My Recovery Journey: From Self-Destruction to Self-Care
My name is Katarina Stein, and my struggle with bulimia started during high school. Throughout my entire young adult life, I struggled with depression and self-harm. Once I entered my sophomore year of high school, I began to take out my anger and sadness on my own body. I despised what I saw in the mirror every day, and believed that by changing how my body looked, I could perhaps change my state of mind. There is nothing worse than hearing your own mind tell you 24 hours a day that you aren’t good enough, thin enough, pretty enough, or smart enough. After feeling like I wasn’t going anywhere in my recovery or my life, my therapist referred to me to Cielo House to begin my journey through recovery. Unlike many of us who struggle with eating disorders or mental illness, I was lucky to start treatment early before my disorder could claim any more years of my life. I put my entire life on pause to throw myself into recovery full force. With the help of loving family and friends, I let school and work while I focused on getting healthy. I truly owe all my success to the caring staff at Cielo House, who helped me structure my days, plan my meals, and ultimately learn how to love myself again. Today, on the rare occasion that a disordered thought will float through my mind, I’m armed with myriads of coping skills to combat thoughts that could lead to destructive behaviors. My most helpful reminder to myself is, “They are just thoughts.” For anyone who is struggling and hasn’t been able to see a way out, I can promise that with the right treatment and support you can find freedom from your eating disorder. No matter how long you have fought destructive behaviors, keep trying. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.