create a life for you and yours that has nothing to do with shame and restriction, but everything to do with being comfortable with the seasons of life and honoring the body that carries them through them.