How I Rediscover My Eating Disorder Recovery Every Day

My name is Maddie.

I have anorexia nervosa.

These are not the words I use to introduce myself, of course, but it is true.

I have an eating disorder.

I was diagnosed in November 2016

16 years old

I do not know when it began, that would have to ask the first person that noticed any signs.

There were signs.

I started recovery on December 6, 2016.

I ended PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program) before Christmas 2016

I ended IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program) on January 26, 2017.

I celebrated two years of recovery this year.

I almost didn’t, you see, for I do not always find myself within the realm of recovery.

I question whether I can count those two years as recovery to begin with.

I question whether all this information is important for whoever reads this to know because an eating disorder is something you should keep to yourself and not tell anyone about. Right? I shouldn’t be telling my story because no one needs to know. Right?

Well sorry, that’s not my mentality.

I have an eating disorder.

I have anorexia nervosa.

My name is Maddie.

I wake up every day with recovery as a choice.

I lay in my bed at night reflecting on where I’m at in my recovery.

My recovery is an ever-present state of being in the life that is Maddie’s.

That is mine.

My eating disorder is not written on my skin.

My eating disorder is not in every word I speak.

My eating disorder is that which I live.

I live it every day.

I live it every meal.

I live it every moment.

Anorexia is scary.

Anorexia is scared by my mind.

Anorexia is powerful.

Anorexia trembles at my power.

Anorexia is all-consuming.

Anorexia is consumed by my daily choice to live.

Anorexia kills.

Anorexia almost killed me and I didn’t stop it.

Now I do.

I do not stop it every day, truth be told.

As I said, I wake up and go to bed every day with a choice.

The beauty is within the choice.

The choice to not weigh myself.

The choice to not count calories.

The choice to not body check.

The choice to not think of how big my cheeks are when I smile,

For years I had hollow cheeks,

I didn’t feel anything in my smile because it itself was hollow,

I lost my smile.

I chose to bring it back.



I choose to eat a bread bowl of tomato soup with a baguette from Panera because it is delicious.

I choose to get a piece of cheesecake with my bubble tea,

I choose to find new foods I love and get rid of ones I do not,

I choose to let my mind speak for my choices, not anorexia,

I choose to love food, to cherish food, to appreciate food.

Zero regrets.

My life is about zero regrets.

My life is about making a choice every moment to not hate my body,

I choose to not cry when I look at my stomach but rather form my hands in a heart on it.

I choose to hold my breasts in my hands and admire my femininity.

I choose to put my hands on my rosy cheeks and smile joyfully because my face is back,

My smile is back,

Every day I choose to smile, to love, to eat with my life in mind.

Even the days I do not,

The days I hate my body,

The days I cry in my bed wanting to be 116 pounds again,

The days I cry in my bed wanting to be 100 pounds,

The days I want to feel my bones,

The days I want to have hollow cheeks,

The days I want to not exist,

The days I want to disappear,

And yet somehow,

I am still here.

I am still in recovery. I am still an eating disorder survivor.

I have anorexia nervosa and I choose to live.

I choose to post on my eating disorder recovery Instagram (@self.compassion)

Recovery is Freedom

I choose to be vulnerable on social media

I choose to use social media for positive purposes

I choose to share my successes

I choose to share my daily struggles, my daily routines

I choose to share my dark days with the knowledge that

Recovery is not linear.

Recovery is a process.

Recovery is a lifelong journey of health, love, compassion, learning, and sharing.

For me, recovery is sharing my journey.

Recovery is a beautiful process.

My body is beautiful.

I share these words and anorexia trembles in fear,

She drowns in the power of my words,

She is blinded by my everlasting light,

She is deafened by my voice and words that I scream until the day I die,

I will die at my time.

I will not let her be the reason I die.

I will not let mental illness be the reason I die.

I will let it be the reason I live.

I will let it be the reason I wear my shirt,

“I am an eating disorder survivor

Healing is possible”

Every day I choose to heal.

I heal.

I pray.

I speak.

I write.

I love.

I hug.

I live my life filled with compassion,

With faith,


With love beyond the bounds of the universe.



I would much rather live with love, not hate in my heart.


And you see I rediscover this love, this strength,

This beauty of eating disorder recovery every day.

I wake up with the choice.

I wake up and see the light of the morning.

I wake up and snuggle into my blankets that keep me warm.

I stand up and put on my favorite dress,

I stand in the mirror and admire my body,

I love my body for what it is, not what it could be.

Not what she thinks it should be.

She lies.

She deceives.

She kills.

She will not defeat me.

My body is strong.

My mind is strong.

My soul, my spirit is held up by a force beyond tangible explanation,

Through my true self, I stay alive,

But more than that I live.


My name is Maddie.

I have anorexia nervosa.

I chose to live.

I rediscover this choice, the beauty in this choice,

The beauty in my body.


NEDA Week 2019

February 25 - March 3.


Let every week be a week to spread awareness of eating disorders.


I, Maddie,


Will always be here as a voice.