It is incredibly difficult to say those three words within your own mind, let alone unleashing them aloud: I need help. Fighting a battle alone can prove incredibly isolating, challenging and near on impossible at times. After endless attempts at recovery and wasting years of my life struggling with my ongoing eating disorders, I truly believed I was beyond saving; that my deteriorating mental health and physical state would define and control my very existence forever. For years you protect yourself from allowing the outside world to know your deepest and darkest secrets, fears and vulnerabilities, so finally asking for help is the greatest barrier to initially overcome even though it is exceptionally challenging.
If anyone had asked me my predictions for my future at the start of recovery I would have been caught off guard and speechless with terror and anticipation at the very thought of a life without anorexia. My world existed in a state of numbness and isolation, so how could I possibly envisage a world beyond those barriers?
With great determination, perseverance and amazingly supportive family members and friends with me every step of the way, recovery has guided me into an incredible new life I never imagined I would set foot in again. Recovery has given me a set of wings, which have grown and flourished over these challenging months, but are now ready to spread and flourish into my amazing new world full of happiness, potential and self belief. Recovery has given me all the strength, courage, self-appreciation and confidence I had forgotten how to embrace. It has unleashed these new wings, and I now feel it is time to fly my own course on my voyage of self-discovery and happiness. It’s time to let go of this poisonous destruction that has held me back and be free from its grasp.
I believe I have finally let go of the last grasp my disease had on me. No longer do I feel torn apart or sucked into its misery and control. I have all the control now. I finally appreciate who I am and have found confidence in my body and am accepting and embracing this new person I have become. My body should not be taken for granted; it has endured many obstacles these past years and I truly am apologetic for all the pain and destruction I have put it through. But the time has finally arrived where I am beyond ready to love my body, and begin to realize that I am worth so much than numbers on a scale or numbers on packaging. I no longer wake every morning and concern myself with my eating disorder, for every day is a beautiful new day where I can shine my brilliant existence onto the world. I am finally happy and living my best possible self in this amazing life I no longer take for granted.
I finally believe that I am not defined by my eating disorder now. I have carried its companionship around with me for far too long because I guess I was afraid to let go. Only now do I realize that letting go is the most liberating and proudest feeling in the entire world. Freedom is blissful, and to finally feel free is a feeling I am honored to have been guided into through recovery and a feeling I will forever cherish. I finally see the real me who has been locked away for so long, but now I have been freed. And oh how glorious this freedom feels. I have begun to actually live my life rather that just remaining alive.
I know I am not at my fullest potential yet, but adequate support from loved ones and my recovery professionals have witnessed me progress and blossom over these past months. I have already come so far that now the prospect of my future excites me every single day. I am genuinely proud of my physical, mental and psychological transformation – I didn’t quite imagine how marvelous it would feel to finally let go of my demons but now that they are distant memories I can’t express how liberated I feel.
My advice to anyone in my situation would be this: you are never alone in all of your struggles, your obstacles and throughout recovery. Do not be afraid to admit your vulnerabilities and seek help – health should not be taken for granted and in due course you will realize that your health and happiness correlate and simultaneously thrive alongside one another. Recovering from and eating disorder will be challenging and you will have to tackle your demons to diminish them forever, but I assure you when the poisonous thoughts and feelings have finally disappeared it is the greatest feeling in the entire world.
I set out to become the best version of myself that I possibly can be, and to finally overcome my issues and fears revolving around food that had previously caused relapse in the past takes courage and determination. You must fall apart to be reborn as an exquisite version of your truest and best self, and this is exactly how I am beginning to feel. Recovery has been my rebirth, a complete fresh start and clearer outlook on my entire life. This rebirth has allowed me to flourish, blossom and grow into this new version of me, a version that has been masked and hidden away for all these years. I no longer seek companionship with starvation and hunger; recovery has proved to be my greatest companion who I will forever be grateful for.
Samy is running the Great North Run to raise funds for Beat's services on 9 September. You can help Samy raise money to help those affected by eating disorders here.