Hannah Edwards is a 22-year-old sharing her journey towards recovery
I spent my high school years obsessing over boybands. I had a few close friends and was overall happy. When I was 16 that’s when my eating disorder started to develop and I started having issues with friends. I was confused as to who I was and thought I had to act a certain way to fit in. My friends and I would talk about hating our bodies and wanting to to look different. I guess I never really realized that I was planting negative seeds in my head.
In early 2017 I was having a lot of issues with friends, my work schedule was very sporadic and I had no control in regards to my work, a relative passed away and I was struggling in silence with anxiety, depression and an eating disorder. I was so isolated and felt so alone and I knew that was my rock bottom. My most defining moment was when I made the decision to once and for all cut out the toxic people in my life and receive professional treatment for my mental health. I was hospitalized for 6 weeks. If I wasn’t admitted I definitely wouldn’t be here today.
To me, self-love is being able to put yourself and your wellbeing first. I’ve definitely struggled practicing self-love all my life. There is a difference between self-love and selfishness and that’s something I’ve struggled differentiating. I’ve felt as though I would be selfish if I put myself first and that has held me back from achieving a high level of wellbeing.
I’ve learned that you don’t need a lot in life to be happy. I’d always dreamed of having the most luxurious life and superficial items, big house, expensive car etc but I’ve since realized that there are so many more important things than that. Cliche, I know, but seriously, as long as I’m happy and healthy, anything else is a bonus.
You really don’t have to love your body. You don’t have to hate it either. Just accept it. I think it’s unrealistic to aspire to love your body at all times. If we spend less than thinking about our bodies. it frees up our minds to focus on so much more important things. Put the energy you use in critiquing your body into something that actually matters. Love your body for what it does and not what it looks like. If we make body acceptance or self love conditional then we will never be content with ourselves.
I think we’re always learning new things about ourselves. At the moment though, I know who I am, I know what I like, what I don’t, what makes me happy, what makes me mad. I’m aware though that as life progresses I will change and learn new things about my self as I reach different stages in my life.
Hannah is a 22-year-old from Brisbane Australia. She runs an Instagram account where she shares plant-based recipes and also talks about her journey of recovering from an eating disorder and falling in love with food again.