Faith Elicia comes from an addictive household, being a child of an alcoholic. At 16, Faith saw her dad drunk for the first time, throwing a chair while she was hiding under the table. Then, he sought help and got sober for 30 years until his death three years ago.
Faith also has a sister who found recovery in Narcotics Anonymous and another sister who found recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous.
Although she was very familiar with the behaviors of addiction growing up, she wasn’t aware that there was addiction in their house because of shame. Everything had to stay within the walls.
From Anxiety Disorder to Eating Disorder
After she had her third child, Faith dealt with anxiety, panic, and agoraphobia. This was in the 80s and there wasn’t really an understanding of anxiety disorders at that time. She couldn’t tell anyone for fear they would lock her up in a psychiatric ward. Mental health just wasn’t talked about like it is now.
Faith was very afraid of drugs and alcohol. However, impulsive compulsive behavior can come out in other forms. Food became her way of coping and dealing with her internal chaos. Faith’s anxiety disorder turned into an eating disorder. It wasn’t until she started to incorporate a mindfulness practice that things shifted for her.
It’s very important for someone who thinks they have an eating disorder to seek help from someone who specializes in and really understands them. You could be in treatment and discussing your situational stressors but the situational stress isn’t the issue. The issue is how you look at that stress. It’s about how you’re taking care of yourself.
No two eating disorders are the same. No two recoveries are the same. This is a process and it’s a journey of self-awareness, self-discovery, and self-care.
If you want to learn more about Faith’s journey through her eating disorder and recovery, check out Episode 153: Healing From Eating Disorder with Faith Elicia.