Before this year, I was certain the only way I could run out of my eating disorder was by running off the ends of the earth.
And maybe this sounds really cliché but I think, before this year, I spent my life trying to do just that- wished my hands into things that would hurdle me over bridges, wished my body into a house on fire.
On October 23rd of 2017, I was admitted to a residential facility for the treatment of my eating disorder- Anorexia Nervosa. This day, however, did not come without its own obstacles. In the days leading up to this particular date, I remember I had a dietician appointment. It was a Friday, I believe, and on that morning, I remember needing to call out of work as I could hardly even stand up in my shower long enough to get my hair wet. I remember shutting the water off and sitting in the corner of my bathtub- somehow, both above water and beneath it. I didn’t make it to work that day, however, I did still make it to my appointment. I remember her room, I remember her lights, I remember something about my heart. I remember the emergency room. And it was that emergency room visit along with a series of interventions that followed that finally led me to seek a higher level of care.
I think, sometimes, I still get scared. Sometimes, I’m still afraid of falling asleep out of fear that I may wake up forgetting why I’m choosing to do the hard things. Sometimes, that fear of being swallowed whole again keeps me up until sun rise.
But I think the difference between now and then is that I’m now far more interested in protecting my spirit- in filling myself with a kind of love that serves me better, nourishes me better; a kind of love that does not leave me feeling hungry. As I explore my truth more in this new beginning, I feel a yearning to share more love, do less harm, step fully and deeply into myself- into my center. I now feel far more capable of allowing myself to utilize my body as a vessel to catapult me into the light I’ve spent my entire life wishing I could live in. I am soul, not body- I am soul, not body. This is now my truth.
Written By: Alexis O.
Emily Estes lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with her Goldendoodle pup, Miss Adley Mae. Recovery from her own struggle with an eating disorder, anxiety, and depression has led Emily to create community and resources to empower others on the journey. Emily owns Sage Nutrition, LLC where she serves as a Registered Dietitian. Her work revolves around her motto that "food is meant to nourish our bodies, not nurture us."