Haley s Story
“When I was diagnosed with anorexia, I was in shock at first. My habits started out as healthy habits, doing things like exercising and eating healthy, but they began to slowly spiral out of control.
It took my doctor looking me in the eyes and telling me I have an eating disorder to realize that I was struggling with some deep issues.
The contributing factors to my disorder sprouted from the obsession with control and perfection. With two alcoholic parents and a change of schools, I needed something that I could be in control of and a way to find my identity. It led me to attempt perfection and create habits that made my life very imbalanced.
The summer before I went into college, I went into my second treatment center to ‘fix my blemishes’ as I told people. This was supposed to be a time when I could prepare for the next season of my life and soaking up the last days of being a kid before heading off to school.
But instead for me, I was in a facility. I was not allowed to use any technology, had a meal plan that I had to fully eat 100% of my meals, and had several counseling appointments a day.
Having everything wiped from under me gave me a chance to rediscover who I was apart from my disorder. I was able to realize all the beautiful things to look forward to in this life.
When I got to college, I was seeing a therapist, continuing to gain weight in a healthy manner, seeking love and support from friends and family, and also making it a point to be very verbal about my struggles, not let them hide in the dark.
I believe that things always get deeper and darker the more you continue to be silent about the setbacks in your life. I believe that mental illnesses are seen by society as embarrassing and shameful.
No one wants to admit that there is a circus going on in their head. Society says to keep quiet about what you feel and ‘get over it’. Mental illnesses are seen as petty to people that have never struggled with one. As hard as it is, I would tell someone struggling to scream it to the rooftops!
Things will get darker and scarier the longer you keep them inside. The ONLY way that I recovered from my disorder was by being honest about how I felt and being vulnerable. My rawness and vulnerability helped so many others that struggle and inspired people to open up about the deeper and darker stuff going on in their head.”