Recovery is difficult, not impossible. I asked several past clients to share a part of their story. Perhaps you can identify something about them or what worked, to reach your own goals. I can assure you, they all worked hard, fell and got back up, over and over. Recovery is a process. You can do it.

MS—29yrs “I never thought that I could be where I am today in my recovery. I thought my eating disorder was too severe for me to ever be a "normal eater" again; I had cycled in and out of hospitals for the better part of 4 years of my life, and experienced all different levels of care for my eating issues. Now, after completing my masters degree and pursuing licensure as a counselor, I'm able to help others with the issues I had once struggled so severely with. If someone had told me that this would be possible when I was at my worst, I never would've believed them. But I am living proof that recovery, even for the most severe cases, is undoubtedly possible. It won't be easy and it won't be quick, but it can happen. Perseverance, wanting it, having a stable support system, and committing to it will get you there.”

MS—23yrs “Several years ago, I had a babysitting gig in the town in which I grew up. One day, I had to drive the children to baseball tryouts at my former high school. As I sat against the wall of the gym watching all of the children, I was instantly struck with a wave of sadness. They were all so carefree, happy, and involved. I realized, in that moment, the extent of what my eating disorder had taken from me. I had no recollection of a time in which my mind was not plagued by my desire to lose weight. I spent the majority of my high school years in and out of treatment centers for my eating disorder; 5 inpatient stays in 4 years, including one 2-month stint at a residential facility. I never got to experience childhood/adolescence in the way that these children before me had. My 10 year long struggle with an ED left me exhausted, depressed, and distracted at a time when I should have been at the height of my social, emotional, and educational development. In this moment, I not only mourned the loss of all that my disorder had taken from me, but gained resolve in my effort to ensure that I would never look back on another part of my life with such regret and sadness. Despite numerous subsequent ups and downs, I am currently the best I have ever been, living on my own in a new city, working at my dream job, in a loving relationship and, for the first time, putting my happiness before my eating disorder.”

SH—15yrs “In order to achieve full recovery from my eating disorder, I knew I truly had to want it. At first, I didn't acknowledge my condition until I saw how much it was hurting not only me but also those around me. Once it became a burden I no longer wanted to bare, I needed to make a change. I just wanted to become 'normal' again and think about food in a healthy way. I hated consistently having food on my mind and thinking how much I should eat and when I should eat it. I was thinking about food and its 'consequences' way too much. Food was not suppose to be my enemy but instead an important part of life. We should enjoy food and the happy things that come with it: eating out with friends, a home-cooked meal with family, special desserts at parties, etc. This strong motivation to have a renewed, healthy relationship with food is what made my recovery process so much easier. I had a goal now and I intended to achieve it."

KLK—22yrs “I am a freestyle skier. This type of skiing inherently demands a great deal of strength, endurance, and resiliency. A few years ago, my eating disorder became very severe and consumed all of my time and energy. Skiing no longer made me happy and, because of the condition my body was in, I did not have the physical capability of skiing at the level I once used to. When I realized that my illness had taken the enjoyment out of one of my life's greatest passions, I also began to notice the other areas of my life that were suffering as well. I was unable to ski for one year during my recovery. Today, I am healthy and able to ski 6-7 days a week at a competitive level. I have obtained a prestigious sponsorship from a ski resort and living my dream of being featured in freestyle skiing magazines, videos, etc. I would never have been able to accomplish such success in freestyle skiing if I did not choose recovery."

With all my heart.
Thank you.

Your story of success could help others, please share it with us.
Email me at michelledougherty.rd@gmail.com

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