My name is Grace Elisabeth. I’m a regular 19 year old with nothing super special about me… maybe someday 🙂 I love the ocean, my friends and family in New York/Ohio, and a side of iced tea to go with my hot sunny days. A couple random things, but totally average, right?
As a kid, I had a stereotypical childhood. My family was the ‘ideal’ picture… A Mom and Dad, two brothers, and loving grandparents. So why is this interesting? Wellp… its really not. I have absolutely no tragic excuse for why I fell into the black hole of anorexia.
I was 15. Just starting high-school, nervous and excited. That year started out good! I had good grades and the guy I was crushing on liked me back 😉 Somewhere along the way I started to hate my body. So. Slowly I cut back on the food I ate. Then I learned how to count the calories of everything I put into my mouth, and how to eat things that had almost nothing in them. First I switched to ‘bread thins’ for my sandwiches and threw out the cheese. Soon, I wouldn’t eat bread. Then I stopped eating lunch at all. I was admitted to the hospital as an outpatient because people were scared and I was small. Every couple weeks I’d go back for evaluation. Over 1 year I gained enough for them to let me go. But I never really got better. I think I just got really good at managing my eating disorder. I could hide it like nobody’s business. Perfected the baggy clothes look, and wasn’t skinny enough to be scary looking. ***Side note: the final battle ground is in your mind, not body.
So then I went off to college. ‘The Land of No Accountability and Endless Opportunity’. Wellp, I jumped on that opportunity. Rode it all the way to 77 pounds.
When I came home, my parents were completely terrified. Suddenly I knew I was at rock bottom. I didn’t want this anymore. I wanted to be normal. I wanted to be able to go out with my friends for dinner and not analyze the menu a week in advance looking for salads. I wanted to be able to have a baby someday (which is really hard if you haven’t had a period for 3 years). I was sick of having hypothermia despite 3 layers of clothing. So on May 15th, I took the terrifying leap into recovery. This time it was different because A.) I WANTED to get better. **This is key** Freedom can only be captured when your entire heart is in it. and B.) I actually dug deep to discover the core motives that drove me in the first place.
It has been only 3 months of recovery journey… and its been a crazy ride all the way, but it is SO worth it. Last week I had my 11 pound anniversary 🙂 🙂
I have learned so much these past few months, and I have discovered that many times an eating disorder is fueled by feelings of control, low self value, perfectionism, and competition. Then these are egged on by lies that society surrounds us with at every turn. However, (at least for me) society cannot take all the blame. There were confused thoughts I had to heal in my mind. *The body is the “easier” part* And even that part is no picnic. hehe food jokes 😉 which I can now make without problem 🙂 Don’t get me wrong, I’m not fully free! I wish I could be blogging about how wonderful everything is going, and how I’m perfect now. But I’m not there yet.
My goals now:
1.) Be completely free and never go back!
2.) Travel anywhere and everywhere… got my eyes on Germany and Australia…
3.) Finish college and become a Nurse Practitioner
4.) Help people understand that it’s okay to talk about it if you’re going through this! You are not alone.
5.) Encourage anyone who is at their rock bottom, on the way down, or (praise the Lord) on their way up. You CAN do this. You really can!
It actually hurts my heart to think about someone out there struggling to stay above the drowning feelings. I spared all the harsh details because I don’t want to scare anyone, but there were many fights, anger, and just sucky times these last few years. If you ever need tips, encouragement, or just someone to listen I would be honored.