It’s been two years since my discharge from in-patient care at Renfrew. I really cannot believe it. A lot has happened since then—I’ve learned so much and experienced so many things. But writing this post, the predominant emotions I feel are pride and gratitude.
I am so proud of myself for getting to this point. Recovery has been a turbulent journey, with unending twists and turns—but I’m here. I’m living, breathing, and thinking clearly. Recovery is not linear, but that does not negate its value in any way.
I remember how I felt after in-patient discharge; I was so consumed with thoughts of my experience at Renfrew, and couldn’t imagine what it would be like without constantly remembering them. I felt isolated and alone, the sole harborer of these emotions.
Of course, time is the ultimate tool of healing—day by day, I was able to let go of the anxiety these memories elicited and live without being tormented by them. But occasionally, I’ll be reminded of something that occurred during my time at treatment, or think back to the emotions I had when I was deep in my ED. It’ll be a scent that reminds me of the therapist I had, or a memory of how cold I felt, or a recollection of the friendships I had formed.
At these moments, I feel overwhelmed with gratitude.
I really cannot stress this enough, but EDs are scary. They warp your perceptions and distort your mental processes. They’ll try to convince you that you aren’t sick enough, or that you don’t deserve help. They will quite literally change the way you see your body or interpret what people say.
And I am grateful that I chose recovery. I still vividly remember the moment when I was presented with the option of treatment. I felt as if I were in a tunnel, with no end in sight—but my choice was between treatment or, to be frank, dying. I chose life, and I am overwhelmingly grateful that I did.
Yes, treatment was scary. Of course it was! It was scary because it felt like I was giving up control, and control was precisely what my ED wanted. However, choosing to get better was the best decision I’ve ever made.
I feel warm, strong, and joyful. I am able to experience an incredibly wide array of emotions, and I have the energy to do so. I feel excited for life.
The small changes are even more impactful. Fighting against habits that objectively don’t seem to be a big deal—and that you could get away with continuing—means the most. For instance, being excited for a meal and sharing your excitement with others; choosing what you want to have from a menu, not what you think you should have; eating when you are hungry, not when the clock says you can; enjoying something that was once a fear food, and not even realizing it used to be a fear food until much later; etc.
These small things feel so exhilaratingly freeing.
My recovery has been far from perfect. I still have days when I feel insecure. Even so, I continue to fight for recovery, because life ED-free is so indescribably beautiful.
Everyone deserves help. I know it can seem like your struggles aren’t a big deal, and treatment can be daunting. EDs thrive off of isolation and a sense of control; getting help is diametrically opposed to these conditions. Yet, recovery is worth it. Regardless of your circumstances, you deserve to feel happy and energetic. You deserve a chance to live life to its fullest.
I am always here if you need to talk. You can reach me through my Instagram or gmail. I love you all. 💗💗💗