Before I start this post I would like to write this friendly reminder that this is just my story, my journey, my eating disorder, my recovery, and my body. What happened to me and what worked for me may not be what happens or works for you. Everyone is different including their bodies, their eating disorders, and their recovery. All I can share is my story.
I share my recovery journey in hopes to help those out their who are on their path and spread awareness to those that don't have to walk down the treacherous path of having an eating disorder.
Now let's begin with the post.
My last regular period was in November of 2018. My first lost period was in December of 2018. I was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa on March 1st, 2019. I had the first resighting of my period when I was in residential treatment in July.
I remember the month of December when I was waiting to get my period and I didn't. I knew it was weird but I didn't make any reference to it with my eating disorder evolving. I thought I was probably stressed and it would come late or I would just end up skipping the month. No biggie right ? Wrong. The same thing happened in January, followed by February, and then in March when I had answered "no" to the doctors question of if I was getting my period and November to when my last one was.
I am on birth control and once I was diagnosed with my eating disorder I still stayed on it to keep things as normal for my body as it began to heal. My doctor and nutritionist discussed with me that for now I would stay on the birth control and then if once I was weight restored and wasn't receiving my period still or it wasn't regulated than I could potentially go off of the pill in hopes to re-regulate it.
What's hard about writing this now is I remember how little I cared about my period. My eating disorder told me it was no big deal and why should I care because i'm not planning on having any kids now.
What my eating disorder wasn't telling me was that I wasn't getting my period because my body was to weak, malnourished, and exhausted to perform it. My body turned off my menstrual cycle to be able to save energy and work on other parts of my body to survive. My eating disorder wasn't telling me that I could have problems in the future with my menstrual cycle and fertilization. My eating disorder simply didn't care, so neither did I.
It wasn't until I read something online written by a girl in eating disorder recovery that said something along the lines of that if not having your period isn't a good enough sign that your body needs to heal and be in recovery what will be?
The good thing about losing my period was that it wasn't something that was gone forever, it was hopefully something my body would be able to figure out and start up again on its own. When I was going to residential I had recovery friends tell me to bring tampons ad pads because I was going to get my period and I remember thinking yeah right.
Then the yeah right happened. I don't think I will ever be more happy to get my period then when I did in July 2019 when I was in residential. That day my parents were there for visiting hours and I remember telling my mom and we both had tears in our eyes.
The difference now is not only is my body at a restored weight but it's giving me clear signs that it's functioning again. I now know I have the chance to bring kids into the world, to give my parents grandkids, I can see baby clothes in a store or babies themselves and not question if I'm going to get my period back, because I have it back. Having my period each month is now a true sign to me that i'm doing good in recovery and physically my body is too.
For me I got lucky in the sense that my period was gone and it came back on its own. I was only able to do this by being in recovery and fighting against my eating disorder. My body needed more fuel and energy in order to allow for my menstrual cycle to happen. Your menstrual cycle is a great detector of how "healthy" your body is. Don't ignore it. Don't let your eating disorder tell you, you don't need it. Think about future you. You need to accept recovery and fight the eating disorder in order to get your menstrual cycle back. It's not easy but it's possible.
Any questions always feel free to ask in the comments below.
No Retreat. No Surrender. JR