Years ago these words did not exist in my self description vocabulary. I was drowning in a pool of self-hatred, a prisoner in my own mind suffering from a severe eating disorder. For over fifteen years, my life was strung together with exhausting efforts to achieve an unrealistic ideal of perfection. The scale and the size of my jeans dictated my day, my mood and my life. On the outside, I seemingly had it all together, but I was slowly killing myself behind closed doors.
I felt I was destined to live in my secret hell, until one day a friend came along, took my hand and guided me to the help I so desperately needed. It took me months to say eating disorder, and even longer to admit the severity of my illness. Not me, it was not possible. I was the picture perfect southern girl: handsome husband, beautiful family, great career, busy social life. And while all of my blessings were very real, I was never able to be fully present in my life. I pushed everyone away, even my husband, to protect my secret – my eating disorder.
In the fall of 2010, I deteriorated very quickly, both mentally and physically. I hit rock bottom. I no longer had the energy to put on the happy face. I wanted to go to sleep and never wake up. It took me hitting rock bottom to realize the severity of my illness. With the help, love and support of my therapist, Mary, and my husband, I found the courage to admit myself into treatment.
On December 14, 2010, I entered the Carolina House. Weak, hopeless, but willing to do the work, I dug deep and trusted the extraordinary team around me.I spent nearly three months healing the wounds of my past and redefining and rediscovering who I was. My therapist, Christy, and the entire staff were my light in the dark, ultimately leading me to find my own light.
The Carolina House did not save my life. They gave me something so much more – they gave me the tools and showed me how to save my own life. I am proof that there is hope and that recovery is possible. But recovery is a choice. It takes work and you have to want it more than you’ve ever wanted anything in your life. I am no longer ashamed of my mental illness. I am proud of my story and how far I have come. I am beyond grateful for all of the angels who have guided, and often carried me when I was too weak to continue on my journey.
My recovery journey led me to not only discover who I am, but ignite and intense passion for my life. Recovery has taught me the power of friendship, the power of opening up and pouring your heart and soul into life…putting yourself out there for all to see and not being afraid to shine. Above all else, recovery has led me to create my life’s work and mission – Southern Smash. When I discharged from the Carolina House on March 2, 2011, I made a promise to Christy, Mary and all those who helped me find me recovery that I would one day pay it forward. Southern Smash and my work as an eating disorder advocate is my pay it forward mission. My eating disorder silenced me for 15-years and I plan to spend the rest of my life
speaking shouting out and helping others know they are not alone. You are NOT alone.
Loving Imperfection is a blog about my story and my journey to what is now my beautiful and amazing life in recovery. This blog is a testament to the power of positivity and self-love and is a tribute to all of those who have helped guide me on my journey…