September 10, 2015 by Deanna James, LPC, CEDS in Alumni and Family, Eating Disorder TreatmentGuest Post by Alumna L.Y.
When you have an eating disorder, it becomes your entire world. Every thought is consumed with food and numbers and calories. From the moment my eyes opened in the morning until the moment they finally closed at night, I was obsessed. I felt I had no other purpose in life. I didn’t believe that there was a life without my eating disorder, but I also knew that I couldn’t have a life with my eating disorder. So, I - a Floridian who thinks that 60 degrees is cold - went off to Missouri in the middle of winter to Castlewood Treatment Centers. (Side note — I did get to see snow for the first time, so that was a plus!!)
When I got home from treatment, I honestly thought it was going to be all rainbows and sunshine. I had done some hard work at Castlewood and I felt like I was finally in a good place. So when I slipped up the first time, I fell hard and fast. I figured that was it, all the hard work was down the drain and an intense hopeless overwhelmed me. I was on the verge of giving up and my eating disorder was patiently waiting for me to fall back into its arms.
Luckily, I reached out for help and I was able to pull myself back up with the help of my team and the fabulous ladies at The Alliance for Eating Disorders Awareness. Since school was wrapping up and I was looking for an opportunity to stay connected to those in recovery and give back, I started volunteering at The Alliance. I also continued to attend their Monday night support group. After volunteering for a while, The Alliance offered me an internship! I had the privilege of working as an intern all summer and plan to continue during the school year. Helping with all the amazing work The Alliance does for those suffering with eating disorders has been a blessing. They’ve helped me probably more than I’ve helped them. I’ve been able to put my energy into giving back rather than into my eating disorder. During my experience at The Alliance, I have met many people who consider themselves fully recovered from their eating disorders. It has given me a lot of hope that someday I will be able to say that I am fully recovered from my eating disorder.
Are you looking for opportunities to GIVE BACK IN RECOVERY? Contact us today to connect with volunteer opportunities in your area!