February Warrior – Veronica

February Warrior – Veronica

Hey there folks! Welcome to my next Warrior of the Month post.

This girl is seriously amazing! Veronica is a sweetheart that I met on Instagram. She lives in Belgium and is 19 years old. I found her story so inspiring that I just knew I had to ask her to share it with you guys. Here’s her story:

Since I was a child, I’ve had the feeling that I needed to be in control. When I was about six years old, I developed an obsessive compulsive disorder. It felt like I had something to hold onto. The control that I did not have in real life, I found in my OCD. I started to create my own, in my view, safe world. But the older I got, the more control I needed.

When I was fourteen years old, I found a new way of control. This time it was food.

From a young age I’ve struggled with my weight. I wasn’t really overweight but I was still a little bit chubby. I’d tried to lose weight a couple times but when I was fourteen years old was the first time it “succeeded”. I began to lose weight in a healthy way, but slowly it started to became a real obsession. The only thing I could think about was food and losing weight. Even when I reached my goal weight, I was scared to eat normal because I was afraid of gaining weight. That summer, I spent for four weeks with my family in Russia. Looking back, I shouldn’t have done it. In Russia the food is very different from Dutch food. This caused lots of panic because it felt like a complete loss of control. I also couldn’t weigh myself which made it even more difficult for me. So, I started to eat as little as I could. When I was back home, everybody was shocked because I’d lost a lot of weight. I got a lot of negative comments and friends and family started to look after me. With their help, I managed to stay on that weight. I still weighed too little, I didn’t have any energy and I was always cold. But at least I didn’t lose more weight.

For the next few years I lived this way. Until the summer of 2017. At the time, I moved with my family to Belgium. This was a huge change for me. I had a new house, a new school and new people around me. This felt like something I couldn’t control. I started to use my OCD again as a way to have a kind of control in my life. But this became a huge problem. I started to float away from the real life and lived more and more in my own world. My head was full of thoughts and I felt very bad and lonely. My mother and I searched for help but the waiting lists were way too long so I began to seek for something else to be happy about and that I could focus on and this thing became (again) losing weight.

My weight was already too low and I knew I couldn’t keep losing weight forever. But I thought I’d be able to stop in time. It seemed unrealistic to me that I would go too far. So, I kept losing weight even though it brought me more bad than good things. I didn’t have any energy, I was always cold and I kept struggling with my OCD. It felt safe to me, like I was in control. But this was anything but true. It wasn’t safe at all. But I kept going. Until I came to a point I couldn’t handle it anymore. My weight was way too low and my OCD was driving me crazy. Suddenly, my own created world, didn’t seem so safe anymore. I felt worse than ever and I didn’t know a way out. This was the point where there wasn’t any other solution than getting hospitalised. At the hospital I started to get medication even though I didn’t want it at first. I also started to get a treatment for my eating disorder. There, I began to eat normal again and l learned how to handle with my eating disorder. I learned that I am the only one who can save myself. People can help you, but in the end, you are the one who makes the choices. This was a very hard but also a very helpful time. When I was at home again, I kept going to a psychologist and I set my recovery forward. Sometimes it was hard but there was one thing I knew for sure: I didn’t want to go back and lose weight again. Now, I’m very happy I pushed forward because I’m experiencing a life without an eating disorder and this life is so much better. I still have times my eating disorder is a little more present but I never want to listen to it again.

My biggest motivation to help me through recovery were absolutely my loved ones. My parents, friends and especially my best friends Lindi and Dieuwke. I met Dieuwke in the clinic and together we’ve done lots of challenges. It’s good to have someone who understands you. It doesn’t have to be a friend. Think about your parents, brother/sister or a psychologist. There’s always someone who’d be happy to support you.

It also helped me to share the moments I ate with my mother or my friends. It made me happy to see how proud they became.

Further, it helped me to make plans for the future. This gave me more motivation to recover and helped me to focus less on my eating disorder.

Because I have got a lot more reasons to recover and I’d be happy to help others to beat this awful illness, I made a recovery account on Instagram, called @I_scream_for_icecreamm It makes me happy to help other people and it also gives me a lot of motivation. I’m also planning to start a blog together with Dieuwke. I hope to be able to give help to people who are struggling or at least one person. My ultimate goal is to start a clinic for OCD and anorexia treatment together with Dieuwke but unfortunately, I still haven’t got a good treatment for OCD. I’ll get an intensive treatment in the Netherlands as soon as possible and I hope it will help me so I can help people who are struggling with the same problems as me and so that they can live a normal life.

 

 

Veronica, thank you for sharing your story with me and my readers, as well as your own Instagram followers. Your strength is amazing and I know you can live a very healthy life.

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