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The Truth Behind the Lies Of An Anorexic Mom

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Note:  This blog contains descriptions of eating disorder behaviors.  Although I have tried to be mindful in writing about specific behaviors, there are parts of  that may be difficult to read for those actively struggling with an eating disorder.  For support please see the "resources"page on this site.

  • sherrisacconaghi

Lifesaving. Writing this blog and publicly sharing it has been one of the most powerful influences on my recovery. It has kept me focused on my health, forced me to be honest with myself, and has helped me to face head-on some of the thoughts and emotions I would otherwise keep stuffed deep within. Especially the guilt that still lingers around how my anorexia affected my kids. Most importantly, since going public with my disease two and a half years ago, I have become a much happier person, free of secrets, shame, and fear. I've been blessed by the fact, so many of you have embraced my experience. Your support has been vital to keeping me on the right track. I treasure the authentic conversations and meaningful relationships I have built with so many of you.

And now it is time for a pause. It’s not I have run out of things to say, on the contrary, I have so much more to say. But I continue to struggle on how to share it. I find myself carefully measuring my words as not not hurt or offend people that I love, ensuring I am using my words as helpful tools not deadly weapons. Yes, I could write about other issues, safer topics, and relatable antcedotes, but that feels inauthentic to me. I have heavy stuff on my heart and mind right now and those, like always, are the things I want to write about. Being real is the point of this blog,. But right now, I can’t.

I promise I will return, when I find the words, or rather the courage to share them.

Thank you for taking the time to read this every week and for your ongoing words of encouragement and support. I am forever grateful. This is not the end of the story, just a pivot into a whole new chapter.

The most powerful way to overcome a secret disease is to no longer keep it a secret. Thank you for providing a supportive space for me to do so.

  • sherrisacconaghi

I felt sweat dribble down my back when I answered the call. I'd had the number tucked away, deep in my wallet for two years. I don't know why I pulled it out and left a message that day. I didn't have much time to think about it as here she was calling me back.

I was sitting in my car in front of my sister's house, about to spend the afternoon with my niece, when I saw her number pop up on my caller ID. I ignored my immediate urge to let it go to voicemail and forced my hand to answer the phone. The air in the car suddenly felt heavy, and I was having trouble catching my breath.

"Why don't' you start by telling me a little about your situation," Kelly began in an upbeat tone.

"Well, I think I might have some food and body issues," I said vaguely. My heart was pounding with the reality that for the first time, sitting in that hot, stuffy car, I would out the secret that I had kept shoved deep inside for over a decade.

"Okay, tell me a little more about that," she prodded gently.

"I'm thin. "I blurted out, taking a deep breath to calm my shaking body, slowing the rush of adrenaline roaring through me like an angry river. "Too thin."

Five years ago this month, I made that call, the one that started my recovery process from anorexia. It seems like yesterday or a lifetime ago, depending. Reaching out to a person who could help me with my eating disorder was something that had been lingering in the darkest corners of my mind for over a year. Still, like climbing Everest or hiking the Pacific Crest Trail alone, it was something that, for me, seemed impossible.

Living with anorexia was painful—the physical pain of my aching joints, bruised bones, and cracked teeth. The emotional anguish of isolation as I tried desperately to hang onto my disease secretly. The mental distress that came from the obsessive rumination and rituals around food, exercise, and my body that consumed my thoughts every minute of the day. But despite it all, anorexia was also familiar ground, a known quantity, my safe haven.

The thought of recovery, on the other hand, no matter how much I longed for it, scared the hell out of me. The "what if's" were too risky, too unpredictable, too unknowable. What if my life spiraled out of control. What if my marriage unraveled. What if I became lazy and unmotivated. What if I gained too much weight. What if I became average.

It was only when the discomfort of living with anorexia became too great for me to bear that I was able to summon the courage to jump blindfolded and headfirst into the unknown. Confident that any "what if's" that might lay ahead could not possibly be worse than living in "what is."

Sometimes it is helpful for me to look back at the challenges in my past to remind me of the beautiful things that lie in my future. (Ramona Falls, Mt Hood, 2021)

I have shared openly the impact recovery from anorexia has had on my life. The joyous freedom from rules, the authentic connection to others, and an inner strength rediscovered after years of being buried by fear. For that, I am forever grateful.

And today, as I take a moment to reflect on the past five years, I am nudged by a much needed reminder that only by taking risks will the seemingly impossible become possible.

  • sherrisacconaghi

To say the past year an a half has been a cluster would be an understatement. As if COVID, wildfires, and violence have not been enough for most of us, in addition, I’ve been dealing with events in my personal life for which I thought I was prepared. I have not written about it as I have been unsure how. In writing publicly, I continue to struggle with the fine line between what is my story to tell and what belongs to someone else. I do not want to hurt the people I love by sharing something they prefer to keep private. It is not my place here to share the specific events, but it is my choice to share my actions.

I have let fall by the wayside some of the things that I need in my life to stay healthy. Most notably the three things that time and time again have gotten me through the most difficult periods in my life; Al-anon, yoga and therapy. Instead I have been wallowing in anger and resentment. And rather than dealing with it, I have been listening to an old destructive voice telling me that I can handle this difficult time on my own. Convincing me, if I keep busy enough, distract myself enough, and just get through the circumstances of the moment, the resentment will go away and I will be fine. FINE. For many months now I have brushed aside the whispers fluttering into my brain that carry the reminders that, stuffing uncomfortable emotions and pretending everything is okay created a ninety-eight pound, anxious, rigid, short-tempered, jittery, lonely mess.

I am grateful I haven’t allowed myself to relapse during this continually difficult time. On the outside anyway. My weight has held steady, I have not allowed myself to isolate and have leaned on a small group of friends who are aware of my circumstances. And, despite everything, I continue my regular date nights with my good friends Ben and Jerry.

But inside there has been a storm brewing.

Instead of getting quiet, I got busy. Cleaning house, running needless errands, binging Netflix, and shopping Amazon Prime. All the things I have needed to stay distracted. Ways that have kept me from sitting still and allowing the thoughts and emotions I have not wanted to feel to emerge to the surface where I would have to acknowledge them. Silencing my inner voice, my trusted gut, when it tried to tell me to pay attention to the anger and resentment simmering in my body, urgently warning me if left attended, I would boil over.

I know what I need to do get through hard things. Time to get back to doing them. (2021).

And last week I did. I finally woke up to the realization was faced with choices. (A.) Pretend everything is fine and continue on with life, as usual, with the awareness this choice will put my own recovery at risk or (B.) Face down my anger and resentment and deal with it head-on.

Sacrificing my own recovery, something I have worked so hard to achieve and maintain is not even an option for me, so I have chosen to face it, feel it and figure out how to deal with it.

And I know just the three places to start.



Thanks for your interest in Skinny: The Truth Behind The Lies OF An Anorexic Mom. I'd love to connect with you so feel free to get in touch and I will get back to you soon!

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