So this is a post that took me quite some time to write. To even start writing, in fact! It is a super emotional time for me. Three years ago, in February 2016, things started looking really bad for me. I couldn’t eat anymore because of the ulcers that were covering my stomach and esophagus, I was loosing hair and teeth, sleepless nights became a regular, and I was rushing towards my lowest weight. And the real problem? I loved it.
I was so proud I was finally ‘getting somewhere’. What I didn’t realize is the only place I was going was 6 feet under.
A lot of things happened that year, but there is one moment I remember vividly. I couldn’t live in Gorizia with Žiga anymore, because I needed 24/7 care, so he took me back to my mom’s place. It was a warm sunday, I was lying on the couch wrapped up in a fluffy pink blanked, observing what was going on in the garden. I heard birds singing, and there was something so peaceful about the sunlight. I remember lying on my side, trying to find a pulse on my arm and my neck, desperately pressing my cold fingers into my tired skin. My pulse was so low I couldn’t feel my heart beating, and in that moment I knew. If I close my eyes, I die. I knew right in that moment I had a choice: get up and live, or fall asleep and let my heart stop completely.
I got up.
I yelled for mom as loud as I could, I said ‘mom please bring me water and a teaspoon of yogurt!’. The joy on her face was telling me she knew in that moment I chose to live. We both knew I could die, and I would die if I chose to. But I didn’t, I chose life.
The next months were difficult, but I was determined to get better, and I did. With a lot of hard work and dedication I won my life back. And here are the lessons I learned in recovery:
I have learned these seven lessons in the past three years, and the hardest part of embracing these new habits was letting go of my old ones. Even though I wanted them gone, even though I wanted a new life, a life without an eating disorder, it was hard to let go of everything I knew, and take a leap of faith into a new life.
I had no idea what was waiting for me when I let go of my old habits, of my old life, but I knew it could hardly get any worse than it was. I admit, in the beginning I was skeptical, and I’m not sure I believed there was a good life waiting for me some day. But boy was I wrong. Really living these seven ‘commandments’ every day has brought me love, softness, acceptance, and joy. I am no longer a prisoner in my own body, now I am a queen, and my body is a kingdom under my command. I am the sun, I am the moon. I am the sea, and the sky, I am fire and air. I am.
Make sure to check out my latest video where I talked briefly about why I’m scared of a relapse right now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzZ13kC-bQE&t=2s
Have a wonderful Monday!
These photos are taken three years apart. I have no words.
Wow how did you get this far?
I hope to be like you some day!
How did you beat your eating disorder?
Three questions I’ve been receiving the most lately. Winning my life back from an eating disorder wasn’t easy, and there’s no secret recipe or any general way to do that. We are all different, we re all unique, and we all have to figure out what works for us, not what worked for that other person, or how they made it.
We are all unique individuals, which means we process emotions differently. In the same situation one would feel anger, the other sadness. I am an apple. I cannot compare myself to a pear.
Dealing with (and figuring out) who you are is, or at least should be, your main concern. You will never be able to grow if you don’t know your roots. And I’m not talking about soul searching here, I think that’s a load of crap. You don’t need to find anything, your soul is right there in your body, and as long as you accept it for what it is you will be ok. But if you don’t, and you keep hiding your soul from yourself because you’re afraid you (or anyone else, for that matter) won’t like or accept it, you will probably feel miserable.
Accepting yourself means giving yourself room to grow. With your thoughts and actions you water your roots, and your heart is the flower that blooms in the end.
How did you get this far?
Never, not for one second did I try to please others. Everything I do is for me first. I understand that only if I truly, deeply love myself, only then I can love others in the same way. And love, kindness, and acceptance is all that matters after all. A flower cannot bloom in darkness, it will only open when it feels the light.
I kept pushing forward – falling flat on my face every third step, but at least I fell forward. Crying myself to sleep, but still waking up the next morning, getting up, and moving forward. Whatever happened to me, whatever broke me to the point I thought I could never pick up the pieces and put them back together again, I did it, and I kept moving forward. Even when I wanted to die I decided to hurt a little longer, and kept moving forward. ‘You can still kill yourself tomorrow’. That was my motto. That was what got me through the most horrifying times. And I did it, I kept moving forward, and I never gave up on myself. I owe this much to the little Nina still living inside of me, telling me she is proud, and I am ok.
I am ok.
I hope to be like you some day!
Well, I hope you are never like me. I hope nobody ever goes through so much pain. I do hope, on the other hand, you are like you some day! I hope you find the courage to accept all your imperfections, love all your flaws, and be kind to yourself.
The best piece of advice I can give you is to always be yourself. Don’t deny who you are, accept it, and grow. If you accept yourself, and you realize you don’t like some things, change is always good. But don’t change the things you hate just because you hate them, change because you love yourself enough to be the best version of yourself. Let the growth come from a place of love and calmness.
How did you beat your eating disorder?
I accepted it. I accepted it will always be part of me, and I stopped trying to ‘cast it out’ or ‘kill it’. Killing it would mean killing a part of me, and I don’t want that. I want to be me, all of me. I want to feel everything, the good and the bad, I want to learn, and grow. I am Nina. Yes, I am an anorexic, but I am also funny, honest, and loving. I am also a pilates instructor, a photographer, a wife. I am Nina, and I am me.
I learned to live with my disease, to control it, love it to the point it doesn’t hurt me in any way. I civilized anorexia, and now she can’t (and doesn’t want to) hurt me anymore. We get along, some days she is around more, but most days she stays in her garden and spends time with her flowers. We all need love. But what we don’t realize is we don’t need love from others, we need love from ourselves.
All you have to do is stay true to yourself, and everything else will fall in place.