It’s hard to believe I have made it this far in my life. Engaging in an eating disorder is absolutely exhausting, and over a large portion of my life, it took away every ounce of happiness I tried to grasp for. It’s hard to take the first steps towards recovery, but I am here to tell you that recovery is possible, and that nothing will feel more empowering than realizing you can live your life free from an eating disorder.
When reflecting on my earliest memories, I see a life riddled with diet culture. There were comments on looks, weight, and the need for body changes to be accepted. I can remember being constantly uncomfortable in my body, convincing myself I was disgusting if I wasn’t actively trying to change my appearance to fit society’s view of the perfect body. I became a nurse in my early 20’s, and one of the things that fed my struggle with food and body image was the healthcare industry’s stance and stigma on people in bodies they deemed unacceptable. The BMI scale was my enemy, but also the one thing I obsessed about. It’s hard when you’re bombarded with these messages from both a personal and professional level.
After many years of self-sabotage, depression, low self-esteem, and feeling the burden of my mental health issues, I decided enough was enough. I realized I wasn’t living the life that I desired. My values had slipped under the rug, and my eating disorder was stomping out every ounce of energy I had left. I decided to reach out for help, not only for myself, but to stop a generational cycle that I knew would eventually affect my daughter.
Seeking treatment with Renfrew@Home saved my life. I learned the skills to successfully navigate through emotional stressors, eventually learning that I always had the power within me to overcome my struggle. The support I received from my treatment team gave me the motivation to remain on track and advocate for myself. Now blogs, podcasts, and body positive social media accounts have taken the place of eating disorder behaviors and have helped me see that all bodies are beautiful. I have realized that body neutrality is a key to maintaining my recovery mindset, and my body is much more than just an outward appearance.
This journey took hard work, but I made it to a place where I found my purpose. I want to help you realize that you harness the power to take your life back. No one else can change the path you’re on. You have to WANT recovery, and you have to fight for the life you deserve.
-Brandi • Alumni, Renfrew@Home
Hi, I’m Brandie! I’m a 41-year-old mother and wife, navigating through eating disorder recovery, while trying to help others realize they are strong enough to confront their mental health issues. I found the “light at the end of the tunnel,” and I am cheering for others to find it too.