Stories of Recovery
MEDA is dedicated to supporting individuals and their families through their journey toward recovery. Through MEDA’s monthly open forum, Hope and Inspiration, recovered individuals foster hope for community members by sharing their stories. Individuals work with MEDA clinicians to write their stories so that they may be able to pass along inspiration. These are some of their stories.
When I was eight years old, I wrote my mom a note that read, “I am a girl with a big spirit and soul. No one knows how I am or how I feel because I have a different heart”. I was born with a sensitivity and awareness of the world around me that others didn’t seem to notice. I cried whenever I heard someone yelling. I worried that my friends were mad at me. I was born with a different heart and at the time I didn’t think that was a good thing…. Read more
My name is Corinne, and I’m recovered from an eating disorder. I was in high school when my eating disorder started; I was 16. It was my way of coping with my untreated anxiety and depression, among other stressors, like school and the pressure I put on myself to be perfect…. Read more
When I was in my mid-twenties in grad school in DC, my ugly, nasty, self-defeating eating disorder reared its ugly head. My eating disorder spoke to me on a daily basis and always said the same thing. “You can do it, Joanna, you can get through this day because that pint of ice cream is waiting for you. Will it be chocolate or cookie dough today?” I told myself that I could always concoct a story that they are for my roommates if the store clerk started to recognize me. But truth be told, I lived alone….Read more
Looking back on my journey to recovery, I think about the concept of choice. There is a popular phrase in eating disorder treatment that I am sure you all are familiar with: “You did not choose to get an eating disorder, but you can choose to recover from one.” My name is Abby, and I have recovered from anorexia…. Read more
My name is Jackie, and I am recovered from an eating disorder. My eating disorder started to develop in 2002, when I was only eight years old. There were so many contributors to me developing an eating disorder that sometimes is hard to keep track….Read more
Shame researcher Brené Brown states that, “Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy — the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” So here I am owning my story. My name is Karen and I am fully recovered from anorexia… Read More
Kelly’s Story (Parent Perspective)
When I think back on Nora’s journey I imagine how different it could have been if she didn’t ask for help. I am incredibly grateful that Nora was brave enough to acknowledge that she was scared and out of control… Read More
Nora’s Story (Teen Perspective)
Most of my childhood was completely normal, but I do remember my first encounter with an eating disorder thought. When I was 6 years old my mom and I were in the kitchen listening to the radio and a weight loss infomercial caught my attention…. Read more
A year ago today. I was where you are now. I treated it like camp; I went there every day packed with my lunch and got to color, complete puzzles, and make new friends. Last year, I was where you are today, and last year I began to live… Read more
My name is Ruth Taylor. I am 74 years old. A wife, mother, grandmother, friend. I have recovered from an eating disorder that took up, off and on, part of my middle years from age 29 to just 2 years ago… Read more
Some people choose to share their stories through video. Click here to watch Michelle’s story.
My name is Kayla and I am recovered from an eating disorder. Let me say that again: after a struggle that consumed nearly half my life, I have fully recovered from Anorexia….Read more
I believe recovery is waking up every day and not having food or your body making decisions for you… Read more
My name is Christina and I stand before you now as someone who has fully recovered from an eating disorder. Five years ago I was very sick with anorexia- let me share with you how I got to where I am today…Read more of Christina’s Story
“You’re fat”. Those two words defined my entire childhood, adolescence and a good chunk of my adulthood. A lot of times the person who was saying those words to me was me. A lot of times it wasn’t. “Don’t you care that people think you’re fat? You should” was the question my dad’s then-girlfriend asked me when I was 9 years old. Read More of Courtney’s Story
I always considered myself to be a shy person before my eating disorder. I have come to know that I was not shy; I was just insecure. Through recovery, I have gained the security and confidence to be myself. I would tell a person I hardly met my life story….as I am doing today.I am recovered from anorexia…. Read More of Kim’s Story
This month, January 2015, is monumental. For others, it may pass as another dark winter month in Boston, waiting for spring to arrive. But for me, it means victory. It means reaching a milestone that for years seemed so utterly unobtainable: it marks five years since I exited eating disorder treatment for the very last time. Read More of Lindsay’s Story
It’s interesting when I reflect on my eating disorder and where I am today. For something that once dominated my life, it’s now like a distant memory in some ways. Most days I go about my day and don’t take much time to reflect on the pain that I went through battling anorexia. But there are those occasional moments when a certain song will come on the radio, I’ll drive by a restaurant, or read an article, and it will trigger a flash back to when I was struggling with my eating disorder. In those moments I think about what I went through, and how lucky I am to have recovered and be where I am today. Read More of Haniyah’s Story
It seems strange looking back, but I remember seeing a documentary on TV about eating disorders and thinking “how strange!” I couldn’t understand why someone would do that.I guess you could say that I was more than a little naive.
My name is Jack and I suffered with Bulimia Nervosa for over 3 years.
Men do suffer with eating disorders, I am living proof. Looking around in the media you wouldn’t know that. Most documentaries, magazine articles, online communities and support groups tend to heavily female oriented-which is a shame. Being a male with an eating disorder can be a very lonely experience. It is just hard to know where you fit in. It’s not something you can discuss with your male friends. You would never bring it up at the pub on a Friday night. Sadly, other men just don’t understand. To be honest, I found it hard enough to understand what I was going through… Read more of Jack’s Story
I grew up in a relatively stable family. From the outside, all was well. My mother and father were together, raising three beautiful toe-head kids. I’m the oldest of three, and my two younger brothers Peter and Daniel were very active in the community with sports. My parents were involved as well; my dad the coach of many a team, and my mother, a regular attendant cheering in the stands. I hated sports. I was, as my mother affectionately and almost apologetically surmised “the artistic one.” While she was correct in a sense, I never quite felt as if this trait achieved the recognition and approval that sports did for my brothers. I remember taking up piano lessons in an effort to discover something that I was “good at”… Read more of Laura’s Story
There was a time when this part of my talk—introducing myself to you—would have been the hardest part. Why? For the simple reason that I didn’t know myself at all. When people asked me who I was, what I liked, I drew a blank. The only thing I could think of was, “I have an eating disorder”…not typically the lead-in to great conversation. Now, thankfully, there is a lot that I would want to tell you about me: I teach third grade and think it is the best job in the world; I love to hike; my music tastes range from country, the Indigo Girls, and Dar Williams to random Israeli pop songs; I’m an introvert but relish being connected; and I enjoy photography even though I have no technical skills. And, I’m in recovery from an eating disorder. I still think that’s important, but I’m glad to say I’m finally able to put it at the bottom of the list…Read more of Rachel’s Story
Ugh I thought, staring at what I believed to be a grotesque reflection grimacing back at me. No matter which way I turned bended and twisted I couldn’t escape the terrifying image. I could do nothing. It felt as though all the blood sweat and tears I had shed in school life, home life, as the ever constant supporter for my friends, my countless extracurriculars, had all amounted to nothing because of the dull blue eyes that stared back at me out of what I believed was a flabby face. I was dizzy with disgust and the fear and the scream I was dying to release. ‘I will fix you’ I whispered to the child. ‘I will fix you’...Read more of Colleen’s Story
I don’t ever remember an age where I was truly comfortable or unselfconscious in my body. There was an “exercise” in treatment when they would say “remember when you were little and felt fine about your body”. I could never do it – there was no such time for me. I have had varying degrees of “dealing with it” – dependent on what was going on in my life. If I had a boyfriend – which was mostly how I determined my worth from about age 12 – I would feel okay and at times even attractive. But that was always short-lived and conditional and I would quickly revert to my natural insecure state of being. This started at a very young age and continued into adulthood. It wasn’t something I talked about – and therefore never really had to deal with it head on or even acknowledge it. Even after marrying a wonderful and supportive man, I struggled with it daily. My weight fluctuated during all those years but I was always – at least physically – healthy and neither over nor underweight…Read more of Kate’s Story
My name is Sue and I am a recovered alcoholic and have also been released from the bondage of bulimia. May 31st, 2009 was my 16th anniversary of sobriety and on September 19th, I will be eating disorder free for 10 years. I cannot say recovery is easy, but it is worth every hurdle jumped and every change made. In hindsight I have found it was more difficult to live with the burden of addictions than to overcome them. While recovery was hard, excruciating at times, there were, and are still many pleasures that come with each new self-discovery and triumph...Read more of Sue’s Story