Elizabeth Fritsch - You can create your own beautiful life
Nice to meet you Warriors, I'm Lizzie.
This is my story, and writing it down and talking about it is liberating and healing for me. I hope a warrior out there finds hope in my story.
“It all started when I was around 11 and in middle school. Before I say this next part, I love my family. They always support me and help me when I need it. That being said, one point in my life they unconsciously weren't on my side...
When I was in middle school, my mum wouldn't let me eat certain things, and she'd tell me I was unhealthy and too fat. My dad would say things like, "I can't believe you weigh that much" and my brother's nickname for me was chunky monkey.
After these things were said to me over and over, I began to look at myself like I never had before. I would look in the mirror and see all my flaws, see everything I now hated about myself. This is also when I started comparing myself to the other girls at school. They were skinnier and prettier. In middle school, it started small. I would eat special K for breakfast like all the adverts suggested and for lunch I'd only bring in a chewy ‘low fat’ cereal bar. But then I stopped bothering to bring in anything for lunch.
By the time I got to high school, I was skipping breakfast and lunch. Almost every day, the guidance counsellor pulled me out of class. I told my mum she was going to call, and she told the lady to mind her own business. My mum couldn't see what was going on with me. By the time I was a senior in high school, I had shed quite a bit of weight. I still hadn't eaten a single lunch at school for years. All my close friends knew what was going on with me and other peers were concerned.
The truth is my eating disorder wasn't at its worst until I went to college. I felt so lost in college when I didn't get in the dental hygiene program. I switched majors 3 times. I felt lost, and I was depressed. At that time all I had was my eating disorder. I never hung out with friends or made new ones. I didn't really eat anything all day. I would drink a ton of coffee just to feel full. I also became depressed in college, and I began to use self harm as a way to cope with life and how much I hated myself. I never thought I was small enough. Never thought I was good enough, worth enough. I was still aspiring to be this airbrushed version of a woman.
Finally, a friend noticed my self inflicted wounds. I'm so grateful for this person because they realised I needed someone to lean on. Her name was Ashley, and she helped me get back on track. She helped me learn how to be a young adult again. About a year later, I was a junior in college, and I met my husband. Of course, he was my boyfriend at the time, he helped me be okay with eating in front of others. He helped me learn that food isn't the enemy. I need it to survive and thrive in this world. He taught me how to actually live my life.
I suffered the most from my eating disorder when I was 11 all the way to 21. I feel like I lost my childhood to my eating disorder. Those are the years I will never get back. I wasn't living back then. I was hard on myself and judged myself every day. I felt inadequate. I don't want others to ever feel this way. Just know that your life is worth fighting for. Your eating disorder isn't your friend. It's ruining your life without you even realising. It's when you get better and look back that you realise how much you HATE eating disorders.
As much improvement as I've made, those thoughts like to creep in from time to time. You can't let it though. You have to fight and tell it to fuck off.
I'd like to end on a positive encouraging note. Yes, I had an eating disorder for most of my childhood. But now I have a wonderful husband who loves me, two pups who are sweet loving creatures, a house, and a job I love.
I've created a life with my one true love and I am living a life with myself who I am beginning to love. Just know that you can fight your eating disorder and create your own beautiful life. You can do anything you set your mind to once your eating disorder isn't stopping you anymore.”