Eating Disorder Recovery and Forgiveness

By: Jeanine Cardamone, LMSW

My name is Jeanine. I'm a 35 year old female that has lived on Long Island, New York all of my life. I grew up the youngest of three girls with parents that remain married to this day. My sisters are both health professionals and I myself am a Licensed Social Worker. Sounds almost perfect right? What could I have to complain about?

The thing is, no one is perfect and no one has a perfect life. We all struggle. For as long as I can remember I have been depressed and when I was twenty one I turned to bulimia for answers. I thought purging would solve my problems. A few years later anorexia took front stage and I no longer recognized the person I was on the inside. The person I was on the outside however, looked no different to me but definitely did to others. I still felt miserable. I still felt like everyone was judging me for what I looked like and I still felt like I didn't look good enough. And it hurt! Years of individual, group, and some family therapy was taking place.

My boyfriend (now husband) stood by me every step of the way. I went into inpatient facilities, IOP, etc but it all just turned out the same. I wanted help but I couldn't escape the voice that continued to tell me that I wasn't good enough. Over ten years later I still hear that voice today. The one thing that has changed is that I'm beginning to forgive myself. I forgive myself for not understanding that when I was a child I didn't realize that when my parents needed to be by my ill sisters side while she was hospitalized for months, that it didn't mean I was not loved then and that I'm not loved now. I forgive myself for isolating myself during my most anxious times when I had to break plans with friends to provide myself with some self love. And most of all I'm working on forgiving myself for hating myself and my body for so long because I didn't deserve the emotional, physical pain and neglect I put it through. So now, today and the days forward, as difficult as it may be, I will continue to forgive myself and fill myself and those around me with love.