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Elmaz Story

The first day I sat in Christina’s counseling room I remember feeling a pounding in my chest. Everything in my body felt heightened. My hands were shaking. My mouth was dry. My jaw was locked. Not a single word came out. For four years I struggled with an Eating Disorder. If I could use one word to describe the reasoning for my illness it would be “belonging”. To belong in my adopted family. To belong in my friend circle. To belong in school. To feel a purpose. To feel wanted. To this very day I struggle with belonging, but instead of dwelling on the negative I can see the positive qualities I possess that make me different. Being different isn’t a negative thing. Unfortunately, Eating Disorders feed on negativity.

Christina is the most impactful person I have in my life. Why? She let me see me for who I am. She understood me. Listened to me. Cried with me. Laughed with me. Every time I had I session with Christina she made me think. She would say, “Search your soul. What does your heart tell you?” She helped me to open up through writing my emotions on paper, something I had never wanted to do. She pushed me out of my box of comfort. She would ask me, “What do you want?” Christina understood me enough to ask the tough questions. Now, when I’m having a bad day I think of her and the questions she asked.

Recovery with Christina was not “easy” or “fun”, though I felt the immense caring she had for me. Recovery was the hardest thing I’ve had to face in my life. Why? Because it’s not just about the darkness you overcome. It’s about all the other things you carry with you. She helped me face the insecurities I had about my appearance, my insecurities about being different, having a learning disability, being adopted, having family issues, meeting my birth mom, being gay; and so much more baggage. And what came from all the darkness was a light–a voice. I have a voice. Once I realized my voice, I knew the only person that could truly help me recover from my Eating Disorder was ME.

Where am I now? I am happy. I am me. Do I still have thoughts? Of course, and it’s still hard to fight the illness two years after recovery. Can I control the thoughts? I am constantly reminding myself what I am thankful for, who I am, and what I want. I use different tools to control the thoughts, such as screaming in my car after having a busy, mind crippling day at work. The last question Christina asked me at the end of my recovery process was, “Do you think you’re beautiful”?

Yes. I am beautiful. I am different. I am me. 

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