My Life of Recovery

My life feels like a hurricane with mostly controlled chaos.  There is a lot to get done at the moment, but I am not shying away from what I have to get done.  Everything I am working on is dedicated to recovery and advocacy and it is the most fulfilling work of my life.  It is worth some of the extra chaos of figuring out how to get it all done!

If someone would have told me several years ago that my life would be the way it is today, I would have never believed them.  Throughout my childhood and in the early stages of recovery, I believed that I was simply not good enough, would not amount to anything, and that I would never be able to do what I truly wanted to do.  It is incredible the power of recovery and the drive that it gives you to persevere and work towards the things in life that truly matter to you.  Recovery allows you to discover that true part of yourself that you have denied or forgotten and believe in yourself again in order to achieve the things you want in life.

I am so grateful every day that I gave recovery a chance and I fought for it every minute, every hour, and every day.  Recovery has given me the ability to go to the NEDA Conference last October; go to the BEDA Conference this spring (April 24-26th); work on the Seattle NEDA Walk, which I promise will be so incredible; write in this blog; and finally have the chance to write for others including BEDA and PEDAW (so far…!).  Recovery has also given me the chance to heal, start to love myself, read and write again, have the ability to be active again (I love to dance!), and participate in my life!

If you are struggling, give recovery a chance because you never know what kind of things you can achieve with recovery.  Believe in yourself, fight for yourself, and know that recovery is possible.  You can recover.

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To support me in the Seattle NEDA Walk and help me eliminate eating disorders, please follow this link: Kristin’s NEDA Walk Page.

On Accomplishing a Milestone in Recovery

The last few days I have felt a keen sense of accomplishment.  It feels as though I have past a milestone that I have had for myself for years, or at least I am coming close to passing it.  I had feared for the last two years that I would never recover or at least would have to repeat inpatient/residential treatment every two years.  I did not want to make that a pattern.  I wanted that to be simply a span of time between my first and my second times in treatment.  And it has been.

It has been a long two years of tough work to make it to this point.  I was not always on the path of recovery.  I struggled and strayed for a while after treatment.  It was once I made that decision and the reasons why I wanted to recover were clear and present that I stuck with recovery.  I was going to recover.  Period.

That is one of the reasons why going back to Denver to the Binge Eating Disorder Conference feels so incredible and rife with so much emotion.  It is going back to same place where I was two years prior but now as a professional, not a patient.  Logo - ColorInstead of arriving at the airport, staying at the hotel for a night, then checking in to treatment the next day, I will be at this conference networking, learning, and growing.  It is the mere difference that two years can make and it is simply incredible, which seems to be the only word I can use to describe it.

It makes me acutely aware that recovery is possible.  It may take time, effort, a ton of hard work, and some slips along the way, but it is completely and wholly possible.  It is possible to heal from those things that have held you back for so long.  It is possible to overcome obstacles that have been in your way.  It is possible to achieve the things in life you never believed were possible.

Two years ago, I went to Denver to recover.  This April, I go to Denver to follow my dreams.  Recovery and healing is possible.

Two Years of Recovery

Two years today.  That is how long it has been since I checked myself into treatment at Eating Recovery Center (ERC) in Denver, CO.  It is strange and also wonderful to think that it has been that long.  It makes me reflect on how far I have come in that span of time and all the improvement I have made.  It is incredible to think of just how far I have actually come and the accomplishments I have made considering even four years ago entering inpatient/residential treatment the first time around I believed that I had little to no hope and even at ERC I had days where still felt there were things that I did not believe I could overcome.

In two years I have changed my life for the better…

Today I am back to doing what I love, which is writing.  I am able to write and read, which is something I was worried that I had lost forever.  In the throes of my eating disorder, I was unable to do either because of my lack of concentration.

Today I am able to participate in life again and not miss out on the things that I love most.  I am able to go to football and soccer games, watch them at home, feel the joy of fanaticism that I have always had in my heart.  ercThere is nothing like finding that joy again and embracing that part of myself that I love.

Today I am able to have relationships with people.  I have the kind of friendships that I want and deserve and that my friends deserve.  I am not so caught up in my eating disorder that I am unable to have any other relationship but with my eating disorder.  I am not alone and isolated, losing relationships because I would rather have my eating disorder instead.

Today I am overcoming and have overcome many issues that have plagued me for many years.  My fear foods list is now down to a very small number of items when I used to have a huge list of fears and only a small list of safe foods.  My eating disorder is nearly faded away.  The thoughts linger, especially in tough times, and haunt me sometimes, but behaviors are nowhere to be found.  Slowly, but surely, I am working on my body image and it is always improving.  I constantly work on trauma and rape and I have gone from not even being able to really mention it four years ago, barely talking about it two years ago, still blaming myself a year ago, to today and within the last six months finally not blaming myself and working through what happened.  The OCD will be next on my list to tackle though I have worked through quite a bit already.

Next month I will be returning to Denver, CO.  I will return to the area where I truly began my recovery journey.  I will return as a professional, not a patient.  I will return to attend the Binge Eating Disorder Association’s 5th Annual Conference.  There are few words to express the joy that I feel at this moment.  My life has shifted from illness to wellness, from existing to living.  Two years from now, I can only imagine what I will have accomplished, what will have changed in my life.  I am only too excited to find out and to go on that journey!