Road to Recovery by Grace

I am empowered and poised because I overcame an eating disorder. I struggled with anorexia nervosa, orthorexia, and exercise bulimia for years until I finally found help and recovered.

My eating disorder began in the fourth grade and spiraled out of control when I was fifteen years old. My illness inflicted so much misery on myself and my loved ones, but my recovery changed who I am as a person.

Because I struggled with a disease that is both physical and mental, I learned compassion at a young age. I learned to see the most beautiful, fine details in life after spending years criticizing myself. It took all of the hope and courage I could muster to hurdle that obstacle; but now that I am on the other side, I appreciate that I am empathetic towards others.

I began my recovery in September 2015. I learned a variety of coping strategies from clinics, therapists, books, and online. My first move was to cut myself off from magazines and websites that triggered my negative self-image. Then, I reintroduced foods back into my diet that I refused to eat before. I began to detach myself from my eating disorder by giving it a name and referring to it as a monster- a tool I at first found ridiculous and eventually came to peace with. I spent more time rebuilding my relationships with my family and friends. All in all, I made this time all about my soul: I paid no attention to the way my body looked and instead focused on improving who I was as a human being. This journey of self-discovery changed who I am. I did my best to integrate my recovery into my daily life, and as a result, I did not relapse. But it was a mindful, conscious effort 24/7, and while it was challenging physically and mentally, I came out feeling like I could conquer anything.

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I feel empowered and poised because I am speaking out about my illness with grace. Now that I am finally revealing my most challenging experience, I am begging for a change in the way society views eating disorders. Eating disorders are stigmatized to no end, which is why I always felt humiliated by my experience. I am no longer ashamed- my anorexia recovery made me the woman I am today, and I take pride in my improvement. I battled with myself and my eating disorder until I finally learned the true value and meaning of self-love. There is absolutely no reason to be embarrassed by such a detrimental disease. Eating disorders unfortunately affect numerous men and women, and I am calling for the end to the stigma. It is time we take a stand on this serious health issue that affects so many people.

In the future, I hope to work with other bloggers to spread awareness and provide help for those who need it. I will also be sharing more helpful advice on my blog, Heavenlee Penny’s, in the hopes that sharing from my personal experience can help others.

My recovery does not make me feel ashamed- it makes me feel empowered and poised. Now, I would like to empower others to fight against the beast that is anorexia nervosa. I am putting an end to the stigma- time’s up!