My Journey Overcoming an Eating Disorder and Addiction
By Crystal Hampton, Guest Contributor
My name is Crystal and I am a recovering addict. I have struggled with an eating disorder and addiction with drugs and alcohol. I have also struggled with depression and anxiety most of my life.
My addictions first reared their ugly heads when I was 15. When I was introduced to stimulants my eating disorder went into overdrive. I am not sure if my eating disorder fuels my addiction or the other way around. I just know if I engage in one of these behaviors I am engaging in them both. For me, working a program of recovery for my eating disorder and addiction is imperative in order for me to stay sober.
Eating Disorders, Addiction, and Control
When I was 15 years old my parents divorced and my “perfect” little world shattered into a million pieces. I had no idea where I fit into any part of my life or where I belonged. I felt absolutely lost and had no control over anything around me.
At the time the only thing I could control in my life was food. I began restricting food and started drinking. I later learned that these behaviors were the beginning of my battle with addiction and with an eating disorder. I had no idea that I was falling into these addiction; I was just trying to cope with stress in my life and avoid feeling my feelings or deal with what was going on around me.
This was a vicious cycle, because when I would restrict I was irritable and depressed. When I would binge I was eating my feelings. I suffered from self hatred and low self-esteem because I was putting on weight. I always felt that if I looked perfect on the outside, no one would know what a mess I was on the inside.
A major key for me for my recovery has been developing healthy habits and coping mechanisms. Consistently engaging in these positive activities over time made the negative habits I had engaged in for so many years feel less appealing.
The main benefits that have emerged from me getting sober are the peace I have in mind, body, and spirit. I am able to show up for others and extend a hand to other addicts and alcoholics. I have saved myself and everyone in my life from the pain I caused in my addiction and am able to make a living amends to them every day I am sober.
Recovery Is Possible
Recovery is a slow process, but you have to be patient, kind, and loving to yourself through this healing process. With proper nutrition, exercise, yoga, and mindful meditation, I have healed my mind, body, and spirit. I have also worked the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and Overeaters Anonymous with a sponsor. I have been living a clean, healthy, happy, and sober life now for three years now, and it has saved my life! It is not easy to overcome addiction or an eating disorder, but there is a life beyond your wildest dreams just waiting for you. Keep going!
Crystal Hampton is 37-years-old and works for Recovery Local, a digital marketing company that advocates spreading awareness on the disease of addiction. Recovery Local was founded by and staffed with recovering addicts dedicated to cultivating recovery resources through sharing their experiences, strength, and hope.