The road to recovery has definitely not been an easy one. I did not believe that the right things would happen in my life. I gave up hope. I lost myself. Therapists, staff, and fellow patients continued to tell me recovery was worth it. I didn’t know what recovery looked like. I didn’t know if I wanted recovery. All I knew is I wanted a miracle.

I knew I was slowly killing myself, but I didn’t know why. I didn’t want to go back to UNC. I wanted to go far. I wanted to get away from my family and the man I was dating. Ultimately, I chose Rosewood. I learned more about myself at that time than I did in my whole life. I made the leap to partial, followed by A New Journey (now Rosewood Santa Monica).

In 2009, I was on a flight back to Rosewood. This time, I paid for it all on my own. I had no one help me. I wanted to get better for me. I wanted to do this for me. I learned more about me this time that previously at Rosewood. It was an awakening. I knew what I wanted, but didn’t think I could get it. Getting pregnant was something that I wanted so badly, but thought I had done too much damage to my body. Obtaining a career was something I desired, not just a job. After Rosewood in Arizona and Santa Monica, after learning what was holding me back, I returned home.

Treatment taught me about who I am as a person and how to be more assertive, confident, brave, and how to overcome one’s eating disorder (among many other aspects). Grad school taught me how I was with the world around me. It taught me where my beliefs and values came from. It taught me how to be a counselor. I couldn’t be a good one if I couldn’t work on my own issues to help others.

Then, I met my current boyfriend. For the past year and a half, my life has significantly and radically changed. While in grad school, I solidified a job at an Eating Disorder Treatment Center in Durham, NC. And then I graduated with a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health in December 2016. I have wanted nothing more than to become a counselor in mental health and addictions, something I am obtaining and waiting for the boards to receive all the paperwork now to become official. I guess you could say that my life has turned around, and done a 180. Ironically enough, I just got a job where I was interning, which the practice name is One-Eighty Counseling. To work in a treatment center and a private practice is something I have dreamed about. These are just two miracles. The miracle of meeting someone who challenges my eating disorder and myself is something to note as well

September 2016, I received the most shocking, surprising, and glorious news. I had this “gut feeling.” Around 10:30 AM on September 26, I found out I was pregnant. It was confirmed by an ultrasound two weeks later. I have passed the first trimester and currently the doctors hear a strong heartbeat. This is one miracle that I never dreamed would happen. I never thought I would have the ability to carry a child. I never thought I would know what it would be like to have the ability to create life inside me. Getting pregnant has challenged me. I have had a ravenous appetite since before finding out, which I believe is a sign from my body to nourish myself to give my baby the best chance it can have. The father, my boyfriend, is thrilled for us, as am I. I am starting a chapter in my life that now can turn a dream into a reality.

Recovery has many gifts. Recovery has many opportunities. Recovery itself IS a miracle. Thinking about what recovery means to me brings tears to my eyes. The once hopeless soul who wanted to end things. Now, I have the opportunity to carry life and have new beginnings. And that’s just what recovery is. New gifts. New opportunities. New beginnings. No matter what, recovery really IS worth it.