Proud2Bme | Lauren's Story: "Recovery takes a lot of courage"

Lauren's Story: "Recovery takes a lot of courage"

By Jen Rubino--At only 21, my friend Lauren has been through more than most people twice her age. She has shown so much courage and her story is so inspiring.

I think other girls struggling with eating disorders or body image issues can learn a lot from her.

From a young age, Lauren struggled with anorexia and bulimia. Her eating disorders became much worse in high school and college when her weight dropped to a dangerously low level. Like many young women who struggle with eating disorders, Lauren was isolating herself from the world because of her fear of being forced to eat. The only person she did spent much time with was a fellow friend struggling with an eating disorder, which only made matters worse. At its worst point, Lauren’s eating disorder became so bad that she was having significant memory problems and could barely walk. Her therapist told her she was going to die if she didn’t get help.

Shortly after being told that, Lauren checked into the Timberline Knolls Residential treatment center to get help for her eating disorders. She had to re-nourish her body which was just as physically painful as it was emotionally. Lauren also had to confront her struggles with body image and learn to love her body as it is. While in treatment, Lauren learned that being raped and emotionally abused as a child significantly contributed to her eating disorders.

A year and 8 months after leaving treatment, Lauren still struggles with body image issues, but she has made huge progress and she accepts her body as it is. She relies on her coping mechanisms to help her through and she is bravely facing everything that comes her way. I asked her to share some advice for other girls struggling with eating disorders and/or body image:

* Don’t bodysnark: “Bodysnarking can cause people to become to develop eating disorders and can cause life-long issues," says Lauren. "Telling someone that they’re fat or that they look good because they’ve lost weight can trigger serious problems.

* Push yourself in recovery: “In your eating disorder, you feel alone and you can’t imagine ever getting out of it, but you have to remain hopeful, you have to push yourself and you have to have recovery role models. “

* Don’t isolate yourself: “Being alone when you have an eating disorder or body image issues is the worst thing ever. Try to get out and be social. It’s important to remember that not everyone will understand what you’re going through and that you just have to be grateful for what you have.”

* Be brave: “At Timberline Knolls, my art therapist said to be brave and confront the things that prevent you from living a meaningful life. Recovery is terrifying and it’s so important to be brave because recovery takes a lot of courage.”

* Remember that no one is perfect: “Understand that no one is perfect including YOU and just as it is important not to make comments about other people’s bodies, it is important not to make comments about your own body."

 

*The National Eating Disorders Association does not recommend or endorse any specific facilities, service providers, support groups or research studies.

 

Related:

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Love Yourself: Seeking Help Isn't Optional. It's Necessary

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About Us

Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

Proud2Bme was first launched in the Netherlands by Riverduinen, a mental health organization that has licensed the concept to the National Eating Disorders Association. Unless otherwise noted, all original content on this site is copyright The National Eating Disorders Association. The Proud2Bme brand, logos, and trademarks are property of Rivierduinen.