by Hannah Davidson
I’ve struggled with mental illness for almost ten years now.
What started as depression and social anxiety as an adolescent quickly morphed into a nine-year battle with anorexia and bulimia. My mind was constantly occupied with thoughts of food and body image; I never had even a brief moment of peace in my thoughts.
My family’s dinner table became my own personal war zone. While the rest of my family spoke enthusiastically about their days, I could only focus on the screaming, drill sergeant-like voice in my head, “Don’t take another bite or you’ll get fat. If you get fat everyone will hate you, the whole world will see what a disgusting, undisciplined pig you are unless you put your fork down.”
I submissively lived my life this way, refusing help from others until right before my 19th birthday, when I decided enough was enough. I fought like hell to get my life back while undergoing 14 months of intensive eating disorder treatment. Thankfully, I didn’t have to do it alone. Both of my parents became incredibly supportive throughout my recovery.
Early in my recovery process, I recognized what a privilege it was to have access to vibroacoustic therapy. I was desperate for something to quiet my ever-screaming mind and I decided to give vibroacoustics a try. For years my mom had been telling me about all of the benefits I would feel as a result. Honestly, I hadn’t tried it earlier because I had convinced myself that I was unworthy of the inner-peace that I so desperately sought.
So, after too many years of depriving myself of self-care and self-love, I agreed to let myself relax and I had my first vibroacoustic session.
Never in my life had I felt such deep relaxation and tranquility. For the first time in years, my mind wasn’t overrun with thoughts of food or my body, it was actually peaceful. I was in a meditative state- only focusing on “here and now.” For the rest of the day, and for a few days after, I continued to feel more tranquil than I had in a long time. It felt easier to ignore when my eating disorder would decide to pop in for a visit.
This week, 2/25-3/1, is National Eating Disorder Awareness week and my contribution is to share with everyone how far I’ve come in my recovery. For anyone who is struggling with eating or body image issues, vibroacoustic therapy can be the catalyst you need to silence your inner demons.