Hi there! My name is Katherine. I’m a college student and writer in recovery from an eating disorder and a few other mental health issues. I started this blog to talk about the things I’m learning in treatment as well as my personal victories in recovery. I hope to encourage and inspire those who are already well into recovery as well as those who are just beginning to consider it for themselves.
I started to experience depressive symptoms when I was thirteen in 2010. I was being bullied in school and coped with self-harm. By the time I was fourteen, I wanted to lose weight. At first, I wasn’t doing anything unhealthy. After a few months, I stepped on the scale and saw that I had lost a substantial amount of weight. I wondered what would happen if I started trying harder. I began to severely restrict my intake and purge whatever I did eat. Meanwhile, my self-harm was getting out of control and anxiety was taking over my life. I tried medication after medication. Each one would help for a little while, but I’d have to try something new after a few months.
In winter of my sophomore year of high school in 2011, my parents decided that weekly outpatient therapy was not enough. I was admitted to a residential treatment center where I stayed for nine weeks. Because I was not interested in recovery and didn’t want it for myself, I didn’t get a lot out of my first time in treatment. Later that year, I spent a week in an adolescent psychiatric hospital. It was there that I was finally put on a medication that was effective.
During my junior year of high school, I made progress in some areas and backslid in others. Although I cultivated other interests like writing and art, in my mind I was primarily an anorexic, then anything and everything else. Most of my friends were seniors that year, and as they daydreamed about the freedom that college would bring, I began to think about what college would mean for me. I imagined that college would give me the freedom to lose as much weight as I wanted to without my parents around to force me to eat.
I graduated high school in 2014 and was accepted to Eckerd College. I suddenly realized what this independence would really mean: a chance for me to grow and explore the things that I love. I didn’t want college to be a time of misery and starvation. I enrolled in an intensive outpatient program (IOP) that I stayed in for five months. IOP turned my life around. I separated my own identity from my eating disorder, lessened my self-harm, and became happier.
This happiness was short-lived when I actually arrived at Eckerd. I was only in school for three weeks before my eating disorder crept back into my life due drug use and trauma. I made the decision to take a leave from school and was admitted to another residential treatment program in September of 2014, where I stayed for five months. That was the most effective round of treatment, and I consider myself blessed to have gone to Magnolia Creek at this time in my life. When I returned home, I decided to withdraw from Eckerd and enroll at Daytona State College, where I am pursuing my Associate of Science degree through their School of Photography.
Today, I am striving to make recovery an integral part of my daily life. There are good days and bad days, but as I prioritize self-care and self-love, life is getting brighter.