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“I Didn’t Want to Die. Tears Rolled Down My Cheeks as the Fear Consumed Me”: Woman Who Battled Anxiety, Anorexia & Addiction Finds Hope and Healing

My escape route detoured into exercise addiction for a long time. I couldn’t miss a day, especially if I had eaten three meals — MOST especially if I had eaten three meals. It was a glorified extension of my eating disorder, but allowed me to appear completely healthy and be a fully functional college student. But, truthfully, it was just another container in which I acted out my need to punish and escape myself. It made me feel like no matter what happened around me, I still had control over something — my body size.

Courtesy of Lauren Costello

After graduating from college, I found myself in an uncomfortable, yet familiar place. The unknown. There was no map showing me where to turn to next. There was no one telling me what to do or how to do it. The safety my exercise addiction provided in college no longer did the trick on its own. So, I soon discovered a more glamorous and socially acceptable way to escape myself. Booze.

Drinking did for me what anorexia did, but in a way, people didn’t question, at least not in the beginning.

Alcohol was like a magic elixir. It allowed me to numb my feelings, be effortlessly extroverted, and dodge boundaries. It dissolved my anxiety, or so I thought and transformed me into the party girl I always wanted to be. Drinking, to me, felt like jumping onto a big, fluffy cloud and floating far, far away from who I was. A place where the more I drank, the more exciting and exhilarating it became.

I used my own personal trifecta of restriction, over-exercise, and excessive drinking to escape myself over the next ten years. I won’t divulge the countless stories of drunkenness, distorted thinking, and self-medicating I used to ‘survive’ that decade. But, five years ago, my long history of disappearing acts officially came to a screeching halt.

Courtesy of Lauren Costello

It was a balmy summer night that I laid in bed, delirious, not having eaten or slept much over the previous few days. My sisters were at my sides, clasping both of my hands tightly. They recited the ‘Our Father’ aloud, as a means of bringing my aching soul comfort. I was afraid to close my eyes. I thought it was the end. Even though I wanted the pain to stop, I didn’t want to die. Tears rolled down my cheeks as the fear consumed me. ‘We’re right here, La. You’re okay,’ I heard one of them say, although I wasn’t sure I believed it. With enough medication in my system, I managed to drift off to sleep, not knowing what the next day would hold, or if there would be a next day.

Lauren Costello
Lauren Costello
Lauren Costello, 36 lives in Philadelphia, PA where she writes a recovery and personal transformation blog. She is currently in the process of starting her own coaching business in hopes of helping women and young girls foster an unwavering love and acceptance of themselves. She is passionate about using her battles with Anxiety, Anorexia, and Addiction as well as her strong faith to empower and inspire others. She enjoys meditation, dancing, coffee, reading and laughing. Her dream is to write an award-winning book! You can follow her journey on Instagram @lightupwithlauren.

Candace Cameron Bure’s Dreamy Family Vacation in Italy: ‘Take Me Back’

Candace Cameron Bure, loved for her roles on "Full House" and "Fuller House," recently took to Instagram to reminisce about her family's dream summer vacation in Italy.

Chip and Joanna Gaines: 11 Godly Secrets to an Epic Marriage and Family

Chip and Joanna Gaines are teaching us important lessons about marriage and family as they walk away from their HGTV show for the sake of their family.

‘My abuser is here today’: Miss Kansas Uses Interview Portion of Pageant to Call Out Abuser Before Being Crowned

Miss Kansas 2024, Alexis Smith, has captured national attention not just for her beauty and charisma, but for her bravery in addressing a deeply personal and harrowing issue: domestic abuse.