Contributor: Nikki DuBose, writer for Eating Disorder Hope
I love rewriting my history. As the days unfold I gaze upon the New Year with hopeful eyes, and expect favor for my life and for my continuing recovery. I have to admit, I wasn’t always optimistic in regards to my health.
An enormous part of me never dreamed that I would be here…healthy, energetic, and most of all, freed from the most toxic relationship I have ever known…my anorexic image.
Breaking away from anorexia’s chains was one of the darkest, most challenging feats I have ever had to overcome, and in the process I had to sever many interconnected disorders, conditions, and relationships that threatened to knock me down a black hole of despair.
Regaining My Strength
While gaining back my physical strength as I rehabilitated over the past few years was of utmost importance, allowing me to be healthy was a marker of long-lasting success. The dread of accepting who I really am has greatly subsided, and the internal noise gets less and less every day with each step I take in the right direction.
I am no longer fearful when friends, family or colleagues remark, “You look so good! I am relieved to see you back to normal again.”
Finding Peace and Joy in “Normal”
Hearing the word “normal” floods me with emotions of peace and joy now. Instead of assuming that my whole world will cave in because I am a so-called average person with nothing to offer, I can get passionate on the inside knowing that my Higher Power made me perfectly with unique talents and abilities.
By utilizing the tools of spirituality, therapy and self-exploration I understand that being referred to as normal is one of the most beautiful compliments I could ever receive. Growing up in a highly unstable, abusive environment, I never knew what it meant to treat myself as a sane, deserving individual.
Within the scope of normal I am allowing myself to explore all of the parts that were previously repressed by anorexia’s grasp, and I am able to reconnect and discover my core passions.
There Are No Deadlines – Only Recovery
There is also no all-encompassing definition of “normal” in the recovery sphere. No specific terms of recovery exist for each person and it is not a race. A person is not abnormal if he or she does not reach a level of healing in a certain amount of time.
Time does not exist in recovery. The deadly mentality of anorexia attempts to make us believe that we should be in a constant competition, but this is a deception. Setting aside time every day for ourselves to unwind and reconnect to our spirits is one of the ways we can defeat the competitive mindset.
Gaining our spiritual backbone allows us to see ourselves and others through eyes of love and not jealousy. By giving ourselves permission to recover, redefining our definition of normal, and taking our time to return to a healthy state of life we can overcome anorexia and revise our life’s account, one moment at a time.
About the author:
Nikki DuBose is a former model, host, and actress who has recently turned her career focus towards writing, public speaking, and mental health advocacy. She is a passionate dynamic voice in the mental health field and seeks to encourage others to develop a strong sense of their intrinsic value and self-worth.
Nikki grew up in charming Charleston, South Carolina and currently splits her time between Los Angeles, California and Seattle, Washington. After traveling the globe and working as a fashion model and commercial actress in exciting destinations such as the Middle East, Paris, Barcelona, and London, she was inspired to leave the industry to pursue writing full time.
Her writing is focused on encouraging others to overcome the deadly grip of eating disorders that affect millions. She draws firsthand experience from a long-standing battle with bulimia, anorexia, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, drug and alcohol addictions, and a wide range of mental health issues.
Her first book is set to be released next year and recounts her life struggles and ultimate triumph over the mental disorders that plagued her for most of her life. She has been published in multiple articles for The National Eating Disorders Association for her hope, strength, and community outreach initiatives.
She continues to write and advocate for NEDA, connect with people around the world through her website, and speak and assist with various other organizations covering various mental health issues, body image, and self-esteem.
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.
Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on January 7th, 2015
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com