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Recovery blog

Alumna Recovery Story

By: Susan M., Renfrew Alumna

Posted on August 27, 2018

I've been in successful recovery of my eating disorder for over 10 years. I'm compelled to share my story with those that are struggling now because, in the midst of the fray and tumult of my eating disorder, there was a time when I didn't believe I could ever change, let alone envision long term recovery. Hearing stories of women who went from struggle to triumph was incredibly inspiring to me, and helped me believe that maybe I could succeed too.

When I was a young girl, I experienced abuse, and later in my adolescence experienced a painful breaking of my family through my parent's divorce. I felt like my world spun out of control, and thus turned to my eating disorder, anorexia and bulimia, to deal with life. I wound up needing professional help, and came to The Renfrew Center. Renfrew helped me to learn that my eating disorder was not about food or weight; it was about my desire to regain a sense of control in my life. Renfrew gave me a toolbox that I continue to use up to this day.

After 10 years of successful recovery, I still use many of the same healthy coping skills: talk to someone I trust, read self-help and inspirational books or play a game just to name a few. One of the hardest and most important skills was letting go of shame and guilt. Now, my life looks completely different.

I achieved a Master's Degree, got married, had a beautiful baby boy, and currently work as a preschool teacher. One of the most powerful coping mechanisms I have gained over time is reflection. I would never have completed grad school, become a mother or had gotten married. I would never trade my life for an eating disorder now. I took my power back, and guess what? Now, I'm in the driver's seat of my life… and it feels really good.

Recovery is not only real and possible, but it's literally worth your life.

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