Recovery

Breaking Out of Mental Illness Confinement

For the longest time I felt like I was trapped in a box. I felt isolated and it felt like the life that I always wanted to live was so far out of reach.

I have always wanted to travel; I wanted to see what was beyond the comfort of my backyard and experience everything this world has to offer. However, between my eating disorder, anxiety and depression, the idea of travelling seemed unimaginable. Living with such illnesses, I would say, feels like you are carrying around a ton of extra weight.

Happiness: Awareness of the Body and Mind

The Objective of Life: In my opinion, it is to live a fulfilled life free of pain and suffering. Having said that, hardships are often inevitable. However, I do believe that we can sometimes manifest our own problems in our lives, specifically relating to our bodies. Through my own personal experiences, I have recognized my own body concerns as being tied to preoccupations of my mind. The culture of the mind can play a major role in the organization of one’s life, including the perception of the self. Negative thinking pathways in our minds, like negative self-talk, can lead you to feel like a prisoner in your own body, which I experienced before finding the pathway of recovery and happiness.

Sh*t People Say

“You look healthy.”

         I heard this often when I first recovered from anorexia nervosa, and it sent my head whirling with thoughts such as: “What do they mean? How bad did I look before?  Am I too healthy?” A simple, seemingly positive remark made me feel confused and irrational. I knew people were trying to make me feel good, tell me in their own ways that they were relieved I had changed my life for the better, but it was hard to accept my changing body; never mind what others thought.

Dear 2005 Me

 

Dear 2005 Me,

I have been fighting anorexia for more than 10 years. It was getting to the point where I thought anorexia was going to be present for the rest of my life.  If you are where I was, fighting and falling and wanting to give up, have hope. Recovery is possible.

 

That Girl Could Have Been Me

I don’t think that one can ever be fully prepared for working in the  field of eating disorder awareness and support. Having a strong background in mental health, addictions and crisis work, I thought that working as a placement student at NEDIC would be similar. However, nothing could have prepared me for the learning that was ahead. In particular, an invaluable lesson that I learned during my time with NEDIC is the importance of practicing self-care.

Where the Magic Happens

Believe it or not, the first time I saw this image above was on an episode of Girls on HBO. It’s a great show and, for sure, one of my not-so-guilty pleasures. I can't recall the exact scenario for how it came up but I remember the main character, played by Lena Dunham, sitting in some sort of job interview and seeing a poster with "Where the magic happens" in a big circle with a much smaller circle off to the side which was labeled, "Your comfort zone."  I recall from that episode how Dunham's character just sat there and stared at the poster on the wall, contemplating the meaning.

When Being "You" Is Not Enough

As a graduate student entering my final year of post-secondary education, I have finally come to accept that it’s okay to not be perfect, not please everyone, and to ask for “me” time without feeling guilty. It took over eight years of battling my inner critic and an eating disorder recovery program to come to this realization.

Gaining a New Perspective

In Western society, the idea of gaining weight is often viewed as the ultimate sin. We associate weight gain with failure, while we view weight loss as a sign of strength. For me, I wanted to get smaller, because I craved acceptance, even though it was acceptance from a superficial place.

 

Book of Hope - Our Shared Story

 

When it finally hit my how sick our daughter was, I almost collapsed. We had just come home from a doctor’s appointment (the second in eight days) and it was suddenly crystal clear how rapid and uncontrolled her weight loss was… By the time I got home, I was shaking uncontrollably, my lips were numb, I couldn’t feel my fingertips and I wasn’t sure if my legs would carry me up the steps.”

Pages