Do you think you have an eating disorder? Take the quiz.
Talk to a Masters-Level Clinician 1-877-825-8584Available Hours
 

Stories of Hope and Recovery

Overcoming an Eating Disorder

We believe that recovery is possible for anyone struggling with an eating disorder. It’s not always an easy journey and it takes time, but it is possible and it is worth it. We invite you to read these recovery stories from ERC alumni in hopes that you can be inspired and have hope that one day you’ll be able to tell your own story of recovery.

"I tell everybody, you don't have a choice to be sick, but you have a choice to recover. I've seen things on both sides and I don't want to go back to the other side because it wasn't good.”

Jenifer, 30

Houston, TX

WHICH TYPE OF EATING DISORDER DID YOU STRUGGLE WITH?

Bulimia.

WHICH ERC CENTER DID YOU GO TO FOR TREATMENT?

Houston.

WHAT HAVE YOU RECOVERED IN YOUR LIFE SINCE OVERCOMING YOUR EATING DISORDER?

My family. I became bulimic when I was 16 and I was pregnant with my first daughter. I hated myself and the mother that I was. After going through treatment at ERC, I learned a lot about myself and I learned who I was. I learned that I do deserve recovery and I do deserve a chance at life and living a healthy life.

Since leaving ERC, I worked extremely hard and put myself through school to study as a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor. I’m now working as an Admissions Counselor at a drug and alcohol treatment center. I’m also enrolled in college and working towards my Bachelor’s degree in Human Services so I can work in the field of mental health or social work. It was a dream of mine as a child to someday be a counselor and without ERC, those dreams would have never come true.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE CURRENTLY STRUGGLING WITH AN EATING DISORDER?

I would say it’s a process every day and it gets easier. You learn a lot of tools and a lot of skills and you have that choice. It’s a beautiful opportunity.

For family members, I would say that it’s very important to be supportive. Just to hang in there and don’t give up hope. You can’t do the work for the person that’s struggling. You can only be there to support them, gain knowledge, be aware of the signs, and be aware of what the person is going through. Try to be empathetic of what they’re going through and what they’ve been through.

HIDE FULL STORY

"I left ERC a completely different person. I haven't had one slip, or binge or purge since the day I walked in there, November 12th of 2014. It was a great experience. It literally saved my life.”

Alexandra, 27

Kansas City, MO

WHICH TYPE OF EATING DISORDER DID YOU STRUGGLE WITH?

I struggled with anorexia, and then when I entered ERC I was restricting, but I was also binging and purging and I was over exercising. I also struggled with alcoholism.

WHICH ERC CENTER DID YOU GO TO FOR TREATMENT?

Denver

WHAT HAVE YOU RECOVERED IN YOUR LIFE SINCE OVERCOMING YOUR EATING DISORDER?

I have recovered my voice. I have learned to set boundaries. Every day is still a struggle. I don’t think I’m in recovery anymore. I like to call it that I’m on a path to healing myself. I have a better relationship with my body and my body image. I still have some disorder thoughts, and some disorder images about my body, but I’m aware of that. I know that any time I’m feeling stressed or anxious, I don’t have to go binge and purge.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE CURRENTLY STRUGGLING WITH AN EATING DISORDER?

That’s always a tricky question, because I always think, “How did I do it? How have I not had one binge and purge? How did I stop?” Think about it, almost a year and a half ago I could barely go two hours without doing my eating disorder, and now I don’t think about binging and purging. The advice that I would give is just to keep holding on. If a person wants recovery that bad, then they will make it happen. Honestly, for me, I had to hit my rock bottom. My advice would just be patient, and to keep reminding yourself that it is a marathon and not a sprint.

"If there's even a question that you might need some help, go ahead and get the help. The longer you wait, the harder it is to separate the disorder from who you are.”

Jordan, 28

New York, NY

WHICH TYPE OF EATING DISORDER DID YOU STRUGGLE WITH?

I was first treated for anorexia when I was 13. I then relapsed and became an anorexic bulimic …  a bulimic … a binge-eater … every different type of eating disorder that you can have, I had.

WHICH ERC CENTER DID YOU GO TO FOR TREATMENT?

Dallas.

WHAT HAVE YOU RECOVERED IN YOUR LIFE SINCE OVERCOMING YOUR EATING DISORDER?

There’s a severe amount of anxiety and depression that goes into eating disorders and a lack of faith in yourself, and in your future, and in the fact that things can get better for you. There’s a foundation and a background that you really need to recover. That’s how it was for me. I gained a security that I didn’t have before. I learned skillsets that I, for some reason, didn’t have before.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE CURRENTLY STRUGGLING WITH AN EATING DISORDER?

The sooner you get into treatment, the better. I got into treatment within 6 months, which is probably a huge reason why I’m doing better now. I couldn’t imagine waiting or thinking you can fix it yourself, or getting a nutritionist or things like that. That’s just delaying the inevitability of getting sick.

HIDE FULL STORY

"I felt like people at ERC cared about me, and not just what I did. They really were concerned about who I was as a person. They loved me until I could love myself again.”

Kelli, 49

WHICH TYPE OF EATING DISORDER DID YOU STRUGGLE WITH?

Anorexia. I’m a recovering alcoholic also.

WHICH ERC CENTER DID YOU GO TO FOR TREATMENT?

WHAT HAVE YOU RECOVERED IN YOUR LIFE SINCE OVERCOMING YOUR EATING DISORDER?

Recovery has been really exciting for me because so much of my life was based in shame. No matter how good I was, no matter what I did to impress people, I always felt shame. It has been a huge burden lifted off of me.

I have also gained the ability to authentically connect with people. I had never, ever sat down and had coffee with somebody until I had been through treatment at ERC. I might go running with somebody, I might work on a project at work with somebody, but to sit down and have an intimate conversation with somebody, sharing about our lives, was extremely scary for me.

That’s one of my favorite things to do now, is to sit down and have coffee with somebody and be like, “Who are you, really?” Being able to look someone in the eye. Shame doesn’t cover everything that I do.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE CURRENTLY STRUGGLING WITH AN EATING DISORDER?

My biggest piece of advice to somebody considering treatment is to have even just a little willingness. A little bit of willingness to say, “You know what? Maybe I don’t have all the answers for how I think life should be.” Be willing to think, “Yeah. Maybe there’s something better out there. Maybe there is somebody who can help me.”

"I can't make other people want to recover but I can show them what recovery looks like. That's also been a gift for recovery, as well. I can't live other people's journeys for them, the best that I can do is show them what it looks like to be in recovery.”

Eric, 27

San Antonio, TX

WHICH TYPE OF EATING DISORDER DID YOU STRUGGLE WITH?

Originally anorexia and later on bulimia, as well.

WHICH ERC CENTER DID YOU GO TO FOR TREATMENT?

San Antonio, TX.

WHAT HAVE YOU RECOVERED IN YOUR LIFE SINCE OVERCOMING YOUR EATING DISORDER?

I have recovered connection. I have recovered grace. I have recovered possibilities. There’s so many things that I’ve recovered, it’s so hard to pin it.

The first thing is, the ability to be gentle and experience grace in my life. Whatever you want that word to mean. For me, it’s so many things. Possibilities to understand that when I think it’s over, or when I think it’s hard, or when I think it’s impossible, the gift of recovery is that anything is possible. I’m not going to live a damaged, messed up life. I really can recover so many things. I really can experience so many things. Especially healing. Remember that nothing is impossible. That I’ve come this far. Anything is possible. I’ve recovered the ability to say, “You’re worth it.”

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE CURRENTLY STRUGGLING WITH AN EATING DISORDER?

As far as families go, I tell them this is supposed to change you, so face the idea that things are going to change and you’re going to recover together. Especially, if it’s a child and a parent. Trust your child. You’re dealing with this, too, this isn’t just your child. This is supposed to change you, as well. Don’t be scared of that.

So often shame of having the disorder, or shame for a lot of the behaviors that go with the disorder, they scare us from recovery. The biggest gift you can give as a person in recovery is the ability to look someone in the eye and show them that you get it. There is just something about someone else who is going through that journey that you connect on such a different way. They’re not going to lie to you. They tell me sometimes, “This sucks. This is going to suck for a while and you’re okay.”

HIDE FULL STORY

"My second admission at ERC was the most challenging yet rewarding experience. I was more willing to give recovery a chance this time. I was finally ready to work through things.”

Lauren, 24

Denver, CO

WHICH TYPE OF EATING DISORDER DID YOU STRUGGLE WITH?

Anorexia.

WHICH ERC CENTER DID YOU GO TO FOR TREATMENT?

Denver.

WHAT HAVE YOU RECOVERED IN YOUR LIFE SINCE OVERCOMING YOUR EATING DISORDER?

I definitely feel more independent now. I’ve been able to let a lot of things go that would normally bother me, or stuff that I used to worry about that wasn’t a really big deal. Now I can focus on real life problems like school and dating and figuring out my finances, not how much I’m not going to eat today or how much I’m going to exercise.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE CURRENTLY STRUGGLING WITH AN EATING DISORDER?

It is a very long process. Nothing is going to happen overnight. I feel like it’s okay to go back to treatment if it’s necessary. It’s not a shameful thing. It’s better than sitting at home and letting yourself die. Admit that you do need help and let go. Allow people to help you and have them worry about your issues so you can focus on getting better.

"It really is worth it to be able to hug my friends and not have them worry that they were going to break me or that this might be the last time that they hug me. It's worth it to just be able to be in my life.”

Megan, 34

Spokane, WA

WHICH TYPE OF EATING DISORDER DID YOU STRUGGLE WITH?

Anorexia.

WHICH ERC CENTER DID YOU GO TO FOR TREATMENT?

Washington.

WHAT HAVE YOU RECOVERED IN YOUR LIFE SINCE OVERCOMING YOUR EATING DISORDER?

I am able to be honest with my family and friends instead of hiding things. If I’m having a difficult time, I let them know instead of hiding things until I’m in the hospital. It’s a value of mine, but the eating disorder really takes that away. And I’m able to be home and be in my community … be a part of my community … be with my friends.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE CURRENTLY STRUGGLING WITH AN EATING DISORDER?

My advice is to stick with it when you feel you can’t go anymore. Just one more step is all you need to take. One bite at a time. You don’t have to do everything all at once.

HIDE FULL STORY

"I didn't get to where I was without the support and help from Project Heal and Eating Recovery Center. When insurance started balking at covering treatment, Project Heal stepped in and made it possible for me to continue. I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't be with my fiancé and getting married next year. I wouldn't have my daughter. I wouldn't have my step-son. I would probably be in my own little dark place, hiding, counting calories, looking at food, looking at labels. Not fun. I enjoy my life now.”

Adam, 29

Davis, CA

WHICH TYPE OF EATING DISORDER DID YOU STRUGGLE WITH?

Anorexia.

WHICH ERC CENTER DID YOU GO TO FOR TREATMENT?

Sacramento.

WHAT HAVE YOU RECOVERED IN YOUR LIFE SINCE OVERCOMING YOUR EATING DISORDER?

I recovered the ties with my family and friends. I was really mean during my eating disorder. I never stood up for myself.  By going into treatment and being recovered, it helped me to re-bond with my parents and my brother and my fiancé.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE CURRENTLY STRUGGLING WITH AN EATING DISORDER?

My fiancé (who is also recovering from an eating disorder) and I still have rough days. We’re very open and honest with each other. If she’s struggling, I sit with her, listen, and try to guide her through it.

So, if there’s anyone out there who is struggling I would say, don’t be afraid of help. I know a lot of people are afraid of help. At least I was because I thought getting rid of my eating disorder was like getting rid of my soul. It was scary.

If someone comes to you and says, “Hey, I’m concerned about you,” I would listen because they just want what’s best for you.

"It's not just an eating disorder. It's not just behaviors. There is something underlying there that is causing you to engage in those behaviors, and you have to get to the meat of it.”

Monqueescha

Denver, CO

WHICH TYPE OF EATING DISORDER DID YOU STRUGGLE WITH?

Bulimia.

WHICH ERC CENTER DID YOU GO TO FOR TREATMENT?

Denver.

WHAT HAVE YOU RECOVERED IN YOUR LIFE SINCE OVERCOMING YOUR EATING DISORDER?

I’ve changed my perspective on the way I see things now. I’ve learned to prioritize not around the eating disorder, but around the quality of life, and how important that is to me.  I have a support system in order to continue to reach goals I set—and they can be big goals or small goals—but just doing things out of my comfort zone.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE CURRENTLY STRUGGLING WITH AN EATING DISORDER?

The main thing is you have to believe in yourself, to get a great team like ERC, and try not to sabotage yourself, because you’re your worst enemy.

HIDE FULL STORY

"I never really knew what happiness and contentment felt like. It's something that you can never really understand or explain until you feel it.”

Nicole, 30

Seattle, WA

WHICH TYPE OF EATING DISORDER DID YOU STRUGGLE WITH?

Anorexia.

WHICH ERC CENTER DID YOU GO TO FOR TREATMENT?

Denver.

WHAT HAVE YOU RECOVERED IN YOUR LIFE SINCE OVERCOMING YOUR EATING DISORDER?

Many people will tell you that the sparkle of life is back in my eye! I had hit rock-bottom in my eating disorder and found myself sick of being sick. I told myself that I had to commit to at least one year of recovery, and the only way I would know if I would recover would be to put my heart and soul in it one hundred and twenty percent.

My main goal was to find what I was passionate about again. I began to backpack around the world. Last year I traveled solo through Taiwan, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Iceland. It was so empowering doing this alone and feeling strong and capable again. I also started my own photography business and enjoy working with small children and seeing life through their eyes.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE CURRENTLY STRUGGLING WITH AN EATING DISORDER?

Take some time to create a “dream board” for inspiration. Brainstorm what you need to do to fulfill some of those dreams, and put your focus on that. Find your passion, and the rest will follow. Don’t think about it all too much, just do it.

"It’s cliché, but your best day in recovery really is better than your worst day in your illness. There is no life inside of an eating disorder.”

Chris, 33

Denver, CO

WHICH TYPE OF EATING DISORDER DID YOU STRUGGLE WITH?

Anorexia.

WHICH ERC CENTER DID YOU GO TO FOR TREATMENT?

Denver.

WHAT HAVE YOU RECOVERED IN YOUR LIFE SINCE OVERCOMING YOUR EATING DISORDER?

I’ve developed the ability to be present with my life. Before entering treatment, I had no real concept of my own identity outside of my eating disorder.  Since leaving treatment, I’ve discovered a new life that I didn’t think was possible.  I’ve connected with my children. I’ve discovered just how much I love kids, and have re-discovered just how deeply I love my own children.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE CURRENTLY STRUGGLING WITH AN EATING DISORDER?

Have compassion for yourself and your process. Understand that recovery is a process and that it’s going to take a lot of time and hard work to overcome your eating disorder. Know that recovery is possible and that you can do it. Finally, be patient with yourself during the journey.

HIDE FULL STORY

"I will never resort back to my full eating disorder ever again. I've never felt better about my body. It takes time, but that time is worth it. I never thought I would say that.”

Savannah

Austin, TX

WHICH TYPE OF EATING DISORDER DID YOU STRUGGLE WITH?

Anorexia.

WHICH ERC CENTER DID YOU GO TO FOR TREATMENT?

Denver.

WHAT HAVE YOU RECOVERED IN YOUR LIFE SINCE OVERCOMING YOUR EATING DISORDER?

I don’t have body image issues every day. I don’t have to look at food and feel like I can’t have it.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE CURRENTLY STRUGGLING WITH AN EATING DISORDER?

That it’s going to be one of the hardest challenges you’ll ever go through, but it is the most rewarding outcome that you may possibly have. It’s hard. It’s hard on the family. It’s hard on the individual. There are a lot of things that have to come out … the truth has to come out. Being truthful was part of me being free and being honest. That honestly led to, “Alright, let’s do this.”

"My biggest motivators were learning to communicate with my family and taking into account all the things I value in my life. I didn't want to go back in that place where I was hurting my friends and my family. ERC helped me with all of that.”

Stacy, 28

Indianapolis, IN

WHICH TYPE OF EATING DISORDER DID YOU STRUGGLE WITH?

Diabulimia.

WHICH ERC CENTER DID YOU GO TO FOR TREATMENT?

Denver.

WHAT HAVE YOU RECOVERED IN YOUR LIFE SINCE OVERCOMING YOUR EATING DISORDER?

The trust of my family and friends. In an eating disorder you hide things and so you lose that trust. My family now trusts me more and they know that I’ll come to them if I’m struggling or need to talk. The relationship with my family and friends has been the biggest change that I’ve seen.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE CURRENTLY STRUGGLING WITH AN EATING DISORDER?

Use your friends and family, if they’re willing. Use them for support and use your voice to openly communicate so they know what’s going on. Keep them in the loop.

HIDE FULL STORY

"I left the ERC 5 years ago full of knowledge, hope, and determination to continue my recovery. Thank you to the supportive, caring, and compassionate staff that never gave up on me. I never would be where I am today without their support. Recovery has been challenging, trying, but the most beautiful journey in discovering my true self.”

Brandi, 39

Seattle, WA

WHICH TYPE OF EATING DISORDER DID YOU STRUGGLE WITH?

Anorexia

WHICH ERC CENTER DID YOU GO TO FOR TREATMENT?

Denver

WHAT HAVE YOU RECOVERED IN YOUR LIFE SINCE OVERCOMING YOUR EATING DISORDER?

I am able to be fully present in life with my husband and children. I am able to love and be loved, laugh, and create precious memories. I can confidently say I am the best mom and wife that I knew I was meant to be.
 
Furthermore, I have freedom to live life to the fullest. I no longer hear the voice in my head telling me I'm not good enough. I have the courage to face all of life’s challenges head on. I feel strong and confident in who I am and what I can accomplish.
 

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE CURRENTLY STRUGGLING WITH AN EATING DISORDER?

Please reach out for help. I was a mother with two small children, and was terrified to leave them for an unknown period of time. The reality is that if I wouldn’t have entered treatment they would not have the Mom they have today.
 
Recovery is possible and there is an amazing life out there waiting to be discovered. You just have to learn to trust and let go. I gave my trust to the ERC and I feel they saved my life.
 

"The heart of my eating disorder started with obsession, with exercise and compensatory behaviors. It consumed my entire life. It wasn't until April 13th of 2015 that I decided that I was tired. I was mentally exhausted. I was tired of fighting this war inside myself every single day and I made the decision that there had to be more to my life than this.”

Joanna, 33

Sacramento, CA

WHICH TYPE OF EATING DISORDER DID YOU STRUGGLE WITH?

Anorexia and bulimia

WHICH ERC CENTER DID YOU GO TO FOR TREATMENT?

Sacramento

WHAT HAVE YOU RECOVERED IN YOUR LIFE SINCE OVERCOMING YOUR EATING DISORDER?

My life. I made the choice to take back control of my life by giving up the life that I had known. It allows me to not fight a war inside my head, which allows me to be present in my own life. I'm able to truly connect with people on a more authentic and more vulnerable level. Connection is one of my biggest core values and when you are so wrapped up in your eating disorder that it consumes your every single waking moment, you miss out on a lot of things in your life. You miss out on key moments that you look back and you can't ever get those back.
 

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE CURRENTLY STRUGGLING WITH AN EATING DISORDER?

Recovery is a process. It takes time and patience. It takes everything that you have. Realize and understand that recovery is not perfect for somebody who struggles with eating disorders, perfectionism and wanting things to fit a mold. Those things are valued within the eating disorder. Trying to follow the path of something that isn't perfect and doesn't follow a straight line can be messy and uncomfortable. It’s extremely hard, but I would do it all over again to get where I am today.
 
There's a Brene Brown quote from one of her books that became my mantra through recovery: "Sometimes what you're most afraid of doing is the very thing that will set you free."
 

HIDE FULL STORY

"Trust that life is better without your disorder. Trust that these people who have gone through recovery, are fully recovered and speaking and giving their perspective aren't just saying it. There is so much more in life to gain and experience.”

Jonathan, 26

Kansas City, MO

WHICH TYPE OF EATING DISORDER DID YOU STRUGGLE WITH?

Anorexia (purge-type) along with compulsive exercising, “orthorexia”, obsessive compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety and depression.

WHICH ERC CENTER DID YOU GO TO FOR TREATMENT?

Denver

WHAT HAVE YOU RECOVERED IN YOUR LIFE SINCE OVERCOMING YOUR EATING DISORDER?

Finding out who I really am.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE CURRENTLY STRUGGLING WITH AN EATING DISORDER?

I know a lot of people say, "Your worst day in recovery is better than your best day in your disorder."

 

I wouldn't have gotten closer with my family and my friends and I wouldn't have experienced so much had I not decided that I was worth fighting for and that there's more to my life than running and restricting. Having faith in that and seeing other people's examples and realizing that you are worth it, as well, is one of the biggest things. Trust that you can actually get through it. Recovery is very hard but it's one of the most rewarding things that you can do for yourself.

 

"I'm much more recovered than I ever thought was possible. My life looks completely different in ways that I didn't anticipate when I first went into treatment. It wasn't just food and eating that changed, it was a complete lifestyle change for me in a very positive way.”

Laura, 28

Denver, CO

WHICH TYPE OF EATING DISORDER DID YOU STRUGGLE WITH?

Bulimia.

WHICH ERC CENTER DID YOU GO TO FOR TREATMENT?

Denver.

WHAT HAVE YOU RECOVERED IN YOUR LIFE SINCE OVERCOMING YOUR EATING DISORDER?

I think relationships have changed the most significantly in my life. Before treatment at ERC, I wasn't willing to talk about my eating disorder with anyone and that put up a significant barrier. I lived alone, sometimes literally, but definitely emotionally. I was very private. My eating disorder was very private, and because it became such a huge part of my life I felt very lonely. I felt a lot of shame. It was very scary.
 
Now I'm able to have intimate relationships. I’m able to talk about my eating disorder and my recovery with even the closest people in my life. That's been met with a lot of love and support, which is the opposite of what I thought was going to happen.
 

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE CURRENTLY STRUGGLING WITH AN EATING DISORDER?

There's a myth around waiting to until things are really bad before pursuing treatment. That's something I wish I had known: it was okay to seek treatment at any time. You don't need to reach a certain level. I think there is this kind of culture of "I'm not sick enough, it's not bad enough, I don't need help." Especially if there aren't real big physical consequences happening at that time.
 

HIDE FULL STORY

"Getting treatment ultimately saved me. The treatment team full of vigilant professionals is needed to fight such a serious and fast acting disease. Just sitting down and saying, "I want something better for myself and also for those around me" is the first real step towards recovery.”

Madeleine, 18

Dallas, TX

WHICH TYPE OF EATING DISORDER DID YOU STRUGGLE WITH?

Anorexia

WHICH ERC CENTER DID YOU GO TO FOR TREATMENT?

Denver and Dallas

WHAT HAVE YOU RECOVERED IN YOUR LIFE SINCE OVERCOMING YOUR EATING DISORDER?

Freedom, for sure. I've recovered joy, true joy, laughter. What else? So many things. Life. Fun experiences with friends and family like going out to dinner and not having to obsess about what I’m going to eat.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE CURRENTLY STRUGGLING WITH AN EATING DISORDER?

I think the first thing to do is realize that starting recovery is scary. It is the hardest thing I've ever done. I learned that doing it for myself is what ultimately helped me begin my recovery. When I was first in treatment I was doing it for my parents. If you're not doing it for yourself, then it's not worth it.

"I was kicking and screaming when I first went in. I didn't want to be away from my kids and had to make arrangements. I thought I knew more about food, nutrition, and my control over things than they did. I was very fearful of becoming obese again and wanted all my control. Gradually I realized they knew what they were doing. The treatment plan and treatment system saved my life. ”

Margie, 55

WHICH TYPE OF EATING DISORDER DID YOU STRUGGLE WITH?

Binge eating disorder and then anorexia.

WHICH ERC CENTER DID YOU GO TO FOR TREATMENT?

Sacramento.

WHAT HAVE YOU RECOVERED IN YOUR LIFE SINCE OVERCOMING YOUR EATING DISORDER?

I have recovered a self-awareness that I can't say I had before. Recovery has bumps along the way – highs and lows. Sometimes you overeat and worry about it and sometimes you under-eat and worry about it. Now I’m aware of where I am. I still have a lot of aftercare that I seek to keep me on track … that I depend upon. I have not put myself into a relapse at all in three years. I attribute that to continuing self-care.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE CURRENTLY STRUGGLING WITH AN EATING DISORDER?

The best, the biggest advice I can give is just stay the course and trust. You have to trust that this center has the most knowledge. Even though you think you have all the knowledge and you think that you are most in control of your body and you know what's best, you don't, because you wouldn't be in that position of needing their help if you did.
 

HIDE FULL STORY

"It's a difficult process, but as time goes on and you do the opposite of what your eating disorder wants you to do, it gets easier and easier.”

Marissa, 25

Lenexa, KS

WHICH TYPE OF EATING DISORDER DID YOU STRUGGLE WITH?

Anorexia.

WHICH ERC CENTER DID YOU GO TO FOR TREATMENT?

Denver.

WHAT HAVE YOU RECOVERED IN YOUR LIFE SINCE OVERCOMING YOUR EATING DISORDER?

I've recovered relationships. Not just my relationship with my boyfriend, but family relationships, and social relationships with friends. I'm able to interact with other people and not have the whole focus of my mind be on food and the eating disorder. I’m able to go and have fun with everyone in my life and enjoy their company.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE CURRENTLY STRUGGLING WITH AN EATING DISORDER?

It is going to be hard. It's going to be difficult. An eating disorder isn't an easy thing to overcome, but with a lot of support, if you want recovery badly enough, you'll do what it takes to get there.
 

"The first thing I would tell someone is that I was where you are right now. I'd tell you, it needs to change because this is not who you really are. You're a different person and you need to find it. ”

Michael, 34

Marion, OH

WHICH TYPE OF EATING DISORDER DID YOU STRUGGLE WITH?

Binge Eating Disorder (BED).

WHICH ERC CENTER DID YOU GO TO FOR TREATMENT?

Chicago.

WHAT HAVE YOU RECOVERED IN YOUR LIFE SINCE OVERCOMING YOUR EATING DISORDER?

I would say I haven't recovered anything yet; I'm still in recovery. I got my bracelet at the NEDA Walk in Chicago. I left mine blank. I left mine blank because there's not just one thing I need to recover from. I left it blank because I will constantly be in recovery. I want it blank as my reminder that it's not just this one thing, it's a life. It's everything combined. 

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE CURRENTLY STRUGGLING WITH AN EATING DISORDER?

If they're not sure what to do; not sure where to go; reach out to somebody, anybody because there's somebody out there who knows of someplace to go. If you're not talking to anybody, you're not getting any help. You have to admit to yourself, “Hey I have an issue and I have to get it taken care of” The first step is acceptance. Accept that you have to get help. 

HIDE FULL STORY

"I went to ERC, and my life changed because I didn't focus on being the perfect patient there. I was far from the perfect patient there. It was so painful digging down deep into why this all happened. In that work that set me free from my eating disorder.”

Michayla, 25

Boulder, CO

WHICH TYPE OF EATING DISORDER DID YOU STRUGGLE WITH?

Bulimia.

WHICH ERC CENTER DID YOU GO TO FOR TREATMENT?

Denver.

WHAT HAVE YOU RECOVERED IN YOUR LIFE SINCE OVERCOMING YOUR EATING DISORDER?

I found myself again. I laughed more than I had in years when I was at ERC with people. Slowly my personality began to unlock, and I began singing in the shower again which is something I didn't do for years. Me singing brings me so much joy.
 

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE CURRENTLY STRUGGLING WITH AN EATING DISORDER?

If somebody has a friend or family member that they feel are struggling, I wouldn't skirt around it. I would address it head on. For a while my fiancée wouldn't say anything because he was afraid he'd make me upset, when deep down I really wish he did say something to me. Because I think it would have been such a relief at the time. So I would address it carefully, I wouldn't be really aggressive about it, but I would say something. Just speak up. Because maybe they do want help but they don't know how to.
 

"Recovery is so worth anything that you have to give up in the moment or life plans that you have to adjust. It was devastating to leave school, leave my friends, move away and put my life on hold so I could go into treatment, but it was so, so worth it.”

Rosie, 20

Anderson, SC

WHICH TYPE OF EATING DISORDER DID YOU STRUGGLE WITH?

Bulimia and anorexia.

WHICH ERC CENTER DID YOU GO TO FOR TREATMENT?

The Carolinas.

WHAT HAVE YOU RECOVERED IN YOUR LIFE SINCE OVERCOMING YOUR EATING DISORDER?

Life is the first thing. And I’d also say freedom, because being in an eating disorder feels like you're imprisoned.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE CURRENTLY STRUGGLING WITH AN EATING DISORDER?

My first piece of advice is to be completely honest with yourself. Look at your life and look at your behaviors and ask yourself if they're serving you. And then second of all, and this is a really hard thing to do, trust the people who are trying to help you and do whatever is necessary.
 
This is something that you continually learn in treatment, but understand that your eating disorder, or your loved one's eating disorder, is not a choice. It is not something that they chose to do one day and full recovery is possible

HIDE FULL STORY

"I just hope I've been able to convey how grateful I am for all the help I had and that I have a life again.”

Sandy

Denver, CO

WHICH TYPE OF EATING DISORDER DID YOU STRUGGLE WITH?

Anorexia.

WHICH ERC CENTER DID YOU GO TO FOR TREATMENT?

Denver.

WHAT HAVE YOU RECOVERED IN YOUR LIFE SINCE OVERCOMING YOUR EATING DISORDER?

I've recovered life! I've rediscovered what life is all about. I have relationships. I have a clear brain now that's not totally distracted by my eating disorder. There's so much out there. I recently had cataract surgery so I can see so much better now, and that's sort of the same with having recovered from an eating disorder. It's like waking up to a brand new world. I'm just totally grateful.

 

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE CURRENTLY STRUGGLING WITH AN EATING DISORDER?

It’s hard to actually accept that you really do have an eating disorder. The denial, it's so strong, but I think that one just has to actually surrender to the fact that yes, I have this problem. That's a very difficult thing to do.
 
And if you have someone you love who is going through this, try to be supportive, love the person that's going through this challenge. Just be there for them and try to encourage them.
 

"Learning to communicate with my family and taking into account all of the things that I do value in my life, those were the biggest motivators for me in recovery.”

Stacy

Indianapolis, IN

WHICH TYPE OF EATING DISORDER DID YOU STRUGGLE WITH?

Diabulimia.

WHICH ERC CENTER DID YOU GO TO FOR TREATMENT?

Denver.

WHAT HAVE YOU RECOVERED IN YOUR LIFE SINCE OVERCOMING YOUR EATING DISORDER?

The relationship with my family and friends has been the biggest change that I've seen. You see, in an eating disorder you hide things and so you lose trust. ERC taught me to open lines of communication. Being able to communicate with them has helped because I can now tell them things. I don't have to be deceptive. I don't have to lie and feel bad about it. My family trusts me more. They know that I'll come to them if I'm struggling or need to talk.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE SOMEONE CURRENTLY STRUGGLING WITH AN EATING DISORDER?

Use your friends and family for support, if they're willing. Use your friends and family and your voice so that they know what's going on. Keep them in the loop.
 

HIDE FULL STORY
chat with us

Eating Recovery Center is accredited through the Joint Commission. This organization seeks to enhance the lives of the persons served in healthcare settings through a consultative accreditation process emphasizing quality, value and optimal outcomes of services.

Organizations that earn the Gold Seal of Approval™ have met or exceeded The Joint Commission’s rigorous performance standards to obtain this distinctive and internationally recognized accreditation. Learn more about this accreditation here.

Joint Commission Seal