Stepping out of your comfort zone is something I have struggled with for years. Before my eating disorder I was a social butterfly, fearless, loved being around new people and seeking adventure. Once ED took over, I stayed away from the social scene. I made up excuses constantly. I avoided my close friends and family. I missed out on memories I will never get back. My mother was the only person I would vent to. She took me to different doctors and they would hand me papers with the definition of anorexia on them and tell me to eat more. Like it was that easy. Just this past year I was thinking of every excuse I could think of to not go out to eat with my family. Something as simple as going to my parent's house for dinner would give me anxiety. People close to me assumed something was wrong but no one brought it up to me. I didn’t talk to anyone about what I was dealing with. Not because I thought they wouldn’t listen, but because I wasn’t ready to admit it to myself, let alone anyone else; that I did in fact have an eating disorder.
I wanted out. I wanted to stop living that way. My family needed me, and I needed them. A few months back I decided to start talking more. I moved to a new state, found new groups and organizations and realized I wasn’t as alone as I thought I was. So I started talking. I told my husband more, and he thanked me for it. He was finally able to talk to me about it without the fear of me getting upset. I told my close friends, and they said they knew. They just didn’t know how to bring it up to me. I then wrote my first blog. Which is something I never thought I would do, especially about my eating disorder.
Writing that blog was taking a step out of my comfort zone. Talking to people was taking a step out of my comfort zone.
One day as I was scrolling through Facebook and read information on a fundraiser being held close to me. I learned that the money being raised would help fund clinician led free group therapy for people struggling with an eating disorder. I wanted to go. I bought tickets. Then I talked myself out of going, then talked myself into going again. On the way there I even thought of an excuse not to go and tried asking my husband to turn around. I am so thankful he didn’t. As soon as I walked into the room I felt at ease. I felt comfortable. I went up and introduced myself to people, I listened to amazing, inspirational stories, and I talked. I watched other people talk. I realize how important it is to talk.
Recently my mom told me how much relief she felt when I told her I was ok with her talking about it as well. I was no longer afraid, I needed to talk to people and I wanted them to talk back.
If you take anything away from this blog, I hope you know that someone is waiting for you to talk to them. Tell them the good, the bad, and they ugly. Allow them to listen to you. No one should struggle alone. We are in this together.
Brittany wants to live in a world where people help to inspire and lift each other up. She’s been married for 7 years to her best friend, and together they have two amazing, wild, and loving kids. Her mom, dad, brothers, and grandparents are some of her biggest supporters. When she’s not working as a skill coach to young adults with autism, she enjoys running 5ks, reading, and hanging out at home with her family. She also love strolling the aisles of Target with a Starbucks drink in hand. She has spent the last 11 years enduring, recovering, and relapsing from her eating disorder. She now wants to help raise awareness, and advocate for those who may need it.