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Alumna Testimonial: Elyse T.

By: Elyse T., Renfrew Alumna

Posted on July 11, 2019

My name is Elyse, and I am 29 years old. I battled anorexia my entire childhood. My eating disorder had quite a grip on my mind and controlled a large portion of my childhood and early adult life. We do have a choice though, recovery is an option! I was told countless times I would never recover, and I wouldn't live much longer. Guess what, for years that is exactly what I believed. I let those voices have power over me and let people control my outcome. Looking back, I now realize that was all a part of my journey and walk into recovery. I am living proof recovery is possible; never give up!

To give you a small glimpse into my past, I lived most of my childhood in and out of rehab mostly at The Renfrew Center of Florida. Due to my eating disorder, I missed out on many high school college experiences. Again, I realize now, those were all a part of my path to recovery and freedom, but of course I didn't see it that way then. During my multiple stays at Renfrew I learned how to sit with my emotions and not let them get the best of me. I learned that the hard times will pass. It may sound simple, but for me that concept wasn't simple. I met some amazing people along the way who shared stories of hope with me and worked with a clinical team that met me where I was in my journey each and every time. Whether I needed a push to do the next right thing or an ear to listen, they were always available to provide, what felt like at the time, tough love and support.

The tools I learned at Renfrew weren't just tools to get me to recovery, they are the skills I continue to use to stay in recovery. I currently work at a Mercedes-Benz dealer and have truly found something I am passionate about. I am in a great relationship with a man I truly love and that brought me from living at home in Raleigh, NC to Fort Myers, Florida three years ago to be together. Recovery has also allowed me to finish my Associate's degree in childcare education. All of these accomplishments weren't possible with my eating disorder. I have found passions in life and I am able to get up now looking forward to the day. My thoughts are no longer consumed on what I eat or don't eat, and the number on the scale. This didn't happen overnight; there is no quick fix, just be patient with yourself, you will get there. Life isn't perfect, it never will be, and I don't need it to be, but I am much more accepting for what it is. My eating disorder voice has finally become a mouse that squeaks from time to time, and not a lion that constantly roars. There is hope, and I promise there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
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