Recovery

Q: “So you didn’t want to eat, or you didn’t like yourself?”
A: “No, it’s a different issue.”

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Transcript for Recovery

There are girls on the cheerleading team—there’s three of us with eating disorders.  I’m a recovering patient, and there’s two cheerleaders that currently have it.  And one of them is getting help, and the other one is just letting it go.  There’s also some people with depression issues on cheerleading.  A lot of girls have been through a lot on the cheer team, and we just like, support each other through everything.

I talk to the girl that is going through recovery right now about it, and she asks me for advice, but the girl who refuses to get help doesn’t like me and doesn’t want to talk to me, and avoids me at all times.  A lot of people aren’t like, aware of how big eating disorders are and how many people actually have them.  Some people that actually have them don’t even know they have them until they’re brought to like, a medical doctor or anything like that.  And it’s just a scary disorder, and it’s more of a mind game than a me thing, and it can lead you down the wrong path.

They just don’t know what I’ve been through and then they feel like, ‘Oh, so like, you didn’t want to eat, or like, you just didn’t like yourself?’  And I was like, ‘No, it’s like a different issue, like…’  I stopped drinking pop, which is like, also like, a healthy decision, but like I was obsessed with Sprite, and like I just realized that, ‘Oh, that’s bad for me, and so I’m not going to drink that.’  And then I stopped like, eating fries.  I stopped eating, like greasy foods and stuff, and I would pack my own lunch instead of letting my mom pack it.  And I just became very obsessed with food.

When people ask me like, if it was like a choice, like, between still having your disorder or being in recovery, I would say I chose recovery.  It was a conscious decision, and not an easy one.  That’s the common denominator among people I know who have recovered.  They choose recovery and they worked like hell for it and they didn’t give up.  Recovery isn’t easy at first.  It takes time, it takes more work sometimes than you think you’re going—you’re willing to do, but it’s worth every hard day, every tear, every terrified moment.  It’s worth it because the trade-off is this: you let go of your addiction and you get back your life.

At first it was like, brought up that I had an eating disorder.  At the beginning of my sophomore year, my mom took me to a clinic, and they told me, ‘You have an eating disorder called anorexia nervosa.  And this is a treatment center, and you’re going to get help.’

People don’t really treat me differently, they’re just really shocked, and they’re like, ‘Oh, you have something wrong with you?’  Like, they think I’m like some kind of freak.  And I’m like, ‘Yeah, like it’s for my anxiety.’  And then I can’t drink because of it, so people are like, ‘Oh, that must suck.’  But no, drinking isn’t everything, so no, it doesn’t suck.

I really do think I add a lot to the Valpo campus by having gone through an eating disorder, and anxiety, and everything that I’ve been through.  It’s just…a lot for a person to go through within a few years, but I’m strong.

  • Jessica J

    I think so many people are quick to look at a very skinny person and say, “She’s anorexic,” without really thinking about what is packed into that statement. As the speaker says, anorexia is not something to be taken lightly. I realize that it’s very serious, but before listening to this interview, I didn’t realize how common eating disorders are on our campus.

    • Caitlin Littlejohn

      I agree, Jessica! I also know girls who are naturally skinny and feel just as insecure about it as those who are insecure about being too heavy. I also know a handful of people who have had eating disorders where it had nothing at all to do with physical appearance. It just goes to show that we can’t ever truly know someone’s story without hearing from him or her.