I have struggled with an eating disorder for my entire adult life, since I was 18 years old. It wasn’t until I was 24, when I started working with EmpoweredRX and a recovery coach, that I started to feel like I was actually making progress in my recovery. I could write a whole post about my experience in and out of treatment - what works and what doesn’t - but for me I always knew what I needed was an individualized approach. A lot of the road blocks I faced in residential and outpatient treatment scenarios were that I felt my needs were dismissed and not heard. A lot of my struggles were reinforced in treatment settings, so I never felt prepared to handle things on my own once I was discharged.
After being in and out of different treatment for 6 years, my primary care suggested I try a different approach. It was at this point that I found Empowered and met Leah. I was hesitant at first, not even sure that I wanted recovery. I had gotten so comfortable with my eating disorder that it felt “safe” and “normal”. However, despite my years of treatment and therapy, I didn’t realize that I still had a lot to learn about myself. Working with Leah, I dug deeper into my past than I ever had and discovered where my eating disorder started and what was causing it to continue. I thought I knew myself, but I learned there was so much more to uncover.
There were parts of my life I had brushed under the rug and ignored that were key contributors to my eating disorder. My therapist is great, and I wouldn’t be where I am without her, but working with someone who has a shared experience and understood the challenges truly made the difference. When I was asked in treatment, by my family, and by my care team what I thought would help me the most I always said I needed someone in my ear at all times telling me to ignore the voice in my head. Working with a recovery coach gave me exactly that.
Knowing I had someone I could reach out to whenever I needed was so comforting and helped me continue to challenge and push myself. Even if I didn’t get an immediate response, it still helped to just release the thoughts. I have made more progress in one year with a recovery coach than 6 years in a traditional treatment program. The support and individualized approach made such a difference. It helped me find my why, and reminded me of it when times tough. I would recommend a recovery coach to anyone who has been struggling or feels stuck. Having a one-on-one relationship with someone who understands your experiences and wants you to heal - knowing the better life that comes - is motivating and reassuring. I finally feel like I have someone I can trust, which is helping me trust myself.