Attempting To Recover- My Experience

A month ago, I was put in the emergency room because of cardiac arrest. Let me tell you, I was right in the middle of drivers Ed. How embarrassing it is to have your heart stop working with 30 classmates around you is awful. I couldn't breathe, I turned blue, and I shook uncontrollably on the floor as I collapsed. I was very lucky to have lived, it's truly a miracle. Let me remind you that I'm only 16 years old, have been anorexic for only a year, and I'm not even underweight. I'm 5' 8", the lowest weight I got to was 130. I used to be so depressed, and thought I wouldn't care if I died from anorexia, as long as I was beautiful. But the moment I stopped breathing, I was more scared than I had ever been. I was NOT ready to die. They saved me obviously, but at a huge price. I have hurt my parents to the point where they cried, and I never thought they loved me until I saw my parents crouched together crying because they though they wouldn't have their only child anymore. When my friends found out they cried, and I never knew I had so many friends around to support me. I didn't think anyone cared about me. But even if you feel that way, just know that people may not show it, but they care. And it finally stuck in my brain that I am beautiful. I may not be a toothpick model, but I am a slim/muscular size 5. I have enough meat on me where I can be sexy, but not jiggly. And if you're young like I am, forget getting boobs any time soon. While I was anorexic, I was an A cup, barely. I hadn't even started my period yet. And now I'm finally filling the A cup. The point is, did I gain weight in recovery? Yea, like 15 pounds. But after 3 weeks, I've lost 5 of them, and I eat whatever I want. I'm a health nut, but I do enjoy a brownie sometimes. And it really isn't that bad, most of you probably need to gain 15 pounds. And even when I gained a little weight, I was still beautiful. People always called me beautiful and stunning, even when I got to 150 pounds. Trust me, I didn't look fat. I still wore smalls, and my hair started growing back, my skin glowed again, and I had a full stomach. I have a boyfriend now, guys didn't find me attractive before because I looked so sick. Please let my story be an eye-opener, death can happen to anyone, any time, unexpectedly. You think you'll be fine with it, but I promise when that moment hits, you will realize how wrong you were. You all have a life to live and don't realize what you're missing, and I know you are all beautiful. Don't be like me where you have to constantly think about your breathing, taking loads of vitamins, and getting your blood drawn once a week. I may be recovering, but that doesn't mean I still won't die. I want my story to be heard, and I want to make a difference. If I die, I'll realize it's my fault, but I won't go down without a fight.
Musicgirl84 Musicgirl84
18-21, F
36 Responses Jul 7, 2011

You're tall. For that be grateful.

Your story has inspired me to be better ( Body image) and see with new eyes that take away the black and white philophisy that centers my mind. And gives me the power to overcome my self doubt. 😊

And I Hope that a beautiful person like you (body and soul) will keep being happy and overcome the struggles that come with life 😄

You are really beautiful and your story really touched me!! God bless you dear and your boyfriend.. Don't ever think about anything other than enjoying the now .. And don't worry about death because it's never your fault 😘

I hope that your story inspires others who are going through similar problems. Life is a gift and definitely worth living. Thank you for being thoughtful enough to share your story. You are a brave and beautiful young woman

Congratulations! (:
I'm really happy that you are getting better

Thank you :)

ur so strong!! keep going for me it has been really hard to recover but yeah we cant go down without giving fight :)

Thank you, and I hope you're still fighting! Everyone can be bigger than their disorder if they truly want it.

Good for you for fighting those voices in your head, they are so hard to fight and it is life long battle but you can fight voices that make feel that way. Once you start fighting Ana's voice you feel stronger because you know you are back in control and Ana can rear her nasty self but you can fight back by eating and embracing your body no matter your size

Thank you for the support, I'm definitely feeling stronger every day :) Sometimes I slip up, but everyone should expect that and not make it an excuse to fall back into anorexia.

I am going through the same thing, but i cant seem to want recovery. Any suggestions?

I understand what you mean. Just remember that you won't be able to recover unless you truly want it. Think of something worth fighting for, whether it be a loved one, job, personal goal, etc. For me, my motivation was that I had to recover in order to be a pilot because pilots have to be extremely healthy (mentally and physically.) It can be anything, even something small. Realize that this isn't the life anyone should have, and you personally can take baby steps to a better life. It's all in your hands, though. No one on this planet can make you recover but you. But, when you're ready, you'll be surprised at who will support you.

Thank you so much!

I am so inspired by your story. I am in recovery and have had a serious wobble lately because I have put more weight on than I am happy with and old habits are so easy to fall back into. After reading your story I am ready to fight harder, I don't want to go back to where I was, being dizzy all the time and passing out. I need to lose the wieght in a healthy way and not restirct my food.

Just remember that gaining weight doesn't equal a loss. You are stronger with every pound gained. It's OK to gain weight, I know the fear people feel when they see the scale go up, but then I think about how I need to gain weight to be healthy. Try doing something new to help you lose weight that makes you happy. I joined belly dancing classes, and it has helped me embrace my size. It's a fun workout, but when you're there everyone practically celebrates their weight, big or small. The fight will be worth it in the end, and I promise you that it is possible to be happy again :)

that's really touching! I'm really happy u r okay! :) just keep it up! :)

I'm so very glad you are still here with us :)

Thank you :) still alive and kicking, too ;)

I am glad you're doing better. I hope well for your future. Also your story has inspired many

A lot of people may think it's weird that you got a heart attack because of your anorexia when you weren't even underweight, but what they don't know is that the first thing the body gets rid of when it loses weight is muscle mass in your heart. An overweight person who has lost a lot of weight is much more prone to heart attacks than those who are still big. They say fat kills but it's dieting that kills. Losing weight rapidly is incredibly dangerous!

Very true, and it's something I hope all people with eating disorders consider. It's just a shame that the general population doesn't realize this, and as a result people who seek help aren't treated as seriously as they should be. Damage can occur at any phase, and every persons body reacts differently.

This was so powerful. <br />
I found, that not eating for me was a way to quiet the nasty voices in my mind, to cope with everything that was wrong with me. I was a chronic self harmer, and I guess when I didn't eat I felt like I was doing something harmful that didn't leave scars. The scars everyone looks at and feels repulsed by.<br />
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The part of your writing I liked best, was when you said your lowest was 130. That is mine, at the moment. I have felt for the last year or so I have been battling this that this obviously meant I didn't have a problem. That I was still average weight, so obviously I wasn't doing it right, obviously I was still a 'fat heifer' because I wasn't underweight. <br />
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The thing is, nothing feels good anymore. I am so unhappy, so depressed, I don't enjoy anything and I don't do anything. I literally stay home everyday that I don't go to work. I start university soon and I'm afraid of being a fat girl. Who wants to be fat with long purple scars? <br />
All I think about is food but as soon as I eat I am tortured by myself. I can't stand it. My parents don't see a problem because obviously I am not underweight. <br />
My mother actually said too me today "You are quite slim now", which I immediately over analyse that in the past tense of her words I was not slim, that I can't go back there, I can't eat.<br />
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I know this is making no sense and has no structure, but I hardly have any energy right now. I look at myself, my skin is dry, my hair is dry, my bones are cracking when I get up and sometimes I feel like I need to throw up and pass out. I want to scream and I want to cry, but I just can't. I always thought I did this because then I would feel good enough to do everything I denied myself. Including a boyfriend. Now that I am here, I realize that these problems still exist, and it wouldn't matter if I was stick thin or a beachball, I would still not be comfortable with being touched by a guy. I think it is because I have had a past of sexual abuse/discomfort. I've also started to question my sexuality now, knowing that while I check guys out, and find them attractive, I can't get close too them because I switch off emotionally and withdraw myself. But with girls I get a sense of security, trust, warmth and love, that eventually encompasses any flaws they might have and I become myself, and enjoy myself, find myself I guess. And this leads me further down the path to confusion because I don't know if I'm straight or need to start questioning this, or if this is because I have been hurt by men in the past and can't find myself connecting to them, but instead resorting to the comfort of girls, who I don't think of sexually. I'm so lost.<br />
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I also find that all I ever think about is suicide, caught up in my fantasies where I am someone I'm not, I began starving to turn myself into that person. So that my dreams somehow have a mild reflection in reality. But it isn't happening like that. Happiness is gone, my thoughts are sluggish, my mood is swinging like a pendulum on ecstasy. But if I do eat, I hate myself so so so much, I feel this has its hooks in me now. I know this sounds so stupid, but I just want to die, I feel I have lost myself, and that living is overly manual, I'm anxious about everything and I just want to leave and not come back. The pain doesn't phase me one iota, its that I'm afraid of something that will sound silly to most- I'm afraid of going to hell. I spent time reading through NDE's and it freaked me.<br />
I'm afraid of being submitted to an eternity of pain, like I have been in my eighteen years. I have lost myself. I feel like I have died spiritually. Now I feel like my escape route is closed. <br />
"killing yourself is the same as murder" they say, so how the **** can I not be a bible reader but still fear punishment for taking my life? <br />
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It is so hard you know? I want to run out and tell my mum to put her arms around me and that it is okay for me too eat, but I went to hospital for cutting my wrists twice, and it is like my parents have been de-shocked. Almost used to the fact that I am unwell, and too unwell things. This is killing me though, I feel that If I can't eat whatever I want then I shall not eat at all. <br />
I can't help but admit that I wouldn't mind if this killed me, and maybe that was the intention when this disorder first got its hooks in me.

hey! I know I'm not Anorexic, but I know I am a cutter. Anyways, I know the weight thing scares u it even scares me! I'm not small I wish i was! The thing is u r so not alone! No matter what. You have your friends &amp; Jesus! :) I'm here with you all the way! You've might have heard this every single day of your life, but everything will get better in "time!" Love you!!! :)

I actually connect pretty well with you, so hopefully I can help you in some way-
For starters, you should try to talk to someone you trust. I don't mean go to a therapist or see a doctor or anything, just confide with someone. That's a huge first step, and the happiness you'll feel from it will help you. You truly should see a therapist, but I understand that you probably don't want to be helped by professionals.
I also used to self harm, and did for 6 years until I fully recovered. When I stopped self harming, my anorexia began. It was a new way to drown the pain, but without the ugliness of scars. I also was sexually abused quite a bit, and went through a time period when I was very confused about my sexuality. Now I define myself as a bisexual. Plus, I used to think about suicide constantly, but never tried because I was also afraid of being tortured after death. Yet, I am in no way religious. As you can see, we are very much alike.
You obviously know you are harming yourself, and you may even feel "stuck" because you've already done a lot of damage and may not feel like you can turn back now. But, there is ALWAYS a way out for everything, if you find it in yourself to want to change. If you really care about your health and want to be happy again, you will drive yourself to try. Take baby steps. Maybe you just eat 100 calories more than you normally do. Great, you're probably still damaging your body, but at least you're getting a little more than you normally do. A week goes by, add 100 more calories. You won't gain weight, but you will find yourself to be less hungry. Above all, just find someone to confide in. You will be much happier when you do. If you feel like cutting or something, ask yourself, "is it worth it? What will this do for me later on?" No one will be able to help you until you want to help you, so if you want to get out of this you WILL have to put forth some effort to do so. Take it from someone who has been where you are- there IS a better life out there for you, you CAN still change, and you DO have something to offer this world. You may disagree, but I bet there's a tiny sliver of hope in the back of your mind that's being drowned out by the thoughts that tell you otherwise. Take baby steps, and reward yourself for taking those baby steps.

What a fabulous story!!!!! its only a sad thing that you had to come so very "close to the edge" in order to find your way back. I'm glad you have recovered. Hopefully, your story will inspire and persuade other young ladies that its NOT what's outside that counts, its what inside. <br />
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It was a tough lesson, but it sounds like you have found some balance in your life. May you live long, strong and happy! you should share your story with any and everyone who will listen (and even if they won't)<br />
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GOOD FOR YOU !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so sorry you had to go through this. I'm struggling and I've gained weight, but I feel like I keep slipping back. I'm glad you're committed to recovery because there IS so much out there and I hope you get to experience everything your heart desires :)

Don't let a little weight gain hold you back from recovering. I know it's upsetting, and you will want to give up, but you have to be strong and fight for it. Just a few words of encouragement- I am fully recovered now, many months after I posted this story. I was 135 pounds when I went into cardiac arrest, and was 150 at the beginning of recovery. But, with the help of getting at least 1800 calories a day, joining the gym to get some muscle, and taking dance classes, I am now even thinner than I was when I was anorexic. However, I can assure you I'm never restricting calories again, and now I'm hard as a rock from weight lifting. You can lose the weight you gain from recovery in a healthy way! :) Stay strong!!

I'm glad you're doing better :) I've been dancing for about three years and I'm not doing as well due to the restricting. I don't want to lose dance, but the satisfaction I get from losing weight is too addicting. Thank you for sharing your story and the encouragement. I am SO glad you're happy now :)

Im in tears reading this as my 14 yr old daughter is anorexic. We already had a scare with her potassiun being low but its back up. How do i help her? She in counselling and on a wait list for an eating disorder clinic and is being monitored by our dr but what should or shouldnt i do? Shes my middle child and my only daughter. Its heartbreaking that my lil girl is going through this

It is vital that her electrolytes stay up. Is she getting blood tested regularly? If not she should, around once a week. Also make sure she isn't throwing up what she eats, I went bulimic after my first scare and was forced to eat. But back to the electrolytes, I can't stress how important that is. Get her a one-a-day vitamin, potassium supplements, and some iron or b-12, even if she doesn't have an iron problem. It'll help give her more oxygen because honestly she probably doesn't have enough. Also, give her compliments regularly, but not too many. Just a simple, "you look cute today" helps. Just realize this isn't a fight between you and her, it's a fight between her and food.

Thank you for sharing your story. I'm currently struggling with anorexia and your story has inspired me to try to take control and start being healthy again. I now understand how important it is to take care of my body or else face the consequences. I definitely wouldn't want to die from this disorder.

I hope you have started recovery. I promise you will be much happier, and that you are truly beautiful :)

This story has really inspired me to quit. You're a brave and beautiful girl, I wish you the best of luck as I join you on the road to recovery.

This story has really inspired me to quit. You're a brave and beautiful girl, I wish you the best of luck as I join you on the road to recovery.

Thank you, I hope by now you have started the road to recovery. If you ever need support, I'm here!

Hello everyone, just thought i'd add an update. I didn't know exactly what was wrong, and now I do. I went into cardiac arrest because all of my electrolytes were extremely low. Now I've brought them up a bit, I still have breathing troubles and heart problems, but it's getting better. I have to take about 10 vitamins a day, but that's not so bad. I lost 10 more pounds, but the healthy way, so recovery isn't near as bad as I thought. <br />
Thank you all for your comments :) I would love to reply to them, but there are so many and I would say the same thing in all of them. I appreciate the support very much. Please tell your friends about this page, share it on facebook, or even send an email. I want very badly to share my story, and hope I can make a difference in this world. Currently I'm working on getting my story published in magazines, and anywhere I can.<br />
I love all of you, good luck on your journey through recovery. I wish you the best of it.

Thank you for sharing your story. We are such a vain society with an unrealistic idea of what beauty is. We are bombarded everyday in the media with male and female models who do not reflect reality. And yet this brain washing goes on. But is beauty truly in the eye of the beholder?<br />
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What if we were to take another path for a moment... and close our eyes? What would we hear?<br />
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Could we look away from the physical body for just a moment and look at another aspect of beauty? What about the heart? What if we blindfolded our eyes and listened to to the world around us? What if we were beautiful by caring for another person in words, an encouragement, a hug or just a pat on the back?<br />
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Now that you have read this, or heard this read to you, is beauty truly in the eye of the beholder, or the heart?

Throughout my experience and research (I had to write my first college research paper on this topic) I have learned that also perfectionist qualities influence these thoughts. However, I also learned that most men actually don't desire the thin image women want to have. And I agree with you, I wonder what would happen if we all didn't have a sense of sight.

well done my girl. Well done for waking up and trying to wake others. God bless you and you may live long enough to share your experience with your grand children and more...

Thank you! :)

Pleased to hear you've recovered.

Thank you!! :)

One very important thing in life is that we learn from our experiences as we live life, seems you have done that, so that is a plus for you. and I surely feel for those that don't.<br />
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Many times friends and family show that they love and care for us, yet we do not see it.

We must mess up to learn, I must say ;) But as long as you truly learn from your experience, then it makes it worth it.
And it's true, I wish those who think that they aren't loved would realize that.

Hey you're amazing! Keep going on life's full of wonders! Your story just made my day!

Hey you're amazing! Keep going on life's full of wonders! Your story just made my day!

Thank you, and I'm glad to have made your day :)


Thank you! :D

I'm a retired ER RN and sadly this happens more than people realize. I'm 56 and probably look better now than I ever did. I know you hear all the time about inner beauty, but it really is the most important quality. We all age, and believe me, gravity takes its effect.;) You are so fortunate to have learned this lesson at an early age. I'm so glad you not only survived, but became a better person because of your experience. BTW, toothpick models are NOT beautiful. They look sick to me and my husband agrees. I'm 5'6" and my weight has been up and down all my life. Right now I'm 135 but I've been as high as 212! My husband loves me either way. Don't buy into the media myth that stick thin is beautiful. It's not, and when anorexia killed my favorite singer, Karen Carpenter, I finally realized that. I hope you have a wonderful life. Anyone who only likes you for your looks is too shallow for an intelligent woman like you! Almost all the "hot" guys I went to school with are now bald with beer bellies, and I hate to admit it but it's somewhat satisfying to see. Best of luck to you, and keep your positive attitude. It ill take you far in life.

Thank you for the information. I truly believe that those who do not love you for being overweight do not deserve your time. Any weight is beautiful, and I wish more people would realize that you don't have to be stick thin to achieve that. Thank you for the advice!

I am very happy that you could take a tragedy and turn it into a victory. I pray that you get to the root of your problem. My friends daughter had Anorexia and I know that it is more than thinking you are too fat. Thank you for the info, I didn't know it could cause cardiac arrest. I hope that when you are strong enough you could tell your story to young people in person. You have a powerful testimony!<br />
LOVE and Happiness to you and your family

Thank you! It is indeed more than just thinking you are fat, and very complex. I hope by now your friends daughter has sought help and is recovering. You're welcome, apparently not many are aware of that affect, either ;) I haven't been able to share in person because it mainly just hurts people, but if I suspect an eating disorder than I do share.

Good story. Another blow to the deathists!

Haha thanks :)

Hi,<br />
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Such an inspiring story and im glad you came out of it ok :)<br />
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I think i had a similar experience with cardiac arrest a few years ago. If i can just ask you a question about what happened to you it might help me solve what hapened to me... Did you loose conciousness when you stopped breathing? Or were you concious through the whole experience, even though you were on the ground?

Thank you :)
I was actually conscious the entire time, they were able to get me breathing before I lost consciousness. The only time I have ever been unconscious was from fainting, but even then it was only a few minutes.

What a terrifying experience; I'm so glad you're still here with us. You're an unusually wise young woman for your age, and your reminder that death can occur at any time is one that will resonate with people of all ages. That you're regaining your health is the best news of all! And I'm sure that many of us (pointing at myself here) didn't think cardiac arrest could be possible for someone who apparently wasn't all that underweight. Sending you a warm, congratulatory hug and every good wish for the best of health!

Thank you for your comment! :) I'm glad to have taught others something, and that there are many other supporters on the internet.

Thanks for writing this. I also suffer from an Eating Disorder. It is possibly the worst thing in the world. I wouldnt wish it on my worst enemy. Just after Christmas, I spent 3 long months in hospital after I too had a minor cardiac arrest. I am glad too, that you also believe and now see that you are loved and way too young to die. Best of luck with everything x

I hope in the time that has passed, you have recovered. Eating disorders are really terrible, and I'm sorry you have been through them as well. Best of luck to you as well!! Stay strong :)

Thank you..... In the writing of this You have done great my child......You will never know how many lives that you have touched.....and changed with the telling of your

Thank you, I hope many people are touched by this :)

I am sorry you went thru this but am so glad you learned many things. I hope your story helps even if it is just one person. I have lost someone to this and am so glad to see that you are moving to be well and pray you always will over come this.

I'm so sorry for your loss :( This is a really dangerous disorder, and unfortunately too many people don't get help in time. I hope this helps someone, too. Personally I think they should raise awareness in schools.

I can't message you how are you doing ok I know how dangerous she was 16 when i aksed her if she was 6months later she got help damage was done 18 when her body failed people do not understand how it affects the body.God Bless you goahead