The Women Who Inspire My Eating Disorder Recovery

Editor's Note

If you live with an eating disorder, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “NEDA” to 741741.

Recovering from anorexia nervosa has been the most difficult thing I have experienced in my life. I am incredibly grateful to have such an amazing support system of women helping me along my recovery journey.

1. My Mom

In talking with my psychologist, she told me I would not have been a candidate for outpatient treatment had it not been for the tireless efforts of my mom. My mom helped with weight restoration, planning my meals and making sure my nutritional needs were met. She read countless articles and consulted various resources about anorexia. She supported me in my decision to take a semester off to focus on treatment. And she continues to work on getting me talking, always treating me like a person rather than an illness. Ultimately, she has given me unconditional love when I needed it most. I could not be more grateful for having her in my life.

2. My Sister

My sister continued to make me laugh even when I felt like there was nothing worth laughing about. More than that, she watches over me, particularly during more vulnerable moments in my recovery. She keeps me accountable and serves as an excellent role model for intuitive eating. I look at my sister’s relationship with food as something to aspire to. With recovery, I can look forward to more moments of laughing with her to the point of tears.

3. My Psychologist

When I started treatment, I stopped believing things could get better. I thought the only thing left for me to do was continue losing weight. Not only did my psychologist ensure I gained enough weight to be healthy again, but she also helped me see the value in living again. I finally started to hope life could improve, even in little ways, like noticing the flowers or spending time with my dog. For years, I believed only I could fix myself. I was too proud and too ashamed to reach out for help. I’m so glad I was wrong.

4. My Art Therapist

I started art therapy as an emotional outlet, and I simply fell in love with creating art. My art therapist introduced me to painting as a mode of expression. She always encourages me to feel my feelings and listen to my intuition, both of which I reluctantly try to do. Getting in touch with the creativity I felt died within me has been an amazing experience. And while I may not be fully ready to express my emotions, I finally have creative tools at my disposal.

5. My Aunt

It was only after my aunt passed away that my family discovered she struggled with anorexia. The puzzle pieces started to fall into place, from her choices in food to her compulsive need to exercise despite very little physical capability. When I started recovery, I felt closer to her than I had in my life. I still have so many questions; I want to share with someone who I know will understand. Unfortunately, my aunt never received treatment. But even in the midst of her illness, she did the best she could by volunteering, traveling and engaging politically.

Words alone cannot express the gratitude I feel for each of these women.

Thank you.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

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Photo by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

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