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    slm1953 posted:
    I recovered from Anorexia after a lifetime of struggling with this disease. I can't remember a time in my life when I wasn't obsessed with my size. Growing up my mother had bulimia which I'm sure contributed to my becoming anorexic. I was also sexually abused at an early age and have always been ashamed of my body. I reached my lowest point when I was 30 and lost down to 85 pounds. I am 5'6" and ended up in CCU with my heart. I was hospitalized both in an eating disorders treatment center and medical hospital for three months and almost died. I surprised all doctors by surviving and eventually beating this deadly disease. I still think about food and my size a lot but I no longer weigh and I now focus on eating to live. I am still in therapy and probably will always be. I have medical problems as a result of my anorexia. I want to share a poem I wrote about my struggles with anorexia.

    Anorexia, My Friend©

    Anorexia is my name.
    Come along and play my game.

    I'll give you death; I'll give you fame.
    You won't be there to take the blame.

    With me you'll always be a child,
    Sweet and tender, meek and mild.

    I'll show you how to be so small.
    Then you can laugh and stand up tall.

    I'll be your friend until the end.
    I'll help your broken heart to mend.

    Food will only make you weak,
    So there's no need for you to eat.

    Your goal together we will meet,
    And you will see life can be beat.

    In me solace can be found.
    I will never let you down.

    In me forever more to hide.
    Your time no longer you must bide.

    Sweet death will come and you will see,
    How easy it is to be set free.

    There is one thing that you should know.
    I will never let you go.

    sheila major

    Copyright© 12.10.1996
    by Sheila Mastrangelo
    All rights reserved
    An_261295 responded:
    I am so happy to hear that you are in a better place. I have had a long history of depression, anorexi and bulimia...but most recently anxiety and binging. Although my therapy is not as extensive now, I still occasionally see a therapist. Over the past year or so, I have been wondering if I am in need of help from someone specializing in eating disorders. So if I may ask, have you found the most challenging/difficult/beneficial aspect of therapy to be dealing with past/emotional issues more than food itself? What type of therapy have you found most helpful?
    slm1953 replied to An_261295's response:
    I was in an eating disorders hospital in Atlanta GA for three months. I almost died so the first thing to be addressed had to be my eating. However, the therapy was the most beneficial since it helped me to understand why I had an eating disorder. I have found support groups to be very helpful. I still focus on my weight but I don't obsess about it. I am at a healthy weight but my health is poor. One reason for my poor health is what I did to my body from starving. My depression is not as bad but I am still in therapy. I have a wonderful female therapist in who I've been going to for over ten years. I will be glad to give you her name if you like. She is in Atlanta also. I see her every week no matter how I'm feeling. I see my psychiatrist every couple of months for my medication. I have found seeing a nutritionist helpful but I still struggle with unhealthy food choices and eating regularly.
    lhattbar responded:
    Awesome! Thanks for sharing.
    slm1953 replied to lhattbar's response:
    You are very welcome.
    ohno121 responded:
    Wow congratulations you are an inspiration to to me. I am struggling with binge eating so my problem is a little different to yours but reading your expression of being free from your eating disorder is something I wish for everyday. Thank you
    pj73991 replied to An_261295's response:
    I have also struggled with all three disorders for 40 years.Staying busy truly helps; work, regular exercise and staying informed on these topics. Also, medication can really help keep on an even keel. Encouragement from those you trust can be beneficial but not advice. Most of all prayer is my biggest source of strength. I still look in the mirror and see a person over weight even though I have been at a healthy weight for 40 years. It is a journey.
    ohno121 replied to pj73991's response:
    Hipj73901 Do you feel the answer to recovery is learning how to manage the symptoms?
    pecewthn723 replied to ohno121's response:
    Hi. I believe and know in my case my recovery is based on dealing with the real reason I had anorexia/bulimia. My symptoms were just a cover up for my emotions-anger, sadness, frustration, loneliness and even sometimes happiness( there are many more feelings, but I think you catch my drift). I needed to replace my symptoms with healthy choices. When I wanted to restrict, I needed to figure out what was upsetting me, and deal with it. My symptoms kept me from avoiding life. If all I did was manage my symptoms, then I would have never learned how to live my life without my eating disorder. Dealing with a symptom is not dealing with the reason you are sick, it's avoiding the pain. Recovery is painful, but it doesn't have to be done alone, there are support groups, counsellors, doctors - I had to get a team at first because my family was afraid, I still call on my team for support if needed. In the beginning I needed to be hospitalized because I was so out of control. I needed someone to help me get my symptoms stable, but I wanted more for myself. I wanted my symptoms gone and the only way that could happen is to put a voice to my past and express my pain verbally not by restricting, purging,self harm. But by crying and getting angry. A symptom wether that be binging, purging, restricting, starving, over exercising, laxative abuse, compulsive eating is just a way to numb out the pain. I was tired of being sick and tired. I had mine for 30 years. My weight is of no consequence to anyone, I am not a slave to my scale as I was in the past. I will never mention my lowest weight on this web page, because it does not matter, nor my weight period, because I remember when I was sick if I heard another woman's weight I always felt I had to be less or that I wasn't a good enough anorexic/ bulimic, despite the height differences I wanted to weigh less. E.D.'s aren't about numbers, it's about our inner fight with who we are and the self-hatred that comes with it. Because honestly, if I didn't hate myself back then or feel deserving of love, then why was I starving/killing myself? So, no, my recovery isn't about managing my symptoms, but getting to the pain that caused them and the rest has fallen into place. I am symptom free for almost 10 years ! Thank you and good luck on your journey
    ohno121 replied to pecewthn723's response:
    Thank you for your thoughts I'm happy for you that you are fully recovered you have given me lots to think about

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