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"You can’t live a full life on an empty stomach."

It is not your choice if you get an eating disorder, which is part of what makes them so cruel and unfair. However, you have the power to decide whether you will fight to recover from your illness to get your life back. My whole perspective changed when I realised recovery had to be my choice. No matter how many therapists or doctors I saw, I only got better when I realised I had to want recovery enough for myself. No one would or could gain weight or challenge the anorexic thoughts for me – it had to be me. You have to take your life back day by day for yourself.

This is so much easier said than done. Trust me, I know how hard it is. You have to push yourself and break the horrible rules your ED has firmly set in place for you. It will feel like hell and there will be tears, but I promise it does get easier. You deserve to be happy and achieve all of your dreams – but to do that you have to challenge anorexia. You can’t live a full life on an empty stomach.

What was vital to my recovery, was recognising the fact that anorexia was not my best friend. In fact, she is the complete opposite. Anorexia is your worst enemy who will only be satisfied once you are dead. This illness is not your identity nor a comfort blanket; it is simply a horrid disorder that is getting in the way of you living your best life.

Only once I started breaking away from my anorexia did I realise what a miserable and lonely life it forced me into. Living with anorexia is not living at all. You deserve to have a happy and carefree life, one that includes eating ice cream on sunny days and munching on popcorn at the cinema, rather than crying over calories and isolating yourself from concerned family and friends.

Choosing recovery is the hardest step, but trust me, it will be the most rewarding and worthwhile step you ever take. You are so worthy of recovery and not one more second of your valuable life should be wasted on this disease. Recovery will make you such a stronger person and is simply short-term pain for a long-term gain, whereas anorexia will just bring you misery every day.

Recovery will be the hardest battle you ever have to fight, because it feels like you are going against everything you have ever known. It takes true bravery and courage to fight the demons inside your head, while having to continue with normal everyday life, so never ever feel bad if you are finding it difficult. You are so strong, and just know recovery is absolutely achievable and you will get to where you want to be – you just have to want it enough. Fight for your life back!

Contributed by Tegan

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