It may sound cliché, but I’m truly a believer that recovery is a journey, not a destination. For more than 10 years I suffered from various forms of eating disorders and spent a significant amount of time in treatment facilities. At most during those 10 years I was surviving……and it was miserable.
After my last in-patient stay I found an amazing therapist to work with out-patient. My body had been restored but my mind was still hopeless and very sick. This therapist was not deterred by my long history of treatment. She encouraged to me to learn to live rather than just survive. She taught me to celebrate my victories no matter how small they may seem.
In the beginning my daily goal was to get out of bed and move to my living room. That might not sound like much, but it was all I could muster some days. She worked with me slowly to build my strength and my victories became bigger. This certainly does not mean there were not challenges along the way. In fact, I still face challenges today, but I know I can handle them. More importantly, I have tasted the sweet taste of recovery and I refuse to give up all I’ve gained in return for the misery that the eating disorder brought me. I am amazed how fulfilling my life is today. In the midst of my eating disorder and depression I could not imagine a joyful life, but recovery has given me unending joy.
Written By: Lyndsey Clewell Hansen
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."