Posts Tagged ‘Recovery’

Recovery Conversations: A Q&A with Andrea Kelly

A rocky ocean shore

**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.

Andrea Kelly is a transformational coach and writer who also has a background in real estate. After many years of struggling silently with anorexia and bulimia, she has found freedom in the last few years. She shares her eating disorder story in Fear Less: Transforming Fear into Courage within Relationships, Career, Society, and Self, available for preorder now. Find her blog at yourbestbeing.com and follow her on Instagram @andreakellylove.

Recovery Conversations is a question-and-answer series that shares voices and stories of eating disorder recovery. In this post, Andrea Kelly describes the ways fear presented itself in her eating disorder and how she learned to confront it in recovery.

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The Language of Eating Disorder Recovery

A horse in a sunset

**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.

Lisa Whalen’s book, Stable Weight: A Memoir of Hunger, Horses, and Hope, will be available from Hopewell Publications on March 2, 2021. Her writing has also appeared in An Introvert in an Extrovert World; The Simpsons’ Beloved Springfield; Introvert, Dear; and Adanna, among other publications. Whalen has a Ph.D. in postsecondary and adult education and an M.A. in creative and critical writing. She teaches composition, creative writing, literature, and journalism at North Hennepin Community College, where she was selected Minnesota College Faculty Association Educator of the Year in 2019. In her spare time, she is an equestrian and volunteer for the Animal Humane Society. Learn more at her website, and follow her on social media @LisaIrishWhalen.  

Whether we know it or not, language shapes our perception. I never thought much about how the language I speak and the way I view the world were connected until I took foreign language classes in high school. My Spanish teacher explained that translating wasn’t just word-for-word substitution. Unlike the equations I learned in algebra, where I could replace X with a number to answer a question like 4x + 2 = ?, I couldn’t always replace an English word with its Spanish equivalent to answer a question like, “How do you say _X  ?”

Learning Spanish was my first introduction to the idea that each language has a unique structure. Studying Spanish taught me that some structural differences between languages are minuscule, like the English rule that adjectives should come before nouns, as in “the blue car,” versus the Spanish rule that nouns should come before adjectives, as in “the car blue.”

Later, when I began teaching college English classes, I saw how other structural differences between languages affect every aspect of communication, such as English verbs having up to 12 tenses to indicate time versus Hmong verbs having a single tense. English requires us to say I eat, I ate, I have eaten, I will eat, I will have eaten, to tell listeners when the action happened because Western culture perceives time as linear and moving toward the future, while Hmong speakers say I eat yesterday, I eat tomorrow, I eat before sunset because traditional Hmong culture perceived time as cyclical and anchored by the present moment.

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Keep Climbing

Robby Swenson

**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.

“Whenever life gets you down / You’ve gotta get up off the ground / and you’re gonna keep climbing up.”

Hi, I’m Robby Swenson, and you just read the ending lyric to my new full-length studio album Anorexia, available on Spotify, Apple Music, SoundCloud, YouTube Music, and all other streaming services. But more to come on that later.

About a year and a half ago, I was battling an agonizing battle against anorexia. My days were filled with hatred, guilt, and judgment, and I didn’t see a path out of my situation. However, I was so blessed to have a great support system around me, and today I can say that I am no longer afraid to nourish my body both physically and mentally.

Let’s be 100% honest with ourselves and the world around us: Body image issues are such a real problem for so many people. I think that I lost sight of this fact when I was going through my battle with anorexia. And it completely makes sense how I could do so. In a society where talking about your struggles is taboo, it is easy to turn inward and shield your emotions from those around you who love and care for you. 

That’s why I think we need to “stand up strong and climb the bars” that are holding us back from being the people we are destined to be. The only way we can prosper as human beings is to surround ourselves with love.

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Episode 45: An Eating Disorder’s Impact on Siblings with Jaeden Luke & Kianna Garmanian

Jaeden Luke & Kianna Garmanian

Episode description:

Jaeden Luke is a singer-songwriter who wrote the single “Beautiful” for his older sister Kianna, who experienced and fully recovered from an eating disorder. Kianna is a graduate of St. Martin’s University, a young adult group ministry leader, and the author of a forthcoming book about her healing journey, The Cross That Set Me Free.

Jaeden and Kianna join us in this Peace Meal episode to explore the sibling experience of eating disorders. The brother and sister pair recall how Kianna’s eating disorder impacted their relationship as well as how their relationship—and “Beautiful”—helped her heal.

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5 Languages of Eating Disorder Support

A back view of two people hugging

The support of family and friends is key to the process of eating disorder recovery. It is an antidote to the isolation and secrecy of the illness, as well as a powerful, necessary reminder to our loved ones that they aren’t alone in their pain and struggle. 

But it can be hard to know just how to support someone affected by eating disorders. These are complicated, confusing conditions that aren’t “fixed” with simple logic. “Just eat,” “just eat less,” or “just stop doing that” are unhelpful suggestions, as are guilt trips and ultimatums.

What else is there to say or do? Considering your loved one’s love language is a place to start.

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Episode 44: Recovery as a Journey with Rachel Wilshusen

Rachel Wilshusen

Episode description:

Rachel Wilshusen is a dynamic writer with liberal arts degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, University College London, and the University of Cambridge. After an extensive battle with anorexia, she wrote Emancipated Love Junkie: Liberating Myself From Anorexia to embolden others to follow her path toward recovery.

Rachel shares with us her experience of eating disorder recovery in this episode of Peace Meal. She illustrates it as a multi-step, nonlinear journey that began the moment she first reached out for help and continued well into and after her stay at an eating disorder center.

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