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Recovery blog

Voice of Recovery: Jenna W.

By: Jenna W., Renfrew Alumna

Posted on March 23, 2020

When I was fIrst asked to wrIte thIs artIcle, I immedIately thought, "Why me?" I began to reminisce on my time at Renfrew, and even before. I started to see a trend of "Why me?" Why do I have to struggle with an eating disorder? Why do I have OCD? Why do I have to put up with anxiety? Why do I have to be so stubborn? Why did I end up in treatment? Well, I finally figured out the answer to those questions.

Why me? So, I could be here today, continuing to fight through recovery, and to show others that recovery is possible. We are worth it.

During my time at Renfrew, I gained back control of my life. I rediscovered who I truly am. Before going to treatment, I felt like a robot, a hollow shell just moving through the motions. I was no longer the smiling, giggling, bubbly, outgoing Jenna that I once was. I was sad, angry, frustrated, closed off, on edge and consumed with the constant thought of food and exercise.

I battled various eating disorders for about five and a half years. It consumed every bit of me. My obsessions around food and exercise grew every day. I lived my life based on a clock, and everything had to happen at specific times each day. I was lost and scared, and I convinced myself that this was just how my life was going to be. However, Renfrew proved that theory wrong.

When I first got to Renfrew, I thought, "There's no way I'm going to last here." I felt trapped and overwhelmed. I cried (A LOT), doubted the process and desperately wanted to leave, but I chose to stay. I knew that if I had the mental capability of living with an eating disorder for over five years, I had the mental capability and strength to overcome it. Through the discomfort, I began to accept and trust the process. My time at Renfrew showed me how strong I am and gave me the tools I need to overcome this terrible disorder. Yes, bad days still happen. Remember, it's OK to not be OK. Be honest with yourself. Recovery is tough, but we're tougher.

We've been assigned this mountain to show others it can me moved. Renfrew helped me gain my life back. I'm finally Jenna again. I am no longer in bondage to E.D. I am (and so are you) a warrior.

Jenna's testimonial is featured as a Voice of Recovery in the fall 2019 issue of Connections, The Renfrew Center's alumni newsletter. Published twice a year, Connections highlights alumni recovery stories, upcoming events, tips and tools to stay in recovery, and much more. To read this issue, please click here.
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