Surviving Eating Disorder Treatment

This past Saturday marked the five-year anniversary of my admission to Center for Discovery, my last inpatient treatment facility. It still gives me pause sometimes when I realize how long ago that was. It’s a good reminder of how far I’ve come and that although I still struggle and have challenging days, it used to be so much worse.

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How Health Class Triggered My Eating Disorder

It’s that time of the year when kids say goodbye to summer and return to school. While the current state of the world is posing unprecedented challenges to students, that transition—even under more normal circumstances—was always difficult for me. Whether it was in eighth grade when I rapidly spiraled into an eating disorder days after the school year began or my first hospital admission in the fall of ninth grade or having to medically withdraw from college last year after only one month, going back to school consistently caused quite a few problems.

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Homegrown Traditions

My kids grew up watching their mothers haul the kitchen scraps to the compost bin in the corner of our yard day in and day out in all types of weather. They had to listen to me talk excitedly each year about the early spring tradition of digging up the cooked compost from “the pit” and moving it to the vegetable garden, followed by moving the uncooked compost from the bin into “the pit” for next spring, and finally cleaning out and repairing the bin to begin anew. The smell, the worms, the browns and greens, all of it they have heard every year for their whole lives.

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Eating Disorder Recovery as a Vegetarian

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a vegetarian. Both of my parents are pescatarian, so I grew up eating very little meat. I cut meat out altogether when I was seven, mostly for ethical reasons, then fish at age twelve, and I’ve never gone back. Being a vegetarian is all I’ve ever known, so you can imagine my surprise when my lifestyle was met with skepticism and disapproval by the doctors who treated me for my eating disorder.

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