A New ‘Normal’ Behind the Scenes
Raised on the stage as a lifelong dancer, Amanda never allowed her eating disorder to keep her out of the spotlight.
“I was raised in a household where my eating habits were heavily influenced and body image was important. At a young age, I learned ‘less is more’, ‘thin is right’, ‘fat is wrong’ and I saw no distinction between ‘control’ and ‘being controlled’.” Amanda describes her condition as bulimia, with anorexic tendencies.
Beyond the walls of her home, as a competitive dancer, the sense of ‘normal’ she was developing was never really denied. “I was able to fit my eating disorder in with my hobbies, and my hobbies in with my eating disorder. It became an excuse to be organized”, explains Amanda. While it sometimes compromised her energy, concentration and patience, her passion for dance endured because her eating disorder had simply “always been there”.
As she got older, Amanda’s eating disorder stopped giving her the same break from reality that it once did. Despite regular exhaustion, sickness and hospital visits, she was stuck in the cycle.
I’ll continue to work hard, I’ll continue to trust the process, and I will heal.
“I can’t do the splits the same, and I certainly can’t handle my eating disorder the same. I needed a break and I needed someone to tell me I was allowed to take a break.” After struggling for the majority of her life, Amanda was finally admitted to Homewood Health, a treatment centre in Guelph.
Treatment provided Amanda with a new perspective that alleviated some self-blame about her condition. Even after intensive treatment and a strong commitment to recovery, Amanda still struggles to hold realistic and healthy perceptions of food and body image. She acknowledges, “Finding normalcy is hard because I don’t necessarily know what that is; I’ve never really known what that is.”
Used to seeing immediate results from her hard work, Amanda explains that her journey toward recovery has forced her to redefine ‘success’ and to accept that her journey is not a straight line. As she asserts, “I’ll continue to work hard, I’ll continue to trust the process, and I will heal.”
Help others, like Amanda, toward their recovery.