The following essay is written by my daughter, Shannon. Her health journey is chronicled in My Daughter’s Eating Disorder – a Journey of Hope.
What have I learned about me, my body, and I?
It goes much deeper than the skin.
In a nutshell this is my story:
As a young child I was fine. I was happy or at least relatively healthy with a few sicknesses a year where I’d take antibiotics and get vaccines like everybody else.
At the age of 11 I moved into a house with mold. From then on, I got sick a LOT. I was given LOTS of antibiotics and medicines that shifted my body. At the age of 16 everything went awry hormonally and mentally.
I developed an intense eating disorder that lasted a long time. My body, mind, spirit were all outta wack. I didn’t SEE myself. I was constantly depressed, reacting to my environment and foods without knowing it, anxious, my A’s dropped to C’s and I lost ALL motivation.
I now believe that self-destruction is a type of auto-immune response which is exactly what happened with me.
At the age of 20, my family and I moved out of our moldy home and to the desert to heal. The healing process can be summed up like this: It Takes Time. It Is Personal.
For the past 5 years I’ve been working, resting, trying, healing, and most of all learning. I’ve learned that the problems I’ve had with my awareness are DIRECTLY linked to my insides and my gut. Not being able to deal with things, having trouble with learning, emotional difficulties, hormonal issues…all of this corresponds to what I’m eating, how I’m eating it, what is around me in the air and walls and people too.
Am I healthy now? I would say there are good days and there are really tough ones. I have fears and weaknesses that will take years to strengthen. I am still a sick little bird. BUT, am I reaping the benefits of learning and listening to all these things around me? YES! My body is finally catching on and learning to listen, learning to balance itself. I enjoy things in life more deeply than I did before, and my sense of SELF has come back into my awareness.
It IS inside all of us to seek, develop and maintain our own sense of balance.
It’s really simple actually. We’re all on a journey. We have our own stories and we don’t have to judge one another. We can love instead! With food, with touch, with words, with time spent with one another and with nature, and I believe in the process. It is how we learn for ourselves what it is we need and what we are here for. It’s tough, it’s long, it’s complicated, and it’s about YOU.