S: Life in Recovery
BC: Wild Child 1) Animal print 2) Hot Sports car 3) Bold clothing 4) the Brightest colors! 5) the newest technology She loves to make a statement; doesn't like to be forced to do things & likes to rebel. She loves the shock factor! She likes being noticed and having fun & is sick of blending in with the crowd. | Bohemian Chic 1) long colorful maxi dresses 2) gladiator snadals 3) curly natural hair 4) big chunky jewelry She is carefree, loves to feel the wind in her hair & the cool and tickling sensation of grass touching her body. The sense of touch is important to her; she loves the feel of different textures and everything feels differently to her. She loves to look natural and to let her hair go how it wants. She loves to twirl around in her dresses & to feel the wind blowing her dress. She also loves bold chunky jewelry and bright colors. | Thrill Seeker 1) roller coasters 2) running shoes 3) cleats 4) sports equipment 5) sweaty/ dirty clothes from athletics 6) scrapes and bruises- "battle scars" She loves roller coasters; there's not one too scary to try as she'll try anything. She loves SPEED- is never satisfied with going slow & being compliant; she's always on the go seeking a new adventure! She LOVES a challenge! She loves to run her fastest & to leave everyone else in the dust- running is thrilling and relieving! She LOVES to play sports- to sweat and play hard; diving, falling....anything to satisfy her competitiveness! She never gives up! She also loves to watch sports- the Indians, OSU, etc. Volleyball is her passion, also. Nothing feels better then diving/flying around on the volleyball court! "No pain, no gain!" | Glam Diva 1) sequins and glitter 2) fancy, expensive gowns 3) diamonds 4) high heels 5) expensive glamorous jewelry She loves the "wow" factor and also to live the "rich life". She loves diamonds - the more the better & the bigger the better! She also CAN'T get enough sparkle & glitter!! She likes to get dressed up for special occasions in fancy, expensive gowns & wear high heels and expensive jewelry like diamonds- NOT gold, though!! She loves to feel beautiful: to get her make-up done, hair curled, etc. | Fashion Queen 1) stylish boots 2) dark washed jeans 3) stylish & bold clothing 4) headbands & accessories to complete the look & make it her own 5) bold & stylish jewelry/purses to accessorize 6) leggings 7) anything IN STYLE!! She loves fashion an everything in style. She's willing to try new styles & to be the first person to wear something- to be a trend-setter. She LOVES trend-setting!! She also loves to accessorize and complete the outfit- to make fashion FUN!! She loves to have her OWN style- to make things her own & to be individually recognized | Fun Loving Nurse 1) playful scrubs: fun & playful patterns, colors & tyles 2) Purell hand sanitizer 3) PINK stethoscope 4) blinged out & sticker covered clipboard/name tag This nurse loves being CRAZY & having fun with the kids. She loves to wear crazy scrubs; the kids are attracted to her as she plays with them- they view her as on of them! She brings FUN to nursing! There's NO other nurse like her! She is funny an loves to make kids laugh- she's an extremely social butterfly. She also loves clean and organized hospitals- the smell makes her happy! She makes sure to stay clean, stay organized & keep everything sanitary. | Real Natural 1) worms & spiders; creepy crawlies 2) old, worn & torn clothes to destroy! 3) gun & camo 4) bug catcher 5) fishing pole She loves to get dirty and to experience nature & life to its fulness. She could spend days outside & loves being in the wild of nature- camping, white water rafting, repelling, rock climbing, hiking, zip-lining, tubing, water-skiing, jumping off of rocks into a lake, hunting, 4-wheeling, etc. She also loves to play with worms , spiders & other bugs; when she was little she picked the legs off of daddy long legs, played w/ toads, etc. She loves to go hunting- to see and embrace nature's beauty & to provide yummy meat for her family. She loves to go barefoot- to feel the sand, dirt, mud in her toes. Textures enthrall her. She loves doing anything in nature- from tubing in a lake to laying in the grass watching the clouds. She also loves to be outside in the rain- to slip & slide in the mud & get filthy; also, she likes the noise of thunderstorms. | Playful Child 1) Disney characters 2) stuffed animals 3) animated movies 4) colorful & BOLD patterns She has a huge imagination & is in fact a dreamer. Life is limitless in her eyes - the excited eyes of a child. Life is EXCITING! She loves to act like a child - to be care free & to LAUGH! Laughter heals her soul. This child can't stop smiling as she sees the world through the eyes of a fascinated child. She also looks for fun wherever she goes- she brings boldness & playfulness to her clothes/patterns. She's not afraid to stand out! | Farm girl/ country girl 1) country music: Taylor Swift, Josh Turner,etc. 2) cowboy hat 3) jeans 4) plaid 5) beat up/ old vehicle She loves to live in the country! Country music makes her happy- especially the low voice of Josh Turner! She loves the "country style"- the simplicity. She also loves climbing the rafters in the barn & shooting animals with a b-b gun. There's adventure all around her!
FC: Life is Beautiful | Chelsea Renee Sharp
3: Smile | Set the World on Fire
7: With Love, ___________
8: Camouflage... | it's in my BLOOD
11: Growing up, sports played a significant part of my life; it was a way to get all of my energy out as I was a VERY energetic child! Since sports played such a vital part in my life, I believed that the athletic field was my calling to life; my life literally revolved around sports. I played every sport available to me & gave each game everything I had. I played on a softball league, volleyball team, sprinted, played soccer; I also loved every activity in P.E. & would do anything to win- even sacrifice my own body. I spent hours, in fact most of my day outside playing sports- even by myself if there was no one else to play with. My dream for my life was to be a professional & eventually Olympic athlete- volleyball, running, soccer, softball. I began vigorously training for “my future”. Exercise became my passion; I ran 5-7 miles a day, weight-trained, etc. In sports I gave everything I had & eventually my best became inferior to my own expectations. To win, I sacrificed everything I had including my own body; I didn’t care if I got hurt, in fact I considered it an honor to be injured while doing what I loved- nothing was going to stop me from the game. Eventually my “training” increased as what I was doing previously was no longer good enough in my own eyes. I then began running 10-15 miles per day at least 5x a week. My whole life literally revolved around sports & exercise as I actually planned my day around it; it became my idol & top priority. I pushed myself until my body could no longer go & had no respect for my own body; I thought I could do more. I also lived for competition in sports- competing was my pride & joy. In 2008 I competed in the long jump in Track & Field; I landed wrong & put my back out of place. Since I had no respect for my own body, I kept on competing by finishing the event & denied myself of pain (I’m just imagining, I thought). I then competed in the sprints with my back out of place, denying the pain & placed in the top three. Afterwards, Courtney confronted me as she knew something was wrong. I tried every way imaginable to put my back in place by myself but was unsuccessful each time. I then sought Courtney to literally walk on my back in hopes of fixation; this also proved unsuccessful. I stayed until the end of Track & Field & was forced into seeing a chiropractor. He took x-rays & found that my back was indeed out of place but also found something else wrong- I had Scoliosis. He proceeded to restore my significantly tense back in place by using some special machine. He then gave me exercises to do 2x daily to “fix” my Scoliosis & we scheduled weekly back adjustments. However, after several months my curvature was rapidly increasing & we consequentially decided on receiving a second opinion. Dr. Schrader measured my curve, reaching approximately sixty degrees & presented us with the recommendation of surgery- a spinal fusion. I was beyond shocked at this news; as he proceeded to inform me of the procedure it went “in one ear and out the other” as all I could hear was the devastating word “surgery” haunting my dreams. I told no one of this surgery as I was incredibly ashamed; I went on with life as nothing had happened & despised talking about surgery. On August 1, 2008 at 7:30, I was taken into the operating room & laid on a hard metal table. The last thing I remember was the IV. I had two Titanium rods placed along each side of my spine & 21 screws to hold the rods into place & bone grafting. Before my surgery I had to donate 2 pints of my own blood. Normally you have to wait about 3-4 weeks or so to donate the second pint, but I only had 2 weeks to complete both. My surgery was a little over seven hours long.
12: When I woke up I was in the recovery room & was in the worst pain I've ever had in my life. I wasn't allowed ANY pain medicine until the anesthesia completely wore off; the pain medicine took half an hour to begin working. Because of the severity of a little 2 yr. old boy in critical condition, the recovery room was complete chaos; all the attention was on this poor, dying little boy who’s brain was rapidly swelling. Because of this, my pain medicine was extremely behind schedule- I went for hours without pain medicine as there was no one to give it to me. I was extremely bloated, sweaty & puffy from the entire trauma my body was going through. I moaned from the pain & my eyes rolled backwards. My mom literally fainted from the pain I was in & she could do nothing to prevent. The pain was so intense at one point that my parents didn’t know what to do- they cried out to God & laid hands on me in prayer; soon after this my pain medicine kicked in & I was able to rest. After 3 hours in recovery, 3x longer than normal because of the attention needed for the dying boy, I was taken to ICU.. My nurse Derrell turned me every hour or so to decrease the pressure on my scar. The next day I sat up in a chair & by the third day I was walking again.I couldn't get up into my own bed due to the height, couldn't sit up for long without getting dizzy & in pain, couldn't take a shower the "normal way" because of my scar let alone take one by myself- I was limited to the couch by myself! I also slept a lot to ignore the pain. At school I wanted so incredibly much to participate in PE class but was prohibited from doing so. So, instead I got back to the pattern of over exercising. It was recommended that I get up & moving as soon as possible, so this was one of my excuses to over exercise. I went home during P.E. class & ran on the treadmill for hours as fast as it went until my siblings came home; sometimes I got by with doing this several times a day. As an assignment for PE class, we had to record how much we ran, how much strength & conditioning & practice we completed weekly- 20 min. per week was required or suggested. Because of my inability to compete in PE, I sought this as my only chance to succeed in PE- I became obsessed with completing the MOST exercise. I was doing at least five times or more the amount of the average student; I wasn't even recording my whole exercise time in fear of being "ratted out". I went back into running despite my surgery- I didn't take into consideration the extreme amount of pain & exhaustion I was in. I also did other exercises when I somehow found the energy after running. About 2-3 months after surgery I was back to P.E.; however, I expected myself to be just as athletic as prior to surgery & tried to live as if surgery never happened. I remember running & diving out on the field, tackling, etc. I also attended volleyball practices; because I was no longer permitted to compete competitively at the moment, I was excluded from the varsity team. At practice I gave volleyball everything I had; we played against the varsity so I was all over the court. When I dove, people became concerned; to me it felt good to dive again! I didn’t compete “competitively” as I found ways around this. It absolutely killed me to sit on the sidelines during competitions; I wanted more than anything to jump out of my seat & into the game Combining my restricting with exercise, I just about couldn't go; I would run & almost pass out. In P.E. I blacked out multiple times as I didn’t have the energy. I began running on top of the other exercise in P.E.; I ran 12-15 miles a day for as long as I could stay conscious. I became addicted to exercise; what I did was never enough in my mind.
14: Because I could no longer compete in sports, I felt like my identity was taken away from me. I had based my identity on how well I did in sports & was known for my athleticism; other than that who was I?! I felt like my world was out of control since my identity was taken away. I then started purging as a way to get my emotions out; I'd been stuffing emotions since a very young age & they bottled up tremendously. I refused to eat & purged everything I was forced to eat. Because of malnutrition, I could no longer stand up without getting dizzy or light-headed. My extremities were completely numb, I had severe lanugo on my back to try & keep what was left of my body warm (I was always cold & shivering, having to wear multiple layers of clothing to begin to keep me warm), my hands & feet were literally purple, my back caved in, etc.- I looked like a starving orphan. To this day I still don't know how I looked- my mind was so distorted that I saw something completely different in the mirror & on images; this is how I was told I looked; I imagine it was a scary sight. I never realized how thin I was- the number was never small enough & my clothes were never loose enough; my mind was so distorted & things I said were not rational. One Sunday in April 2009 during church, I fainted while standing up to sing. It caused a lot of attention & people rushed over to me. I was mortified & refused to sit down. Someone then carried me out of the church. People gasped at how much weight I'd lost so quickly & at how malnourished I was. During my eating disorder, fainting was a common occurrence. Because of my significant weight loss, I was tricked into seeing an eating disorder doctor- my mom told me it was a doctor for my back. I was beyond angry when they frequently asked me questions about my weight & why I wanted to lose weight; I was so embarrassed & mortified- I didn't know why I did it!! After doing labs, I was admitted to the hospital for severely low potassium, crazy whacked up electrolytes, severe dehydration & an abnormal heartbeat. I was stabilized within about five days & was put on Prozac. After being on Prozac for a couple of months, I felt good & became overconfident in my ability to live without the medicine; I first of all did not like taking medicine & secondly I was embarrassed of taking antidepressants- I wanted to "fix it" on my own. I then stopped taking it & things went downhill from there. I struggled tremendously from anxiety & depression & the tiniest things upset me- I was emotionally very unstable; I couldn't cope with anything. I refused to eat & lied about having had skipped meals. At school, I would busy myself with other things during lunch to avoid eating. I also threw my food away or hid it so no one could find it. When asked if I'd eaten, I always lied & said I had. When I did eat, to avoid curiosity & suspicion of not eating, I immediately ran to the bathroom afterward to get rid of my food. I was no longer allowed to exercise, so I went to extreme measures to lose weight. I began taking laxatives & got severely sick because there was nothing in my stomach to get rid of- it felt like my insides were being ripped out. I was also put on a meal plan but manipulated it; I lied about eating & when people were home or watching me, I would eat but then purge it up multiple times until everything was out. I didn't binge & purge- I only purged what I was forced to eat. I only put "nutritious" food into my body- I rarely tasted food as eating what tastes good was foreign to me. I convinced myself "enjoyable" food was bad for me & didn't give me the nutrients I needed. I barely ate & refused to eat in public. I didn't enjoy eating at all- I actually considered it as a punishment; food was not to be enjoyed. After a couple of months, in October 2009 I was hospitalized again & was told I could’ve died. I weighed lower than 80 pounds; I had no fat on my body & consequently my body was burning & eating away at muscle- eventually the last muscle was my heart. My electrolytes were so off, I was severely dehydrated, had an irregular heartbeat & other symptoms. They immediately put me on IV fluids to get me hydrated as quickly as possible & to fix my electrolytes. My labs dropped to a deathly low level while in the hospital during re-feeding. I wasn't discharged until I could eat a 2,000 calorie diet. In November, I got a severely high temperature; it seemed higher because I was so underweight. I started saying things I wouldn’t normally say & my emotions were a roller coaster. Because of my high temperature, I was delusional & was rushed to the ER. They then admitted me to the Psychiatric floor to evaluate my medicine, since I had just started a new prescription, to watch for any possible side effects. While I was there, for three days, I tried everything to appear “healed”- I ate my meals, cooperated with groups, etc. because I was literally scared to death to be there. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been more scared in my life; it literally felt like prison & was the worst three days of my life. Then, in November, I was so worn out from trying to fight this eating disorder on my own, that I basically gave up. I thought there was no hope for me & so I didn't even try to fight it. School was very hectic & stressful during this time. I was missing school to go to appointments & had so incredibly much make up work to complete. I kept dropping weight & people took notice of how "unhealthy" & "scary" I looked; they knew something wasn't right & would constantly ask me if I was on a diet. Also, I would run away into the woods behind our house to hide when it came time to go to doctor's appointments. I would throw a fit to prevent going- I would literally do anything to not go as I was always admitted & I hated answering all of the embarrassing questions of the doctors. I was then hospitalized again, being at an even lower weight, & this time the devil came to get me. That night, after I had gone to the bathroom, I got up & everything went black. I could hear the nurse talking to me, but I couldn't see her. The nurse called "code blue", which means medical emergency, & nurses came running from every direction. A male nurse quickly picked me up & placed me in my bed. They immediately gave me oxygen & asked me a bunch of questions & quickly did an EKG of my heart to see if it was beating regularly. I'm not quite sure what had happened- I believe my heart rate had dropped to a deathly low rate as I stood up. I was always required to wear a heart monitor while being admitted, so I think that is what was wrong. Well, this time we decided that I couldn't do this on my own any longer; that I needed professional help. After almost dying for the second time, we decided on me going to Remuda Ranch in Virginia. I never gave up my eating disorder while I was there. My whole focus there was restoring my health & weight; it took me the entire two months to restore my weight. I was on the maximum amount of food & supplements plus oral tube feeding since I refused to receive a tube down my throat. My body was not cooperating with the process. Also, the majority of my day was spent doing school work since I was only a minor & still in school- we did all school work via fax machine. The staff there told my parents to NEVER let me get that low again- weight wise & physically. They said I was the sickest girl they'd ever treated- had I not gone there I literally would've died. I never got to the root cause of my eating disorder while I was there. I received physical healing, but was lacking emotional, spiritual, & mental healing. I was then extended & sent to Remuda LIFE in Arizona & was taught how to portion food. I was put on more meal plans & was slowly weaned off of my supplements. I never gave up my eating disorder while I was there, either, as I manipulated my weight; I purposely tried to lose weight & then made myself weigh more by hiding heavy things in my pajamas, wearing extra clothes, etc. When I returned home, I then maintained my weight for about 2 months. I was discharged with another meal plan- I began manipulating this again by not eating & purging what I did eat. I also began exercising despite my doctor's orders not to. Since my parents hid the treadmill key, I would go around the track behind our house for hours- until I could no longer support my own weight from exhaustion. I also exercised on the Wii fit until I could no longer move. When I got back from Remuda, I began skipping meals & always looked for & found ways to get out of eating. I'd throw away my lunch & lie about it & refused to eat otherwise. When I was forced to eat, I threw up everything I ate. School was so incredibly stressful these last few months of my senior year- I had so much make up work to complete; I had to complete over twice the work of my fellow classmates since I had also been teaching myself at Remuda. Somehow I managed to graduate Valedictorian of my class. | A Glimpse into My Journey
15: After grad I received my first job. I stressed myself out & became overwhelmed. Because of malnutrition, I couldn't focus & I constantly made mistakes due to not eating. I was so weak that I couldn't stand up some days for the entire shift. I fell head over heels with my eating disorder again & lost a significant amount of weight. I was then hospitalized again for low potassium & dehydration & had to call off of work. My whole life revolved around work & making money; I felt I needed to pay my family back for all of the money I’d caused them. Because my job was so active physically & mentally, I couldn't keep up with enough food to keep from losing weight. I was on supplements, but refused to drink them, threw them away, poured them down the sink or toilet, or threw them up. I lost even more weight & was hospitalized again. I then completed an Intensive Outpatient Program which I had started previously prior going to Remuda. A week into the program I was admitted to the hospital for what they thought was kidney infection. I had been experiencing severe abdominal pain as well as other symptoms & was rushed to the ER. I began purposely losing weight again & went back to my eating disorder behaviors. I began cutting out entire food groups & purging what I did eat. I was again put on supplements to gain weight but did the same with them. I either skipped meals (which was my preferred pick), but since I was restricting so often in the past, it was no longer an easy option- I was watched considerably. I eventually tried to eat my meal plan & to get everything in because deep down I really wanted to change, but didn't know how. Believe me, if it was as simple as "just eating", I would've done it by then! I was also scared of every food. It was too overwhelming to try & eat it let alone keep it down. The more I was forced to eat, the more I purged. I was then hospitalized three weeks to a month later for crazy, deathly low electrolytes, & severe dehydration. Here they switched my antidepressants once again & I had a severe reaction to it; I became even more severely depressed & so my eating behaviors worsened. I was then admitted to the hospital a little over a week later due to the same symptoms: low potassium, dehydration, abnormal heartbeat, crazy electrolytes, etc. About a month later I was admitted to the hospital again mainly due to my low potassium. My therapist then recommended me to Selah House as she didn't have what I needed to get better & progress. I'd made multiple contracts & tried everything I knew to do to get better, but I couldn't. I took several vitamins & potassium pills daily to avoid hospitalization. I ate healthy, but it didn't matter- I wanted to lose, not gain. Instead of eating & gaining weight, I tried to just take vitamins & supplements (not weight gain supplements). I even became terrified of water & viewed it as my enemy. I allowed NO food in my body & eventually even water was prohibited. My labs were never good but were just good enough to get out of hospitalization. My labs would be terrible, but they'd give me a day or so to improve them & so I'd go in later that week for more blood draws. If they were slightly better, I'd get out of hospitalization. I also skipped doctor's appointments because I knew I'd be hospitalized if I didn't- I was terrified of receiving IV fluids, eating & gaining weight. I did anything to avoid that. I had been poked so many times with needles that it eventually became normal to me. They had trouble getting my blood because I was so dehydrated & so they'd stab me multiple times, as in 5 or 6 times! When this occurred, I usually fainted! I felt like a pin cushion as I was constantly having needles stuck in me; I went for blood draws at least twice weekly. My whole treatment team was terrified for me & didn't know how else to help me. My labs were near admitting every time & my weight just kept dropping very quickly- I was rapidly going downhill. My parents couldn't allow me to lose any more weight; every day I was losing more & they refused to let me get as sick as I was before- almost dead. When I got to Selah my eating disorder was beyond infuriated- I was about to lose it. My Anorexia told me that since I wasn't as thin as I was at my sickest, I wasn't Anorexic & didn't need to be here- I was in denial. I was also mad that I had already received inpatient treatment- I should've already been "healed"! When I got there, about the 1st week my blood pressure dropped to a deathly low rate- less than 1/2 of what it needed to be to remain conscious & alive. I woke up that morning feeling awful- I was so weak & dizzy that I almost couldn't get out of bed- I also had a high fever. So, I was put in quarantine & by around 2 or 3 PM, I turned as white as a sheet. I was then rushed to the emergency room. I was stabilized & released & spent the next 2-3 days in quarantine by myself. I was so sick that I couldn't be with the other girls in groups; I needed to rest. Then about a month later, if that, three of us caught the flu. I was extremely nauseous, but tried everything to help me- I didn't have a temperature yet. After eating lunch, I became very nauseous again & got a very high temperature. I was put in quarantine again, with 2 other girls who'd caught the same thing. This was the week of the huge ice storm, so almost no staff was able to come to work- we had to make do with what we had. We were forced to eat the normal meals & they just made us even more nauseous & we threw up over & over, every time we ate. We couldn't force ourselves to drink since we just threw it up; I couldn't even eat. So, they rushed us to the emergency room to make sure we weren't dehydrated- we had to do blood work; let’s just say I felt like death had come. At the registry I was so nauseous & couldn't stand any longer since they asked us so many questions & it took so long- I almost vomited on the administration lady, so I had to go sit down. Then we had to walk through long hallways to find the lab- we waited & waited in there, so finally I laid myself down on some chairs & put my feet up- I was so queasy & sensitive to the touch, so the blood draw was torture to me- it took forever!! We had to wait in the lab until both of our results came back; turns out we weren't quite dehydrated, so we were sent home. We all got out of quarantine 1-2 days later. Well, after eating spicy black bean burgers & pizza, I felt so incredibly sick; the food was not digesting but was staying in my stomach; I tried everything possible to keep from vomiting- I accepted every med. they offered me (which is extremely rare for me) since I was desperate; I didn't want to be put back in quarantine & I didn't want them to think I was "acting sick" purposely to try & lose weight. My pain continually increased & the bloating continued. After going to extreme measures for hours to keep myself from vomiting, my body finally quit working with me & I rushed to the bathroom. I was again put in quarantine. I was finally put on gentle meals & was only forced to eat what I could keep down. After about 2 days, I was released back into the group. Here at Selah was exhausting- I worked incredibly hard to restore my weight, family, to work through trauma, receive emotional & spiritual healing, while fighting against my eating disorder. This was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but so incredibly worth it! I FINALLY got rid of my meal plans/exchanges & learned to eat intuitively & to follow my body- there are no "good" or "bad" foods- this was a huge 360 degree turnaround for me; I had to completely change my way of eating & "follow my body". This took so much work & I'm still learning to live a new way! Also, we did intense therapy the majority of the time; by the end of the day I was exhausted- I didn't realize how I could be exhausted from eating & not even exercising- I should've had all this extra energy, I thought! I learned to challenge this thought, among many others! We were kept so busy 24/7; this was the most healing time of my life. I worked on my fear of men, worked on painful healing & forgiveness of the family to forget the past & start anew; I also worked through my emotions. I worked through emotional abuse & so much more. At Selah I received the support I needed to begin the painful transition of letting go of Anorexia- my way of coping & to find a new way to cope. This was the Lord's battle- He was fighting for me once I let Him. God taught me so much throughout my life- I am so grateful for all I've been through! God alone brings true healing & freedom- He was my source of strength. I got to the root issues of the eating disorder which is a lot of work to look at what's behind my urges. This was among the many steps I took to receive true healing from Anorexia.
17: Dear Ed, Words can't even express my feelings for you. Sorry to burst your bubble, but you no longer belong in my life anymore. You have done more damages then good to me. Let's begin with the positives, even though the damages much outweigh the benefits. You gave me comfort in a world of chaos; when I had nothing else to cling to, you gave me comfort. You gave me control when there was nothing else to control. You gave me a voice when no one else heard me. You gave me an identity, of course a false one, but an identity nonetheless. But, these things are without a doubt not worth the damages you've caused to my life. And, not only to my life, but also to my family's lives. You didn't just hurt me, you hurt my family and my relationships. You took away memories of my childhood & taught me to focus on the negatives. You took away my love of being a kid, having fun, & being silly. I couldn't have fun anymore & lost my enjoyment in everything. Disgustingly, you took away my ability to dream & my creativity. I have such a HUGE imagination & I can't believe you'd have the guts to take this away from me! You're going to pay! I will NOT put up with this anymore! You took away my confidence- I couldn't even see my value & worth- not even my beauty. I could no longer see my beauty on the outside but also on the inside. You turned me into a rotten, selfish person who only thought & cared about herself. This is so the opposite of WHO I AM! You took away my LOVE of people & friends- my love of caring for people & just being around people. You took away the closeness of my family & the relationships we shared. I have such a special family- a family full of love but you tried to convince me they were against me. I hate you for this! My family would do ANYTHING for me & you tried to convince me otherwise. You took away the strong & unique relationships of not just my family, but also my TWIN! How sick of you to take away my best friend! You took away my SMILE & the Sparkle in my eyes. You took away my BUBBLINESS & my LAUGH! You took away my athleticism & my allowance to play sports. You took away my voice, even though in my eating disorder you gave me a voice that no one else understood. You gave me hatred for EVERY part of me- compliments, affirmations, & encouragement no longer registered in my brain. You told me I needed to be punished whenever I failed- that PERFECTION was the ONLY acceptable option. You took away my love of taking care of myself & dressing STYLISHLY! I no longer enjoyed getting dressed, doing my hair, & taking time for MYSELF. How repulsive! My determination vanished- I lost hope in EVERYTHING! You took away my ability to finish tasks & my hard work- also my ability to relax! You took away my enjoyment in everything, including food. I became scared of EVERY food & no longer tasted it. I DESPISED eating & lost my enjoyment of EVERY food I once liked. You took away EVERYTHING important to me in life! You were NEVER satisfied with me- I was NEVER thin enough, smart enough, athletic enough, pretty enough & so on. I was NEVER the best, even when I was almost DEAD!!NEVER thin enough- which just proves that NO ONE can win the title of best eating disorder- You are sick!!! You replaced my clear vision with distortion- now I can't even trust what others say. I can't yet see the truth & it kills me! I missed out on so much of life because of YOU! Oh, & I can't forget that you took away my true opinions of food & my preferences. Now I get questioned constantly about foods I really do enjoy & whether or not it's truly me. I HATE that you took away my freedom of choice without questioning. You make me seem like a liar even when I'm telling the truth! As you can see, ED, we have a love/hate relationship, but mostly HATE! You deceived me & took away even my identity- THE MANY SHADES OF ME!!! But, I'm fighting back for all of the things you've taken from me. I'm well on my way to getting them back & you will NO LONGER STOP ME!! YOU are the weaker one now! My determination & strength is STRONGER than yours! I choose to be my own best friend & NO LONGER need you! I am so unique & special! There's no one else like me & I'm NOT going to hide it anymore! I add so much to the world & I CHOOSE to see & acknowledge it! I have SO MUCH to offer the world & I'm NOT GOING TO LET YOU DEFINE ME! I know recovery isn't going to be easy or perfect, but I'm up for a challenge! Bring it on! I can honestly sympathize with others & speak from my experience. NOW, my family has the wisdom to communicate effectively. I now see the value of my story & can share it with others!! I am NOT ashamed of the past, although I KNOW you want me to be! I have learned so much & BECAUSE OF YOU I NOW KNOW MORE! Now I can HELP OTHERS kick your sorry little ass! Thanks for that! -Chelsea