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TiffanyI grew up on a farm in Storla, SD… just fifteen minutes from Plankinton. I was a hop, skip, and a jump from my grandparents’ house, where I spent a lot of time growing up.  I was the oldest of four.  We were a very close knit family, always spending time together.  I was carefree, outgoing, energetic, and friendly.  I could talk to anyone about anything, and I always had a smile on my face.  In 1993 we moved to Mitchell, where I attended Middle school and High School.  I played volleyball, basketball, rode horse and competed in rodeo. I grew up on a farm in Storla, SD… just fifteen minutes from Plankinton. I was a hop, skip, and a jump from my grandparents’ house, where I spent a lot of time growing up.  I was the oldest of four.  We were a very close knit family, always spending time together.  I was carefree, outgoing, energetic, and friendly.  I could talk to anyone about anything, and I always had a smile on my face.  In 1993 we moved to Mitchell, where I attended Middle school and High School.  I played volleyball, basketball, rode horse and competed in rodeo.  

When I was sixteen years old, I went on a typical high school diet, only my diet didn’t last for a few days… It lasted for seventeen years.  My obsessive compulsive disorder and my perfectionism turned my typical high school diet into an eating disorder diagnosed as anorexia.  I began the ride of a lifetime.  My eating disorder, also known as Ed, started off as a crawl.  It took a few years before Ed was off and running.  I was able to keep Ed to myself until I was twenty-one.  Ed was running my life and I didn’t know how to silence him, until I was introduced to Bud Light. Now I had two best friends.  The only problem was that I couldn’t handle life, college, rodeo, my family, my friends, work, Ed, and Bud Light.  Something had to give, and it was college.  I had to make the dreaded trip home to tell my parents that I was failing out of college.  In order to withdraw from college, I had to meet with the school therapist, Tami.  I was a great liar, so I knew I had this one in the books.  It didn’t work out that way.  Tami saw right through me and helped me begin to address my connection to Ed.  After withdrawing from college and moving home, I agreed to see an eating disorder therapist, Mary.  I began seeing Mary once a week for two years, but I was not willing to let Ed go.  He had a tight grip on me and we were becoming one.  After years of going in every direction but forward, Mary and I parted ways.

Ed and I grew closer while Bud Light became a dear friend to me.  With my two new partners, I felt that I was able to conquer anything.  After taking a few years off, I returned to college to obtain my Elementary Education degree. I continued to live with Ed, while Bud Light was in the background.  At the age of twenty-five, I found myself in a situation that I didn’t want to be in.  I wouldn’t call it a relationship, because it wasn’t consensual.  For the next five years I found myself being repeatedly raped, beat down emotionally, controlled, and told that no one cared about me…including my family and friends.  I felt that I had nothing left in life worth living for.  I didn’t know how to get out, I didn’t know how to fight back, and I didn’t know how to end it… So I put up with it for five excruciating years.  Ed and Bud Light were running my life and calling the shots.  I was down to 90-95 pounds, 250 calories a day and a case of beer.  That was my life for five years.  I struggled to keep my size zero pants on, but I thought I was on top of the world! I had pushed my family and friends away from me, because I knew they would take my new found friends away and I didn’t know how to live life without them.  I lived a life of isolation, which allowed Ed and Bud Light to thrive.  I avoided family functions like the plague, but there was always food around and Ed had me avoiding that at all costs!  Not to mention that Bud Light wasn’t allowed around my family.  I lost a lot of friends because I didn’t want them to know Ed, because I knew they would take him away from me and I wasn’t ready to let him go.  I began to find friends that were interested in drinking, so I could continue my relationship with Bud Light.  They continued to dominate my life! 

I graduated from college and had become the teacher that I always wanted to be.  As if that wasn’t enough, I decided that I needed to obtain my masters.  I took on the task and graduated in two years with a 4.0.  Tiffs Inspiration

Not long after, my sister and her husband adopted Brooklynn, who quickly stole my heart! A few months later, sitting at the kitchen table waiting to have cupcakes for Brooklynn’s half birthday… In walk my two best friends, Laurie & Lori.  Wondering why they are here, I begin to become confused.  After my dad made me turn my phone over to my mom, I learned that I was now in the middle of what I call an intervention! My family was no longer going to stand by and watch me kill myself.  They had had enough.  I had two demons to choose from, but they knew that Ed was slowly taking my life.  They had things lined up to take me to treatment, but I refused.  After three hours of begging, pleading, crying, and denial… We agreed that I would go back to seeing Mary twice a week for six weeks.  If there weren’t any improvements, I would go to treatment.  Well, six weeks turned into six months with no improvements. The isolation worsened, the drinking got heavier and the weight continued to fall off. 

After a dear friend (Stacy) confronted me with the issue, I decided to seek treatment.  Three days later I was on a plane to Eating Recovery Center in Denver, Colorado.  I spent four weeks there where I did my weight restoration. After discharging and coming home, I thought I had it licked.  The only problem was that I left a safe environment where everyone knew what I was going through, to return home to a state that didn’t have any support.  I had my family, my friends, and Mary…but it wasn’t enough.  Ed returned to my life while Bud Light found his way back into my life.  We were right back where we started! Another year passed, until my parents couldn’t take anymore. They were not about to bury their oldest child.  

Tiff and Brook Merry go roundAs soon as the school year ended, I was on a plane to Sierra Tucson in Tucson, Arizona where I did two months of treatment for an eating disorder and alcoholism.  The day I was discharged from Sierra Tucson, I flew straight to Rebecca’s House in California where I continued my treatment for six months.  Making it a total of eight months of treatment.  I returned home from treatment thinking I was on top of the world, only to fall flat on my face again.  I had kicked the alcoholism, but Ed had returned to my life.  He was constantly telling me how fat I had become after my weight restoration.  So the restricting began.  The weight began to fall off, but the torment was back.  After fainting one morning, I had called my sister to pick Brooklynn up from daycare to take her out for ice cream.  For the first time in my life, my sister told me no.  She said that she wasn’t going to let Brooklynn in my car after I had passed out that morning.  My heart sank and I fell to the floor.  After a lot of tears and some serious soul searching, I decided that it was time to take my life back.  I was not about to lose my niece to Ed.  He didn’t really care about me.  To him I was only a number and once he was done with me, he would move onto his next victim.  I didn’t need a friend like that when I had the family and friends that had now entered my life.  That was the day I decided to divorce Ed.

I have been sober since May 28th, 2013 and I have enjoyed every minute of it! I don’t miss Bud Light at all! I have new friends, which are my true friends.  Ed still lives with me, but I don’t obey his every command.  I’m very happy and I love life! I’m part of my family again and I have friends that support me and love me.  Things are happening in my life that I never imagined would happen!!! Recovery is worth every step I took!


THANK YOU TO ALL THAT HAVE SUPPORTED ME!