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Living With Anorexia: Melissa Román

Restricting her diet from her teenage years to college finally led to collapse and recovery at a clinic.

Finding Help for Anorexia continued...

I think about five years ago, how miserable I was, and how much it hurt-and how different it is now. I remember all my meals and the counting of fat and calories, how many times I weighed myself, measuring my whole body with a measuring tape. I remember that my friends didn't want to be with me because I was so consumed with food and the eating disorder.

I've come so far, but I still struggle with my body image and I still miss that false sense of security. But I know it's not real: You think you're in control, but in reality you're so out of control that you can't even eat a meal.

A year and a half ago, I had a relapse and almost had to go back to Renfrew. I'm still dealing with something that's a huge factor in my anorexia, which is that I'm a survivor of sexual abuse. Talking about that is a huge taboo in my family, as with many Latin families. So I've had to struggle with this on my own.

I think part of why I lost the weight was the smaller I got, the safer I felt; I was literally wearing kids' clothes to avoid dealing with my body and sexuality. I won't be able to completely recover until I can let go of that. I have to let go and move on, and that's the work I'm doing now in therapy.

Published on Aug. 11, 2005.

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