Recovery IS possible.
Don’t lose hope.
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to travel to Los Angeles for a work function.
With the Grammy’s in town and annual FitExpo going on right next door, downtown L.A. was crazy and in order to get away from all the hustle bustle, I made a little escape Saturday night out to one of my favorite parts of town-Santa Monica—to meet up with an old friend.
I love reconnecting with old friends, and I’ve been blessed through various experiences and travels to meet a slew of people who live in various cities all over the world.
This friend in particular is a friend who is near and dear to my heart—a sister in recovery.
I originally met her about four years ago in Miami of all places (a city I never in a million years would have thought I would have lived) during my year-long stay in eating disorder treatment.
It was there that we bonded as kindred spirits—two souls who understood each other all too well.
(Disclaimer: Eating Disorder treatment is a weird experience and setting; a place where one does not usually ‘bond’ with others, much less really stay in touch with others upon discharge, due to the fact that you are typically in your ‘own world’ when it comes to your personal treatment process and issues you are working through to get your life ‘right’).
This friend, in particular, could relate.
We had both been in and out of treatment for YEARS. And when I say years, I mean over half of my life had been spent in hospitals, treatment centers, doctors’ offices, nutritionists’ offices, therapists’ offices and the like—trying to ‘fix me’, trying to ‘work on recovery’—yet feeling like I was getting no where!
At ‘rock bottom’ this go around in Miami—I felt like I was a ‘lost cause’—would this time be different? I initially wondered.
My kindred spirit could only understand.
“ED was so hard to fight. I really tried and held on ,but everyone worried I wouldn’t hold on forever,” she told, reflecting me on what originally brought her to treatment for more than her 10th time.
She fought, I fought—we both did—hard. Treatment was by no means easy once we got there—the preliminary work was only beginning, with more work to come upon discharge into the ‘outside world.’
Throughout our overlapping time spent ‘in jail’ (ie. Treatment—what we thought felt like jail at the time), we supported one another through mandatory challenges, restaurant outings to TGI Fridays, tough family session phone calls, and disagreements with our treatment teams. We encouraged one another with powerful words from scripture, claiming freedom and Christ’s love for us both—in spite of our own difficulties often times in loving ourselves. And, ultimately shared our greater goals of finding life OUTSIDE our ‘EDs’ (eating disorders).
In short: We were partners in ‘crime’—on a mission towards a life we could only imagine at the time.
I distinctly remember making up my mind, during the backend of treatment, that no matter what, no matter how awful I felt in my own skin (re-adjusting to a new body), and no matter how loud my ED voice got as the brink of ‘freedom’ from within the confines of treatment drew closer, I was NOT going to go back to that eating disorder.
I genuinely wanted something new—and so did my friend.
Discharge from treatment is honestly where the REAL work begins—the real grunt work—of getting through recovery…and finding yourself in a world where you used to hide, cope and identify yourself with your eating disorder.
As I departed, the ride began—and now four years later, the more I look back at that time as a distant memory—a time in the past.
The same for my friend.
Everybody’s treatment journeys and recoveries are completely, 100% different—but I could not be prouder to boast and claim that my kindred spirit—one of the very few girls that I’ve kept up from my time in that last inpatient treatment—is doing well!
Seeing her this past weekend was a reason to celebrate!!
She has started a new life on the completely opposite side of the country, in California. She is attending school and completing her undergraduate education (after years of being interrupted due to treatments). She has plans to become a therapist and help others in recovery. She just learned to surf and is able to go out to eat at restaurants now. She has gained more self-confidence, and peace with herself—who she is, more than feeling pressure about who she ‘needs to be.’
She is beautiful—inside and out, and that beauty only radiates more so in her recovery.
There IS life outside ED.
I was never told that in my sickness—and it is a message that NEEDS to be shared (and shouted from the rooftops).
Take courage my friend.
The fight for recovery is not wasted.
That fact, in and of itself, is why I established my practice THRIVE Wellness & Recovery–-A therapy and nutrition practice with a holistic approach (mind, body, soul), aimed at guiding girls and women into finding freedom from bondage.
It is my desire to help you establish a re-newed healthy relationship with food, fitness and your body, while also exploring who you are and what your passions are outside ED, and, ultimately, beginning to LIVE YOUR LIFE–instead of letting it pass you by!
Envision yourself, your life, the person you want to be; the healthy, glowing, happy, peaceful person you deserve to be…and watch you roar.