Castlewood Eating Disorder Treatment Center Blog

Category Archives: Alumni and Family


Surrendering to the Slow Process of Recovery

Guest Post by Alumnus, M.W. I have been thinking of what to write here for a while and hoped at some point something poignant and spot on would sort of appear on the paper. I’m laughing at this now because it completely mirrors the way I have approached recovery for so long; hoping that one day everything snaps into place, the path becomes clear and I mindfully walk off into the sunset, never to look back. I make jokes often with my team about wanting to expedite this recovery process and they compassionately remind me that it doesn’t work that way.…

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Alumni Art

Learning to Be Okay With “Not Knowing”

By Annie Wittenberg, Castlewood Alumnus Subtext: I Don’t Always Have to Have an Answer… (And that is such a relief!) “I don’t know!!!” I said vehemently. “What is it you don’t know?” Laura Wood asked, after the second expressive session of alumni weekend. “I don’t know what I don’t know!” I exclaimed frustrated with myself. I was hoping Laura was about to give me homework that would clarify my confusion. Laura smiled and told me my “homework” for the night was to listen to the Beatles’ song Let it Be. I was like seriously Laura?! That’s my homework? (I may…

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The Not So Linear Recovery Process

Guest Post by LM , Castlewood Alumna When I sat at the gates of Castlewood waiting for them to open, I made a commitment to myself “This is the last time you are going to drive through those gates and give it your all, bare your soul and follow instructions and be honest about the struggle”.  I had been to treatment before, and played the role of the compliant client, the ‘good girl’ afraid to reveal just how much I was struggling with each bite, but this time I gave myself permission to have a voice and to do it…

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Laura Wood

A Letter From Laura Wood- Summer Alumni Weekend

Dearest Alumni, I could not be happier to be joining you for the upcoming alumni weekend in July. It is interesting because part of what I spent my last year doing was finishing my dissertation, which specifically focused on recovery. Recovery (as you all know better than anyone) is a multi-faceted process that requires attention to so many more areas than just food. One of the biggest things people need is a support network and space to continue to examine unfinished business, as well as continue to grow into new roles that they could not yet imagine for themselves yet.…

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Dealing with the Trauma in Eating Disorder Recovery

Guest Post by L.Y., Castlewood Alumna Let’s be honest, no one really wants to deal with their trauma.  It’s scary and it’s painful and it’s vulnerable and it’s just not for me.  …Well…at least that’s what I convinced myself for so long.  (Spoiler alert:  my plan didn’t work out too well.) As scary and painful and vulnerable as it is, it has to be done.  This took me a very long time to figure out.  I figured if I avoided it long enough, it would just go away.  The more I numbed and pushed it down and denied it, the…

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Exercise: From Obsession to Enjoyment

Guest Post by Paul Beuttenmuller, Castlewood Alumni When you hear the word “exercise,” what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Do you feel anxious? Stressed? Do you feel irritable or guilty because you didn’t go to the gym today? Or maybe you even did go but didn’t push yourself hard enough? Is exercise an obligation, something that you have to do as part of a rigid, structured, no-holds-barred routine? Your gut reaction to that word says a lot about your relationship with it. An Eating Disorder (ED) is a sneaky disease. Yes- I used to binge and purge,…

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