Stories are powerful. They educate us in a lasting way more than lists of facts (you can look those up again and again). So I asked a blogging friend to share her story. Meet Sadie Ussery, mother of 5 beautiful girls, survivor of Anorexia, and passionate helper for others as they work through eating disorders. Sadie says her struggles with eating starting early, Her mom says even as a little girl she only ate because she had to. She started having thoughts of not eating around age 9. Sadie blogs at For Their Tender Hearts where she shares her life and resources for eating disorders which she has found helpful. Eating disorders are rarely a once-in-lifetime, get treatment and you are cured event. Circumstances can cause the struggle to return, multiple times in life. And that’s what Sadie shares about today.
I wanted control in a life that felt as if all control had been taken away. For me, it didn’t start out as feeling fat or not feeling beautiful. Those things eventually came along later on in the development of my deformed world. My eating disorder was an attempt to control something when my world was overburdened with circumstances a young person cannot handle.
It feels like a black spot of ink waiting to seep through the rest of my mind and take it over once again. This is Anorexia, and it is now a part of my life. Every morning I wake up from a restless night’s sleep. The first thing I do is pray and thank God that He is with me everyday helping me live free.
It’s this constant ink spot that drives me to do what I do. Having been asked many times what’s the best way to get someone into recovery…my answer is always prevention. Stop it before it ever begins and you will not have to worry about recovery. Your children will not have to live with the constant ink spot on their mind. Relapses are common. About 1 in 3 women who are treated for an eating disorder experience a relapse within two years after being discharged from their program.
Recovery is needed for those who struggle with eating disorders. However when I look at my 5 beautiful daughters, and know that they have a higher chance of developing an eating disorder because their mom struggles, I know that their best hope is preventing it from ever happening.
I was in a dark time during my second pregnancy. I was living in a foreign country. I was struggling to learn the language. The people who could understand me were few and far between. I had a 20-month-old and I was just about to add another baby to the mix. I absolutely felt like I was going crazy. I felt as if I had no one to turn to, and I felt my husband could only understand so much of what I was going through. I was struggling every time we sat down to eat, and it only seemed to get worse after I had our beautiful little girl. I felt as if the whole country was looking at me. I felt as if I was put under a lot of pressure and was given more than my fair share of food. It was as if postpartum women were expected to eat more now than when they were actually pregnant. How was I ever going to get control of the thoughts going off inside my head?
It was during this time that I really understood that this was going to be a lifelong struggle for me. That I would constantly have to push the black ink to the very back of my mind and constantly struggle with it wanting to take over my thoughts. Many times I have thought to myself “Why am I struggling? I am married. I have kids. I am a leader in my Church. I shouldn’t be struggling!” But I am human. The second I think I am too high above it all to actually fail is when I am the weakest. When I finally remember that I need to give up control and that I can’t do this alone, that is when I am strongest.
It took many years for me to realize that what we need in this country and what we need for our daughters is prevention. So now, with the help of my family and my faith, I reach out to moms like you in hopes that we can save the world one girl at a time.
Tomorrow, Sadie and I team up to give you prevention ideas and to share resources about Eating Disorders. Are you following this series? Thank you ! It is so important. Do you know other moms with daughters? Won’t you share this series with them? The series begins here.