Please take a moment to watch this short video to hear about My Story of eating disorder recovery, or you can skip the video and just read the text version that follows the video.
Thank you for watching My Story of Eating Disorder Recovery. Figuring out who I am and what I believe was an important part of this journey!
Do you know who you are? Do you know what you believe? If you’re interested in taking a baby step towards finding out, click here to download a copy of my PDF, “Who Am I & What Do I Believe?”
My Story – The Text Version
Hello there! My name is Kristen. I use the pronouns she and her.
My Journey – My Story of Eating Disorder Recovery
When I was 18 years old, I developed an eating disorder.
Imagine my surprise, and disappointment, to find myself still fully engulfed in the eating disorder 20 years later.
I was 38-years-old and I wasn’t in great health – physically, emotionally, or mentally.
I was at a crossroads, so to speak. And this was a turning point for me.
I had two choices.
One was to continue on the same road which, at that point, I was beginning to admit I didn’t like very much.
My other choice was to pick another road, one that I had no idea where it would take me.
I wanted to believe the other road would take me to new and wonderful places and so, I decided to pick the other road.
It was the road of life and it began with me reaching out to my family doctor for help.
She referred me to an outpatient treatment program at a local hospital.
And that’s when the journey began…
Treatment, or rather giving up long-held behaviors that had numbed me to life’s roller coaster of emotion, revealed a deep, dark depression within me.
This made recovery hard as hell!
I fought though. And I won.
But then I started to lose again.
The darkness had a stronghold on me.
Even though I had “physically” recovered from the eating disorder, I remained unwell.
And, by unwell, I mean deeply unhappy.
So much so that I had several encounters with relapse and struggled to find the motivation to keep myself in recovery, to keep going.
Maintaining recovery took so much effort. I didn’t know if I could do it.
Enter a period of seeking for answers.
I spent years sifting through religion, yoga, mindfulness, and other spiritual practices.
And, after many years of learning, practicing, trying different techniques, and really just engaging in a long process of trial and error, I discovered that the small world of right versus wrong, good versus bad, that I’d lived in for so long wasn’t all there was to this world.
There was more.
And for me, that was life-changing!
Because a small blip on the surface of my life gave me a glimpse of something I hadn’t known before.
And, that is, I am innocent.
Now, for anyone who has an eating disorder, suffers with depression, and lives by a strict code of guilt and fear, you will understand how hard a thing this is to imagine about yourself.
But there I was, here I am, standing in my own innocence, believing with all my heart that I am special and cared for beyond belief.
The Universe has my back and I am not alone.
What Does This Have to Do with Eating Disorder Recovery?
In my experience, everything!
This is because, when I identified myself as guilty, I seemed to choose behaviors that reflected what I thought guilty people deserved…which was punishment.
But, when I saw myself as not guilty – as actually innocent – I found myself making entirely different choices, choices that weren’t driven by guilt and fear, but instead were motivated by care and concern and love.
I began to see that my behaviors and actions stemmed from an internal sense of who I am.
My eating disorder behaviors were rooted in something far deeper than a biological/physical problem.
They were rooted in a lack of knowledge of who I am.
And so, the ultimate question for me became, “Who am I?”
Now, I don’t have all the answers to life’s great questions, but I do have the answer to this one.
Who am I?
I am innocent. So are you.
The Levels of Myself – My Story of Eating Disorder Recovery Continues
Finding and building MY relationship with innocence became the ultimate practice for me.
And it’s ongoing, to this day.
The practice began with eating disorder recovery on a physical level, which is often where these types of journeys begin.
And it has progressed to a journey of personal discovery on an emotional and spiritual level.
Through my own journey, I came to find that I am more than just a body and a mind.
I am also emotion and spirit…and these two components, I have found, seem to be the driving forces of my thoughts and behaviors.
I’ve done a significant amount of work at the physical and cognitive levels in order to recover from my eating disorder.
And, I believe this was incredibly valuable and important work that needed to be done.
And there’s a vast field of talented and trained professionals who can assist in this area – I used psychiatrists, psychologists, doctors, nurses, dietitians, and more – and each were absolutely necessary parts of my treatment and for my overall growth and development in recovery from the eating disorder.
They were a necessary part of MY journey.
However, after having worked so hard at the physical and cognitive levels, I still found myself struggling.
And, it was at this point that I decided to venture deeper into myself to care for my emotional wounds and to build my relationship with myself and with my Source.
With the addition of this piece to my recovery-discovery journey, I have been able to find and experience greater levels of personal peace and freedom.
And this is something that, I believe, everyone has access to and is absolutely deserving of.
What I Do
And so, this is what I do.
I provide emotional support and guidance to those in eating disorder recovery who are struggling to make lasting change and who are willing and open to exploring the emotional and spiritual layers of their identity so that they can begin to experience a sense of personal peace and freedom.
When you understand your true nature, making decisions in your life that align with who you authentically are require less effort and just feel more natural.
It’s not a quick-fix.
It’s a deeply personal journey that can take time, but it doesn’t have to be taken alone.
One Final Thing: What Does My Piece of Yoga Have to Do with It?
Yoga was, and is, a practice that has helped me grow in my awareness of myself, which ultimately has led to my own eating disorder recovery.
But it wasn’t a traditional and formal practice that helped me form and shape myself into something else, something perceived as “better”.
It was a practice I entered into that ended up showing me where I needed to let go in order to start becoming who I am.
Yoga was a process of self-discovery that I entered in to, a process of building and growing into my own awareness.
And it couldn’t have been more personal.
Hence, MY Piece of Yoga.
My yoga is my own.
It is non-traditional and non-conformist.
It is a combination of a variety of practices and techniques that I have learned and adopted because they have helped me.
Eating disorder recovery is a process of self-discovery and that is what I help others enter into. I cannot tell you where to go but I can hold your hand and help you through.
I cannot tell you where to go because you are your own “captain”, but I can help you on your way.
This is My Story of Eating Disorder Recovery. Figuring out who I am and what I believe was an important part of this journey!
Do you know who you are? Do you know what you believe? If you’re interested in taking a baby step towards finding out, download a copy of my PDF, “Who Am I & What Do I Believe?”
If you are in a crisis situation and require immediate assistance, please contact your local emergency services department. You can also contact NEDA’s Helpline for support, resources, and treatment options for yourself or a loved one. NEDA Helpline volunteers are trained to help you find the information and support you are looking for.