Fearing The Unknown

I’m not sure where to begin. I am currently a Junior at a high school that stands in a small town in Hawaii. Every since I was young, my doctor has always brought my weight to my attention, as my family's history with weight has always been on the heavier side of the scale. For the longest time as a child, I enjoyed life. I could care less what others thought of me because I was happy with the person I was. I had so much to be thankful for and I still do. I have a family who loves me and would do anything to see me get past what I face everyday.
There is so much that leads to the reason I developed Anorexia Nervosa that I could write a novel just about it. To make it to-the-point, my therapist has helped me see that the events (i.e: my dad being deployed in the Army and constant bullying from kids at school) that took place in my life when I was a child were almost traumatizing, for a 5 year old, and were never resolved in a way they should have been. In 2011, I was confronted by my doctor that he would like to do blood work just to make sure my body was balanced in nutrients and heading in the healthiest direction.
After getting the results, it was brought to my attention that I was low on Vitamin D and with my BMI, If I weren’t able to make changes in my lifestyle it was very likely I could be diagnosed as pre-diabetic. On that day, I decided to set the goal of living a healthier life and successfully get to a healthier weight for my age and height. It was only a half year until I reached a healthy weight and successfully lost some weight! I was beyond overjoyed with myself and began to feel confident in myself and the person I was becoming.
Unfortunately, that didn’t last as long as I had hoped. I remember being on vacation and doing what I do best, spending money at my favorite shops only found on the mainland. I grabbed a cute pair of shorts and a shirt before heading to the fitting rooms to try them on. As you can probably guess, the shorts were suffocating me and the shirt looked so different than I imagined it would. And not in a good way. How could the pants be so much tighter? I had always worn this size. But I did notice my pants began to feel more fitted than usual. I went from enjoying my time on vacation to wanting to lock myself in and crying in the corner of the fitting room.
I was so upset with myself and disappointed that when I got home, the first thing I did was weigh myself. It was no surprise at that point, I had gained almost more than what I had lost before. For a while I dealt with the guilt of feeling heavier. I wore baggy clothes, wore only 2 outfits out of the closet full of clothes I had, became extremely insecure about my body, and made what others thought of me my first priority. Eventually, the constant depression and feeling of not being good enough pushed me to the edge. I was going to do something about it. I was get myself together and prove them wrong. I was going to become the person I dreamed of being and everyone would see the will power I have.
So that’s what I did. I tracked my weight, diet, and exercise. I worked out often and watched the foods I ate and their proportion. I slowly dropped more weight. I was so happy. Everyone complimented me. I actually felt beautiful. Worth something. But then I realized that sometimes those feelings still lingered. Even though I lost the weight I would still stand in front of the mirror and see so many flaws. Some days I’d still get depressed that I still wasn’t enough. And then there was that fear. The fear of gaining it all back and not being in control. I couldn’t handle the thought of not having control. Not knowing the outcome of eating any other way.
Soon I was eating less and less. My calorie count became lower than usual. Soon I began scheduling my foods. What I would eat and when. And if I ate certain foods or what I thought was “too much” food, I would work out until I was under my calorie count. I wasn’t going to let myself slack. Not even for a second. I can’t. Soon I lost more and more weight until I was underweight for my height. I still look in the mirror and is truly terrified at what I have become. I still see flaws, but luckily I am able to see both flaws. The ones that I want to work on and the anorexia that has taken over me.
Every morning is another battle I face. I want to get better, but I don’t want to watch myself get into old habits. My fear has completely took over my life. It has become my life. It is all I think about and can be extremely frustrating when you want to recover. Like I mentioned before, I am very lucky. And I have realized that I do have more than most have. I have a supportive family, a loving boyfriend who has done EVERYTHING in his power (that you can think of) to help push me towards getting better as a person mentally AND physically, I have friends as well as strangers who are willing to be there for me and have my back, and out of all that I have know that I have the willpower and ability to accomplish anything I set my mind to. I mean I proved it when I lost all the weight right?
So my goal? Well, to be honest with you I never thought this would EVER be my goal. My goal is to gain weight in the healthiest way and continue my healthy habits including working out to improve and tone my muscles. I want to nourish my body as well as repair and strengthen all the muscle I lost. I want to be able to trust myself. To enjoy life knowing that it isn’t all about food. That life goes on beyond what I put in my body and who I look on the outside does not define the person I am. And if I am a good person. If I can love myself, then that is all I care about. I want to get to that point in my mind.
So why write if I feel as if I am already recovering? Because I know that this is not something I can do alone. I am going to need all the support I can get. I’ve learned so much about myself and Eating Disorders in general, thanks to personal experience and NEDA. What do you think? Do you think I can do it?

Please feel free to leave me suggestions and tips I should be aware of! I want to recover. And I want to believe that I can get there.

Mahalo (Thank You)!

admin's picture


Hi Mikhaela, 

Thank you for sharing your story with our community. Recovery is possible and maintaining a healthy weight can be achieved. 

For information and resources, we encourage you to reach out to the NEDA Helpline at 800-931-2237. 

Again, thank you for sharing your story with us!

lucyta's picture

First of all, I want to thank you for sharing your story Mikhaela. Recovery doesn't come from one day to another. It takes time; and the time varies depending on the person's situation. It is not just about will-power either. It does take a lot of effort and in conjunction with your support team you can definitely achieve recovery. You have to learn to be patient with yourself and go one day at the time. It is easy for people to say: "YOU JUST HAVE TO LOVE YOURSELF" when in reality it is such a difficult task to accomplish after hurting and neglecting ourselves for so long. It is a good idea to give your eating disorder an identity so you can identify it when it is around you. I call him ED, and he is a liar. He is always working on trying to make us feel NOT ENOUGH! when that it is not true. You are blessed that you can count with an incredible support system, so take advantage of it and reach out to them not only when you are about to explode but also when you feel confused, sad, scared, anxious, weak, nervous, NOT ENOUGH, upset, angry, depressed, alone, HAPPY!, and DO NOT WAIT all these feelings and emotions invade you all at once and you loose control. That's why it is VERY IMPORTANT to REACH OUT! You are a so very much valuable human being who deserves to be happy and loved not only by others but yourself.

elmo2016's picture

Hi Mikhaela! 

I just want to echo what Lucy said. You CAN do this! Just reaching out here shows that you are looking for a safe place to find support! Who can you reach out to about this? You mentioned you have a really supportive family and boyfriend - woudl they be able to help you find the professional help you need to overcome the eating disorder struggles?

I wish you well!


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