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Providing clinical excellence within a nurturing environment—empowering women to change their lives.

Stories of Recovery

Click on our Alumni members to read more about their stories of recovery.
Kristen LeBlanc

In April 2017, I reluctantly dragged my feet through the doors of The Renfrew Center of Boston. My outpatient team, for months, were relentless trying to convince me that I needed a higher level of care. I refused to go to treatment, again, so I fought it. Week after week I tried to reason and justify why I didn't need to go, but it was a battle I was inevitably not going to win. My team feared I wasn't going to wake up one morning from the constant stress put on my body from starvation and exercise. I wasn't "sick enough" this time I said. I was convinced "I didn't need to be there" and "everyone is making a bigger deal than what it is…" Clouded by denial, I didn't recognize how compromised I was and rapidly declining.

I was always striving to be the perfect student, employee, daughter, sister, friend... However, I learned that's close to impossible. But, I, of course, wanted to do the impossible. I was determined to stay as busy and productive as possible, to be "too busy" to eat. I later learned that this was a form of avoidance to numb out emotions. While working two jobs, attending night classes, appointments and eventually day treatment; I found my biggest challenge was making it through the day without collapsing and/or falling asleep at the most inappropriate times.

After a week in PHP, residential became the ultimate recommendation. I was resistant, but days later I was admitted to The Renfrew Center of Philadelphia. After 30 days of re-nourishing/feeding and having the UT model drilled into my head, I returned to Boston where I continued to use skills and complete the program.

It wasn't until I was nourished enough to realize how genuinely I needed to be at Renfrew. They provided a new foundation for recovery helping me learn how to identify emotions, despite how terrifying they are, and how to connect them to my eating disorder behaviors.

Although I have a long way to go, I'm forever grateful to Renfrew and the impact it had on me; especially the staff in Boston who pushed me well beyond my limits proving that "Renfrew knows best." In April, I made a promise to both my outpatient and Renfrew teams that I would give 100% this time – a promise I have kept. Because of Renfrew, I was given the opportunity to start rebuilding my life and learning not only to exist, but to live.

Bio: Kristen LeBlanc is an alumna of The Renfrew Center of Boston and resides in Salem, MA. Kristen is an occupational therapy assistant currently pursuing a Master's degree in Occupational Therapy. She is also a dance teacher. She has a passion for helping others, hopes to raise awareness and advocate for mental health to give back to the community.