mckinley-smith-headshotWhat is your definition of recovery? For me, recovery wasn’t a destination, it was the acceptance of the situation as it was; I had an eating disorder that had consumed my life. Recovery was to have grace for myself, to be open with my community, and to seek tools and resources that helped balance out what was a long and arduous process toward physical, emotional, and spiritual health. During my eating disorder, I felt isolated. It felt like a shameful, controlling secret that I couldn’t share. And as long as I continued to hold my disorder in that secret, dark place, I couldn’t access the support I needed. Recovery was — and still is — an opening; it is the dagger of light shooting into the dark place. It may feel brighter at times, and it may feel darker at times, but as long as there is the crack of light; it is recovery.

What is your favorite recovery quote or resource? I had this quote written in my journal and hanging on my wall for years. “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers / that perches in the soul / and sings the tune without the words / and never stops — at all.” — Emily Dickinson. My favorite resource is the National Eating Disorders Association hotline and Stories of Hope. These stories were a shot of hope when I felt discouraged.

If you could go back in time and talk to your former self when you were struggling most, what would you tell her? You aren’t alone and you are loved. You are bigger than this, it will be okay. You will get your life back in due time.

 

 

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