Updated: Sep 4, 2020
As I said in my post, "Where it all Began," I was always afraid to seek help for a multitude of reasons. 1) I did not think it was bad enough to get help because I was always comparing my "problems" to others'. 2) I did not want to seem like I was trying to get attention 3) I was embarrassed and did not want to have to acknowledge that it was something I needed help with 4) I thought I could do it on my own/with enough prayer and faith 5) I was afraid if I got help I would get fat.
Then, finally I started thinking about my future family. It was towards the end of the mission when these thoughts are provoked by a program called "My Plan" which helps you adjust back into normal life (yeah right). It hit me that maybe the reason dating had never been successful for me previously was because I did not think I was worthy of being liked, not because I was fat. Or that maybe I had to love myself in order to let anyone else love me. I started thinking about how I am supposed to help my future daughters love themselves if I did not love myself. I started thinking how it would affect them if I was always counting calories, restricting food, and constantly checking my body in the mirror. I started wondering what it would be like for my children to walk in on their mother puking up the dinner she so lovingly prepared for them. Going through this obsession about food and weight is something I do not want my children to ever have to go through and it hit me that in order for that to happen I had to heal myself.
Over the course of my mission, every time we had an interview with our Mission President, I told myself I would tell him. Then I would get in there and somehow convince myself I did not need to. I finally decided to tell him and it was one of the hardest things I had ever done. After telling him it felt like it took a HUGE weight off me, especially since he responded with such empathy and understanding. He told me that he has family members who struggle with eating disorders and that he wanted me to start talking to a counselor for help. But despite all that, it was still really scary.
After talking to him I told my companion and she just held me while I cried and cried. It was really hard to finally accept that I needed help.
I called and talked to a mission counselor, bless his heart, but he did not really know how to deal with eating disorders. He first told me that downplaying my problem is unhealthy and then by the end he told me not to make this worse than it is. Despite him not knowing how to address the issue, it still helped to get it off my chest.
The next person I told was my sister. I emailed her and she told me that she started crying when she read it. She called the Dietitian at Utah State and made an appointment for me. I am really lucky to have such a sweet, loving sister.
Upon returning to school a couple months later I met with my Dietitian for the first time. It was really hard to go in there and hear the things she had to say, such as that most girls with eating disorders also have anxiety disorders, and to tell her things I had never told anyone before. At first after each appointment I would come home and cry and cry because of how difficult it was for me. Addressing the issue of my Eating Disorder dug up a lot of emotions I had been burying for YEARS and there were many times that I would lay in my room and just feel so hopeless.
I have now been meeting with my Dietitian a few months and have seen a HUGE change. For a while I have been wanting to change, but I just did not know where to start. Through meeting with my Dietitian on a weekly basis she has given me a direction and resources to help myself. It is definitely still a lot of work on my part and it is not always easy. There have been many relapses, emotional/mental breakdowns, and some very dark moments but through it all I have developed a sense of empowerment because I have finally realized that I can and will overcome this and through it all can help others overcome the same worries.
Note: For those of you attending college, Dietetic and other services are usually included in your fees meaning no extra charge (might as well take advantage of all the money you pay for college, right?)