I entered an eating disorder rehab at 20 years old. Three months later, I completed rehab, proudly leaving unhealthy situations behind. I held the very first Portland, ME NEDA walk and made a giant move from Maine to Texas to continue the path of self-discovery. Unknowingly, I also left the treatment center similar to the person who had entered. Therapy, personal loss, and growth shaped the core values and fundamental definition for how true recovery is defined. 

   After treatment, unmarked shoe boxes filled with journals lingered throughout my surroundings. Walking by the memories along the floor and desk mocked my recovery. I feared that reliving the past might throw me into a deep depression of shame a regret. With the emotional tax of unaccounted thoughts and memories, I devoted mornings, afternoons and weekends to writing. Extracting all of my inner and raw emotions turned months into years, slipping into a decade. 

   Each moment speckled with fear of the unknown. Fear of how far this book was taking me back. Back into the world I knew but hadn't reopened. Retracing the thoughts I was once powerless to, now weakened me to my knees once more.  During this time, I struggled to stay mindful and not drift off into the oblivion that creeps into all of us as we look back, turning around to see what was, terrified we'll discover a new truth. 

   These moments I lived, then I relived, over and over, finally becoming a voice for the girl I once was. A voice to those who want to be heard. The friends trying to understand. For the men and women who want to be understood. The children who must be loved. The parents who need to know. For the fearful to become fearless. I give my story to you all.