Overcoming Societal Pressures & EDs
My name is Crystal and I am a recovering addict. I have struggled a eating disorder, as well as addiction with drugs, and alcohol. I have struggled with all three of these addictions as well as depression, and anxiety most of my life.
My addiction first reared its ugly head when I was 15 years old in the form of a eating disorder. When I was introduced to stimulants my eating disorder went into overdrive. I am not sure if my eating disorder fuels my addiction or the other way around. I just know if I engage in one of these behaviors I am engaging in them both.
For me working a program of recovery for my eating disorder and addiction is imperative in order for me to stay sober.
My eating disorder was only compounded by the pressures of society that portrayed what a woman “should look like”. The constant onslaught of fad diets, unrealistically thin models in the media, and that the worth of a woman was measured by their weight.
As the use of social media became a growing influence in society we were bombarded with images of so called perfection and the pressures to meet that standard. Personally, I had to delete all social media apps from my phone to remove that constant pressure and unrealistic norms.
Learning to love yourself for who you are, and the skin you're in is the most important thing you can do for yourself.
Taking care of your physical, and mental wellness allows you to have a life filled with peace and happiness that you deserve!
What is an Eating Disorder?
According to National Eating Disorders website up to 50% of individuals with eating disorders abused alcohol or illicit drugs, a rate five times higher than the general population. Up to 35% of individuals who abused or were dependent on alcohol or other drugs have also had eating disorders, a rate 11 times greater than the general population. Eating disorders are complex mental health disorders that occur in many different forms.
Most eating disorders are driven by an individual's compulsion for mood altering activities that are food related activities. These activities can include bingeing, purging, and restriction. Common symptoms of an eating disorder includes:
Preoccupation with food related activities
Loss of control related to food and eating behaviors
Rapid consumption of food
Tolerance and need to increase the active food addiction behaviors to achieve the same effect
Distortion and denial in the perception of themselves
Failed attempts at controlling the food addiction, or inability to stop the behaviors
Eating Disorders, Addiction and Control
When I was 15 years old my parents got divorced and the perfect little world I thought I was living in was shattered into a million pieces. I had no idea where I fit into any part of my life or where I belonged. I felt absolutely lost and had no control over anything around me.
At the time the only thing I could control in my life was food. I began restricting my eating and drinking.
I later learned that this was the beginning of my battle with addiction, and with an eating disorder. I had no idea that what I was doing was restricting and this became my coping skill at times of stress in my life. I would either restrict my food intake, or binge so that I didn’t have to feel my feelings or deal with what was going on around me.
This was a vicious cycle because when I would restrict I was irritable and depressed. When I would binge I was eating my feelings which was a double edged sword. I suffered from self hatred, and low self esteem because I was putting on weight.
I always felt that if I looked perfect on the outside, no one would know what a mess I was on the inside.
Recovery is Possible
A major key for me for living a healthy and happy life in recovery has been developing healthy habits, and coping mechanisms. Consistently engaging in these activities over time made the negative habits I had engaged in for so many years less appealing to me.
The main benefits that have emerged from me getting sober are the peace I have in mind, body, and spirit.
I am able to show up for others, and extend a hand to other addicts and alcoholics. I have saved myself and everyone in my life from the pain I caused in my in my addictive addiction and am able to make a living amends to them every day I am sober.
My journey in recovery has been a slow process but you have to be patient, kind, and loving to yourself through this healing process. Through proper nutrition, exercise, yoga, and mindful meditation I have healed my mind, body, and spirit. I have also worked the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and Overeaters Anonymous with a sponsor. I have been living a clean, healthy, happy, and sober life now for three years now and it has saved my life!
It is not easy to overcome addiction or an eating disorder but there is a life beyond your wildest dreams just waiting for you!
About The Author: Crystal Hampton
I work for Recovery Local, a digital marketing company that advocates spreading awareness on the disease of addiction. Our company was founded by and staffed with recovering addicts cultivating recovery resources through sharing our own experience, strength, and hope.