Proud2Bme | A Winding Road to Recovery

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A Winding Road to Recovery

By Katrin Alyss--My journey started in a typical fashion. I decided that I would like to lose some weight before a Las Vegas trip in May of 2013. Shortly after I returned from our trip, I got an invite from my now ex-family to join a party. These were people who called me nasty names, contributing to my poor self-image.

Trigger warning: Descriptions of eating disordered behavior.

In late June, I challenged myself to fit into smaller-sized clothing—once I did, I could get an outfit from a store that I liked. I got to that desired size and I was elated, but little did I know that this was going to be my downfall.

In late July, I started to see some familiar signs from the previous time I had struggled with an eating disorder—including wanting to exercise more, not wanting to eat and wanting to go down more sizes. I knew I had to grab the bull by the horns; I phoned my therapist and told her what was going on. I thought she would be peeved at me for “blowing recovery.” Instead, the answer was, “Thanks for telling me and being honest with me!”

We scheduled an appointment so that we could get the ball rolling on recovery again. I was pretty nervous that appointment day, wondering what she would say to me. In the parking lot, she mentioned that I “looked skinny.”  I became very nervous. Luckily, she gave me a high five for being honest with her. She then asked me, “Did you think I would be mad at you? No, here is something to know about me: I love challenges.”

In August, I struggled with an urge to try a lower size, but I felt guilty and fessed up to my therapist about it. During late August to mid-September, I was in a difficult class and when I didn’t do well on an exam, I tried to restrict to punish myself. I hated myself. My husband told me to drop the class; since it would have caused me to go backwards in recovery that is what I did. I felt freer.

In April of 2014, I got my first hospital warning. At the time, I didn’t think I was in any trouble weight-wise; however, my therapist thought otherwise. She told me that if I went down under a certain target then she would talk to my husband about hospitalization. At that time, I was scared. I didn’t want to go to the hospital, so I proposed a contract promising that I would eat better and exercise less. My therapist signed the contract in June, and I did well with it until late September.

I was invited to a class reunion and I wanted to look good. Around October, I watched America’s Top Model. By November, I went under the mark. I felt like even though I had reached my lowest weight, the eating disorder wanted more from me. I felt bad that I was bad, because I did the very thing that my therapist told me not to do. She warned me again about the hospital and then sent me to see a doctor who specializes in eating disorders.

In my head, I thought that she didn’t want to work with me anymore because I had messed up so badly. I couldn’t even really look at her because of my own self-hatred. She didn’t want to give up on me; she just wanted to find someone who could help her to help me. 

I made a conscious effort to give the scale to my husband, and for him to weigh me backwards and to e-mail the number to my therapist. Also, no matter how hard it was, I ate. I decided that I would have more control at home and I would go at my own pace.

I would like to say that my days are way better than they were almost two years ago. Last year, I broke off a toxic friendship with a girl who didn’t want to be helped and encouraged eating disordered behaviors. I wanted to move further down my recovery road so I broke off the relationship for my own well-being.

Yes, I have days when the eating disorder tries to urge me back to that life; the difference now is that I don’t act on the behaviors. Instead, I journal, ask for help and talk to my therapist. I am hoping one day to really be free from the monster. I will take the good days and learn from the not-so-good days and ask God for strength and guidance.

For recovery resources and treatment options, call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 800-931-2237.

About the blogger: Katrin lives in Roseville, MI, with her best friend and life partner. She loves to go to Cedar Point during the summer, where she can ride the biggest coasters. At home she takes care of her two kitties, Nefi and Horatio. Katrin loves to help others fight this battle called the eating disorder and hopes to inspire others through her writing and truthfulness. Her hobbies include writing, painting T-shirts, dancing and spending time with her husband and friends. She is also a psychology major at Macomb Community College.  

For more on recovery, check out:

Undiagnosed but Not Without a Voice

Fighting for Recovery

Eating Disorder Recovery: My Crowning Achievement

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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.