Maris Degener

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2019

Maris Degener
National Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2019
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It’s National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

An eating disorder played a big role in my story. While it doesn’t define who I am, it was the catalyst to a great deal of change in my life. 
This picture is from my hospitalization for anorexia. I was a freshman in high school. I hope it goes without saying, but having an eating disorder is not glamorous: I was socially isolated, terrified of myself, and quite literally dying.

The girl in this picture did not know just how much beauty was waiting on the other side.

Today, I can do so many things this girl thought she was incapable of. I can travel. I can move with freedom. I can nourish myself with love and abundance instead of guilt. I can be myself, unashamedly. 
Recovery is 100% possible, no matter who you are. You do not have to wait to be “sick enough” or “skinny enough” to begin your journey towards the healing you so deserve.

There is hope. There is so much waiting for you, so many things you never could have dreamed of. There is no shame in struggling, but you do not have to stay there, either.

I see this picture and I’m reminded of just how much tomorrow needs each and every one of us. In the moment, we may feel meaningless or worthless, but someday you’ll get to look around and think, “Ah yes, this is why I stayed. This is why my presence matters. This is why I worked so hard to heal.”

And I promise, that time will come.

Below are some pieces I’ve written over the years about eating disorders and recovery. My hope is that you find them educational, uplifting, or connect to them in some way. If you think it might be helpful to someone in your life, please feel free to share.

Photo by Danielle Del Rosario.

Photo by Danielle Del Rosario.

Photo by Danielle Del Rosario.

Photo by Danielle Del Rosario.