Please tell us your story
I always say that I’ve lived the lives of several different people, within this lifetime. I say this because I’m a survivor of abuse in every sense of the word. Emotional,physical,mental,verbal,sexual and neglect/abandonment. This started when I was a small child and continued well into my adult years. Even after therapy, I wasn’t mature enough to apply traditional coping skills. Nor did I understand what self love was. Instead of leaving those situations, I turned to a “drug” that everyone uses yet no one considers it to be a drug,Food.
How long were you addicted & what? How did it change your life?
I was addicted to food for about 9 years. It changed my life in ways that one would never imagine. I was usually a happy, outgoing person-despite everything that was happening in my personal life. I had just ended a serious relationship, where there was Domestic violence. My Nose was broken in several Places. The Doctor explained that if he had hit me once more, I could have died. I felt very rejected, unworthy of love and that it was my fault. I remember thinking “I’ll just go to taco bell and get some food and go to sleep” (I was vegetarian at the time and the only fast food I could get was taco bell) That same night, I did just that. I ordered an obscene amount of food and I went home and ate it alone, after my children were asleep. This became the norm for me. Once I went through the Drive Thru and the young lady asked if I was getting food for a party and it was all just for me. I began to hide the fact that I was gaining weight by always keeping my coat on at work, even when it was hot outside. Kept my head down most of the time. I stopped dressing up and wearing make up. I started to feel like I was just undeserving of anything good in life. I began to use laxatives as way to control my weight. this continued for about 4 years. I moved to a different state for work. I took this as an opportunity to start over. I was okay for a few months but then Got into another relationship that wasn’t very good for me. the same behavior re-emerged and I was back in the same dark hole, only this time, self mutilation was added to the mix.
What was the breaking point for you to get clean?
The breaking point came after a particular binge session in 2015, where I had eaten almost a whole tub of dry oatmeal and went to bed. I was balled up with my stomach in painful knots. I remember thinking that I was going to die if I continued to live my life this way. I cried because I thought of my children needing me and how much I wanted to be in their lives.
How did you get clean and how long have you been sober for? What was the hardest part for you about recovery and how did you overcome it?
My approach to getting clean was very holistic. I tried several twelve step programs(for food and even AA kind of like the character Huck from Scandal where he says whiskey in place of killing people), books, diets etc, to no avail. I found that I was always falling off the wagon. As a Mother and Private person, I couldn’t really afford to continue to waste money. I was introduced to Eckart Tolle By a friend. I began to devour his books as well as many others because they were free at the library. I also checked out workout dvd’s to replace the habit of reaching for food. I was walking an average of 2-3 miles per day. I started to use My fitness pal in order to help me keep track of the food I was eating. I switched to a basic tracking app though as I found that My fitness pal triggered binges. I began yoga and meditation in order to learn how to center myself and to control my mind. I also became vegan. Although I’ve been sober for 2 years and 8 months, it hasn’t always been easy. The hardest part was learning to control the way that I react to situations. I had to train myself to remember that the only thing that I can control is myself, and to stop and think on whether it warrants a response at all. If I get anxious, I meditate or take a few deep breaths. If its a serious matter, I go workout or go for a walk. An added benefit of getting sober was losing 100 lbs!
What is your motivation to stay clean? And how did you do it?
My motivation to stay clean is my children and being healthy. At my highest weight, I was 289 lbs. I’m only 5’1 so as one could imagine, I was very sick. not just mentally and emotionally but physically as well. I stayed motivated by remembering that my children needed me alive and I wanted to see all 3 of them get married one day. I have a vision board that I update monthly with goals. I have a calendar that helps me to take things One Day At A time. I order sobriety medallions from amazon.
For someone in the same situation as you who wants to get clean, what would you want to tell them?
For someone who is in the situation who wants to get clean, I would tell them that they aren’t alone. That they are loved, more than they could ever imagine and that they deserve a healthy life. That help is available , all they have to do is ask, even if if just themselves, that they need to ask for help from. lastly that there are solutions to every problem. Sometimes when it seems like there’s no answer, its because we have to create one.
What is your life’s moto?
Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, Rage against the dying of the light- Dylan Thomas
Saryah is a free spirit on a crusade to heal the world, by helping people get healthy. When she isn’t spending time with her family or working her muggle job, she can be found educating the masses on the (in her opinion) the importance of veganism and yoga through t-shirt activism and spreading love, inspiration and laughter online. You can follow her on Instagram @rebelbeauty37