My eating disorder was a dark and severely self-destructive journey. One that I am, even now, uncomfortable sharing in detail. It's...

The Most Difficult Experience of My Anorexia Recovery

My eating disorder was a dark and severely self-destructive journey. One that I am, even now, uncomfortable sharing in detail. It's hard to find the words, to be eloquent enough to do it justice. But it is a story worth telling, as are all battles against mental illness. They help spread the awareness that our world is in desperate need of. And so I will continue searching for the words to tell my story. But for now, I will just tell you what I am comfortable discussing, and that is my recovery.

Of course, it did not happen overnight. Recovery took years and years, it was a slow process. One full of pain, anger, and the burning desire to understand WHY I felt this way in the first place. I started with the usual courses of treatment, antidepressants and therapy. But they didn't help much. I still longed for the answers I was seeking.

What I did know was if I was going to live, I wanted to be happy and enjoy my life. Not be miserable and struggle as so many others with eating disorders did. I couldn't be anorexic AND live a happy life. I had to choose. Life or death? Happiness or misery? I had chosen life, but happiness? Finding happiness meant I needed to find my self-worth and learn to love myself. But how? I hated everything about me. How could I learn to love myself? I had to make another choice. The choice to try, as impossible as it seemed. And so began the biggest challenge of my life.

So how did I start? By looking for reasons to exist and be happy. First, I had family that loved me and needed me to recover. Second, I already had this amazing man in my life who loves me to this day. He sees something worthy in me. I love and respect him and so I knew he couldn't be all wrong. I had to try and see what he saw. Then there was school where I was an excellent student. And then my career in which I have been successful. All these things gave me some feelings of worth, some reasons to be proud of myself.

Next and best of all came our babies. These beautiful little human beings that I love so fiercely. And they came from me! I couldn't be all bad and worthless if I was able to help create such amazing little people. Motherhood has never been easy for me, but regardless, I enjoy it and am good at providing for them.

Over the years I kept finding these little things in life that I was good at. Even if I had a hard time admitting them to myself at first. I knew that being good at things was not a requirement of loving myself, but it was somewhere to start. I also learned that I didn't have to be the best at something to be good at it or to find joy in doing it. I definitely wasn't good at loving myself at first. But all I had to do was keep trying. And in time, persistence paid off.

Life, as it often does, has thrown many more stressful situations my way over the years. I have continued to look for different and healthy coping mechanisms. I have tried many things, some that have made a real difference. Like surrounding myself with positive people, and eating and exercising in a healthy way. And even though it has been the challenge of a lifetime, I have not resorted back to anorexia for over 10 years.

Through more therapy, meditation, and lots of soul-search, I've finally found the answers to why. These answers have helped the most. And through them, the realization that, despite common thinking, I did not do this to myself. My eating disorder was not intentional. It was not my fault. It was how my young mind coped with the difficulties of life. But I had the power to change it.

This journey has taught me that I am not only in control of my actions, but my thoughts as well. It wasn't, and still isn't, easy but I can retrain my thoughts to be positive instead of negative. In so doing, I learned to change how I feel about myself. I learned to turn my weaknesses into strengths. I now use that perfectionism towards useful and constructive things instead of destructive ones. I'm finding all the things I'm passionate about in life and channeling that energy into them. I am learning to love myself and be happy simply by trying and not giving up.

And I will continue to succeed because I refuse to fail.


Following an elimination diet is both a blessing and a curse. When you start reading the ingredients on any convenience food you'd n...

How to Survive an Elimination Diet: Part 3

Following an elimination diet is both a blessing and a curse. When you start reading the ingredients on any convenience food you'd normally buy, you'll likely get irritated. No matter what you're eliminating, it will seem like it is in everything. But the blessing comes when you start learning to make things yourself and realize that most things are better homemade, and many are actually easier than you think. If you start googling for ideas, you'll find hundreds of different recipes to accomplish what you need. Some will be unnecessarily difficult but not to worry as there is usually a simplified version. I've been collecting easy recipes, all of which I've modified to my own liking and the amount of effort I'm willing to put into each one. When you have to make basically everything from scratch, you learn a few shortcuts. So today I'd like to share some of those shortcuts with you. Whether or not you're on any kind of diet, I hope you'll find something in this list that catches your eye. Give it a try, come back here, and tell me what you think!

Homemade Nut Milk


Raw Trail Mix

Easiest Salsa Ever

Real Guacamole

Easy Homemade Hummus

Salad Dressings

Vegan "Butter"

Vegan Pancakes

Read more about what I've learned on my elimination diet journey at the links below:
Coming up next:
Part 4: how to eat-out (or not) on an elimination diet


I started this blog with very little expectations for myself except that I would at least try. Try to write something that didn't sta...

Don't Worry, Be Happy

I started this blog with very little expectations for myself except that I would at least try. Try to write something that didn't stay hidden away in a mostly empty journal. Be brave enough to step out of my comfort zone. Test my own abilities to write and effectively communicate my life and experiences. It proved to be quite a challenge to write about anything deep. But once I wrote a few posts on depression and other mental illness, I realized I had finally found some courage and confidence in my writing. It's never easy to admit how you really feel, especially if how you feel is depressed or crazy. But a fellow friend and blogger told me to be honest and vulnerable and people will be more responsive. She was so right.

Yet I still find myself cowering away from writing when I'm having a really bad day. You'd think that would be the best time to write but instead I write nothing or if I do it stays hidden in my notebook or deleted from my drafts, never to be shared. I always want to seem up and positive and try to write when I'm at least having an okay day. But now I realize that adds to the falseness that is social media and online presence and I just hate that. I never want to add to this fake layer we have added to an already fake society. I want this to be open and honest and real.

So here's how I'm really doing. I'm a depressed mess lately. I have loved ones that are truly struggling with a wide range of issues and it breaks my heart. I'm a fix-it person, in every sense. I mean it's even a huge part of what I do for a living is fix broken code! I have never been okay when a problem comes my way in life that I cannot fix. People are complicated and difficult. You can't fix people. People have to fix themselves. And often, the problems people have can't even be fixed! So sometimes, there is truly nothing to do for a struggling loved one except to simply be there for them. Listen, offer comfort, and no judgements. This is the hardest thing I have ever attempted in my life. I didn't even realize what an obnoxious fixer I was until recently! But with this awareness, I hope, is coming the ability to be that steady comfort for others in my life, especially those who have done it for me.

When I have a bad day of depression it's often not because of my own problems, but because of others' problems. I don't know how to separate out what is something I need to worry about and what is something out of my control and requires no stress on my part. I guess I felt worry was required to show you truly cared for someone else. The idea sounds silly when put that way but I know I'm not alone in this behavior. How will worrying fix anything, even if it is in your control? It won't, it can't, yet we do it anyway. It's a strange way of showing our love for someone, and I'm finally realizing, it doesn't have to be this way.

I don't have to be depressed about someone else's problems just to show my love for them. It doesn't mean I love them any less because I choose to push their problems from my thoughts and not let them fill me up with stress. In fact, I will be a much better friend if I don't let everything stress me out. Instead of always feeling emotionally exhausted, maybe I'll be able to feel strong and truly be able to hold space for the people in my life. And most importantly, maybe learning to not stress about everything will be the biggest step I can take on my journey to loving myself.