**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.
By Cathrine Pace-Davis
I became willing to take a look at my life seriously in 2013 when I found the PHP program at The Center for Balanced Living (now The Emily Program – Columbus). Prior to this, as is the case for many of us, I had already been in and out of the eating disorder recovery realm for many years. I would begin treatment with a zest for life and a willingness to get up every day and actively participate; however, at some point I would start ruminating over my physical body and begin negatively appraising myself. My zeal would fizzle out. Waking up in the morning became grueling, and I would find myself looking for ways to be alone so that I could sneakily go back to engaging in behaviors. And just like that, I’d be sitting in treatment, longing for the day when I could freely engage in behaviors once more. I began to lose heart as the obsession of the mind grew more rampant the more I gave in to it, all the while I sat in group taking notes, participating in activities, and learning how to live life one day without my eating disorder. My time at CBL was not for nothing, though; I had an arsenal of skills and tools at my disposal just waiting to be used.