Happy New Year! What do you think of when you think about New Years? Do you think about the resolutions you need or should set? Are there things about yourself that you vow to change in the coming year?
This year comes with new opportunity. What if this year was more about embracing who you are rather than on what you would change? You have so much good that is in you right here, right now. Can you see it? Dig deep. Consider that within you lies something that’s worth fighting for.
You are worthy of being here. You deserve to live fully, happily. You have a choice.
What will you choose for this coming year? I challenge you to focus on growing rather than changing. The change you can experience through growth is far more fulfilling than simply focusing on changing your physical being. Growing into who you are and embracing the beautiful qualities you bring to this world offers fulfillment beyond measure.
You choose. I promise there’s something beautiful waiting to be acknowledged deep inside of yourself.
February 24, 2011. That date will forever remain in my memory as the day I took my first breath of a new life. Though, I really had no idea that’s what was happening…
The thing about eating disorders is that you never know when the reality of the danger in engaging in a variety of destructive behaviors is going to catch up with you. My eating disorder developed in my teens and became increasingly worse throughout college. I was in the stage of life where I felt invincible. There were countless times I chose behaviors that compromised my existence – I thoroughly believed that it wouldn’t matter if I saw the light of tomorrow. Somebody thought I was important enough to keep around. That somebody, to me, is known as God. In the moments I didn’t understand that my life had purpose, that there was an avenue out of all the pain, and that I didn’t have to go through my struggles alone, I believe God pulled me through the trenches.
One day, February 24, 2011, that reality of the danger of engaging in destructive behaviors smacked me upside the head. I ended up in a room with a doctor that I would have never chosen to see. I had seen her once in the past and her abrupt and cold demeanor left me finding a new doctor. But on this day, her blunt reality check left me with an answer that I didn’t know I had in me. She asked me, “do you want to live or die? Because with the path you’re on right now, your body isn’t always going to keep holding on.” Without hesitation I responded with, “I want to live.” Those words. I. WANT. To. LIVE. There was a small part of me that felt ashamed, like I had abandoned my eating disorder, when I spoke those words. But, more than that, I felt like I had just surfaced from the depths of water and caught a gasp of air. A breath that brought the turning of a tide and light that I hadn’t experienced.
I was fortunate enough to return home that day after care in the clinic. And when I did, I locked myself in my room afraid to return back to my world without first absorbing the words I had spoken. I want to live. I remember the stack of magazines sitting by my tv stand. That day, I opened the magazines and the fight against all of the messages I heard that were tearing me down began. I had no idea what tearing apart words and letters of those negative messages each magazine held could mean for me. It brought affirmation through the diminishing of the eating disorder’s voice and a creation of something beautiful and hope-filled... the beginning of seeing what living life might actually be like.
I was on the phone with my dear friend Trista this past July when a thought occurred to me. Why is there not a recovery box for individuals and their support systems walking through eating disorder recovery? Like any best friend would do, Trista went with it. Two hours flew by and I had an outline of what I envisioned for what would become The Recovery Box.
When I get an idea that webs itself through the intricacy of my thought process, there’s no letting go of it until it comes to life. Be it a blessing or a curse, much of the good that has come in my life is because I hear a voice whisper, “there’s something here worth fighting for.” My company, Sage Nutrition, The Recovery Box, co-founding the Nebraska Eating Disorders Network, and projects in development are a few of the things that I’ve heard through that sweet voice are worth fighting for. Oh, how true it is! Something beautiful is emerging from the brokenness. Through the development of The Recovery Box, new resources, and this blog, I am looking forward to sharing more about what I have learned through the recovery process as a survivor, encourager, and professional in the field.
I’m grateful for this opportunity to begin sharing pieces of my story in a new way. This opportunity to connect with other survivors, encouragers, and professionals that have committed themselves to eating disorder recovery. In each of these positions I have found something new to fight for and I have grown all the more because of it.
What do you fight for? Recovery is a journey for which every step matters. It doesn’t matter if it’s a step forward or backward – it matters. Your story matters. As I begin to share pieces of my story, will you consider sharing your story with me? If your story is selected to be highlighted in our monthly newsletter, you will receive a free box from The Recovery Box. Visit this page to share your story.
Stay tuned for the launch and expanse of The Recovery Box!
Emily Estes lives in Lincoln, Nebraska with her Goldendoodle pup, Miss Adley Mae. Recovery from her own struggle with an eating disorder, anxiety, and depression has led Emily to create community and resources to empower others on the journey. Emily owns Sage Nutrition, LLC where she serves as a Registered Dietitian. Her work revolves around her motto that "food is meant to nourish our bodies, not nurture us."