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Renfrew Alumni Stories: Marguerite C.

Recovery came to me when I had nowhere else to turn.

My story has always been different as I grew up being poked and prodded by doctors because I have a co-morbid autoimmune disease. At various times I was not allowed any food and was exclusively tube fed. A fairy tale for someone who would later be diagnosed with anorexia.

This disease made me feel out of control with the world and my life, and turning inward to my body and how it looked was my only form of control that I knew of. Now throw in graduating college, moving away from home for the first time, not knowing a soul, and working full time-retail during the holidays, might I add, I created the perfect recipe to feel out of control again. The only way I knew how to regain a sense of self was to revert back to my old tendencies.

Once I started I couldn’t stop and soon after months had gone by and moments of time were completely gone from my mind and all I cared about was the size of clothes I was wearing and what I had not eaten that day. Many work shifts would go by without being able to go five minutes without crying. I started noticing my hair was falling out and even the thought of turning over in bed to grab my phone charger hurt my whole body. I masked it all with “I’m just anxious” or “I’m homesick”. But deep down I know what had begun. But I would never be “sick enough” to need treatment. I had it under control and I had been able to get back on track before, what made this different? Well, I had unleashed the darkness monster that I had grown to know as my toxic friend “anorexia”. I had been running from the light for years because I enjoyed the comfort that this darkness gave me and I did not know any other way.

Renfrew found me when I was drowning and had nowhere else to go but up for air. My treatment team showed me that I could live in the light and choose it even when the darkness begins to creep back in.

The only thing I would have done differently is to have chosen this life sooner.

-Marguerite • Alumni, The Renfrew Center of Philadelphia – Center City

Marguerite is from Scranton, PA and is currently 24-years-old. She has bachelors degree in counseling and human services from the University of Scranton and currently works in fashion merchandising. 

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