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In Recovery From Anorexia Since 2012! See how I beat it...

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I was thrilled when I learned that I was going to be able to share my story here. I know people reading this have all sorts of addiction and mental health issues, the one that I would like to focus on is anorexia. I, myself, had anorexia for about 20 years before I decided to seek recovery. One May night I was sleeping in my brother’s bed back home in Kentucky and I woke with the strangest feeling. It was as if my soul were shaking my body and said “Listen, this time around you won’t survive. Consider this your wake up call to fix your own mess that you have created.” Well I woke up in a cold sweat, weighing in at an extremely low weight (I won’t say because I don’t want to trigger anyone) and I said out loud “This is it, anorexia has ruled my body and mind for much too long…I will fix this mess I started!”. That was the beginning of my recovery.

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Granted I had a psychiatrist, therapist, and a nutritionist, helping fight my war, but I had no fancy eating disorder facility to help me at any time throughout my battle. All during most of this time I was being thrown in and out of different psych and med hospitals. Towards the end it got so crazy that I was too sick to go to the psych ward, but still not sick enough to go into a med hospital. This is when it was up to me to take over the show.

I don’t want it to sound like recovery came easy…it didn’t. It took a lot of soul searching and forgiveness of myself for all of the manipulation and disregard of my own wellbeing in the name of anorexia. I knew the only way to slay this beast was to start at its core and work my way out.

What most people don’t understand is that anorexia is really not about food. What it is about is control, self-esteem and self-image. First I had to deal with control. My entire life I had no control. My life was basically planned out for me. I, at the age of 22, found the only thing that I could control for certain was what I put in or not put in to my body.  In order to help with this issue at first I agreed to mutual control between me and my nutritionist. It was more like a comprise with her. She knew if she threw out the idea of 6 things to eat, I would probably pick 3. She knew going in that I wouldn’t agree on all of them, but it made it seem like she gave a little and I still had some input. As I got further into recovery this was no longer necessary.

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Next comes self-esteem, this was no easy task. What was even worse was I had negative self-esteem. I had no love for myself and I was on the way to total apathy. Apathy is the absolute opposite of love, not hate as you would think. Something a tech had told me years ago clicked in my head. He had said something to the effect of “You are the only Krista in this world and you are the best Krista there is. Don’t waste another day, there is a beautiful world out there. Go live in it.”. It might have taken a few years to sink in, but I was bound and determined to live my life this way. You own your own self-esteem, don’t let anybody take that away from you. It is yours. I know that in the first stages of recovery this is easier said than done. Once you can say out loud to yourself “I love you!”, you will start to pull away from the beast. The more you love, the smaller and smaller that beast gets.

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Last, but not least, comes self-image. When I was in the throws of my anorexia there was no such thing as social media. Now people are bombarded with images that are unreal and unattainable. Instead of just T.V. and magazines that I had to deal with, now they must endure Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat. Social media has made it so there is no way to avoid triggers. It is not it’s fault though, it can be used for good as well as for destructive purposes. I will give you 2 examples. One site that I know of has multiple Pro ana groups/boards that actually help you become better at being anorexic. Then on the other hand you have sites like this one trying its best to help people in recovery. During my recovery I discovered via social media that there were people out there just like me, I was not alone. I realized that I was not the only andro-queer girl out there with anorexia. But that is a story for another day…

Krista Sturgeon is the co-author of “An Angry, Distorted, and an Exhaustive View of my Body Image” and is in recovery since May 7th 2012 and can be found on social media "here" 
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  • Jo on

    Dear Krista, This is the first time I truly learned your experience, your struggle. I’m happy for you that you’ve been recovering for the past four years. You do look fabulous now. I think you’re so strong that you not only didn’t yield to all the hardships but also choose to fight it, to confront it, and even to write to inspire other people who’s suffering.

    I totally agree with your point that it’s not about food, it’s about control, self-esteem and self-image. I feel you. I’ve experienced food addiction for a while during the time when I felt extreme loneliness and no love. But now I’m getting better. I know I could never compare my experience with yours but I just want you to know that I feel you in some degree.

    I sense hope and strength and wisdom in your word. I’m sure you’ll getting better and better and inspire more people as their role model. Also, another bright side about the hardships we’ve been through is that it makes us understand life better than others and makes us a philosopher of our lives.

  • Scollett on

    I am so impressed with Krista’s strong message. She is the “real deal,” and is truly well along the recovery road. Stay strong, sweet girl!


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