Recovery Story: Escaping the Dark and Restoring Passion
Zoe, from London, is 23 and a graduate in biomedical sciences. Here, she talks about the ups and downs of her own recovery journey so far.
I’ve dealt with an eating disorder for the best part of eight years now. At times I have conquered it, and other times have left me defeated. For so many years, my life has been consumed by weight, calories, exercise and everything else an eating disorder tells you to latch on to. It’s led to a hospitalisation and having to take nine months out of university. It’s taken me so long to realise that my eating disorder is NOT who I am, it’s simply a part of me that I sometimes struggle with when life gets tough.
So who is Zoe?
I am a graduate in biomedical sciences, I have a passion for spreading mental health awareness, I have an obscene amount of love for dogs and love to bake cookies. My eating disorder took years away from me, keeping me in the dark.
Choosing recovery is a daily thing, but it has given me freedom to eat, energy to go on adventures, concentration to study and the capacity to love. Because that’s the thing, eating disorders aren’t just about food and weight: they shrink your whole world down, leaving little room for anything else.
Recovery is tough, and extremely draining at times, but by persevering you get to see life through a multicoloured lens, rather than a black and white one.
Hold on to what recovery can give you, rather than the uncomfortableness in the moment. The biggest thing that helped me plod my way through recovery is trying to talk to people I trust, even if they are online.
Talk about how you’re feeling and try to journal. It feels really weird journaling when you first start, but you can really start to unravel some of your thought patterns and patterns in your behaviour – having insight into your illness takes power away from your eating disorder.
Take that power and use it.
You deserve a life free from the bully in your head.
- May 2019