Please note that this is an Archived article and may contain content that is out of date. The use of she/her/hers pronouns in some articles is not intended to be exclusionary. Eating disorders can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weights.

By: Heather Watts

Change! What does it really mean to me? What makes me want to change, and why? Is it permanent? These are a few of the questions that I have been asking myself. I believe that the bottom line is: “Do I want to change?” The answer is YES!

If I want to have a life, I need to change for the better. The things I want and want to do cannot include an eating disorder. The fact of the matter is that my eating disorder takes it away from me. It sucks away life, hope, happiness, energy, repels people, and takes everything I love away. It has brought nothing but sadness.

The deeper I got, the more I hated myself. I don’t want this. There is still a small portion that wants to hang on. I’m still working on this and know that it will take time. I also need to allow myself room for error. It is okay to make mistakes. I believe that there are some very important keys to change. One of them is the realization that mistakes are permitted. I don’t need to be and do everything right the first time. Yes, I will do and say things that will not be the best, but at least I’m still trying, learning, and growing from each experience. Life does not end with one mistake. You just grow.

Even if it takes me longer to accomplish something or it takes me several tries, it does not mean I always screw up or am not a very smart person. It just means that I can learn more, make sure that the quality is well worth the time and effort, and maybe it is not my field of interest. There is no use in comparing me to someone else when they are not me in any form. They may have traits that I admire and would like to develop, but that does not mean I’m a bad person.

Comparing is something that I have trouble with. I can see that it doesn’t do me any good, but I still persist in doing it. I don’t do it as much now, so I am getting better, but I still do it. One of the things I find myself doing and catching myself with more are my negative thoughts. I say to myself, “Hold on. You are just as good and worthy as they are.” I also am working on trying to forgive myself.

Within the last week I have come to a greater understanding of certain things. Why am I so reserved and angry with my mom? I have distanced myself from almost everyone. Having those I can trust and can talk to is going to be so important as I continue to recover and struggle. A good portion will have to come from me. Will I be willing to say when I’m struggling and ask for help? The only person I will really hurt is me in the long run if I’m not willing to open up to others.

There are so many things that I could always improve on but these I feel will be the most important to me as I progress toward life and recovery. These things that are important all seem to tie into being happy with me and loving who I am. I do want to love who and what I am. I believe with all my heart that it is achievable with the help of others, Heavenly Father, and my willingness to risk and take chances. Change means growth and life.