I was born afraid.
So, it became no surprise to me now that, by the time I entered college, my high anxiety, sensitivity, and perfectionism had fueled anorexia nervosa. Restricting food decreased anxiety. And, if I ate enough in a binge, I didn’t have to deal with difficult emotions. Controlling my body size was an unconscious way to cope with perfectionism. (If I can’t get the perfect grade, I can, at least, have the so-called perfect body.)
Of course, none of this worked in the long-term. Eventually, my solution became my biggest problem, my greatest fear. A year or so after college graduation, I desperately wanted freedom from my eating disorder.
What we want often lies on the other side of fear.
I had to move directly into what scared me most—over and over again—in order to save my own life as anorexia has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric illness.
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