yes you canBeing on the road to recovery is a path I never thought I’d be on. After ten years of repeating the same habits daily, how in the world was I supposed to change? I was constantly asking myself, “do I even want to change? Can I do this on my own?” I certainly could not.

What I came to realize is that YOU have to be ready. YOU have to want it for yourself. This is my eighth month in recovery and I still ask myself those questions, but what’s different this time around are my motivators. Motivators in this case are what keep me moving throughout my recovery process. They are reminders of why I’m doing this for myself.

Five years ago I was 19 years old, I wasn’t in a serious relationship with anyone and was attending my first year of college. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life, but I knew I loved people, could talk to anyone and just wanted to be successful. Therefore, I pursued business. After a few short months my eating disorder made it impossible for me to even function, let alone do school work. ED won the fight and I had to take a medical leave and receive treatment. I was forced to go and didn’t want to lose control of what I held onto for so long. After I left Walden, it wasn’t long before I went back to my same old ways and nothing changed for me.

Fast forward 5 years later…

This past year is what really turned my life around for the better. Having a full-time job working 9-5 for a successful business and living in a house with my boyfriend of 4 1/2 years; I had everything going for me. Until, ED thought it would be a good time to intervene again and put a stop to everything. This time around I still had friends and family telling me I needed to get help, but I just wanted to curl up in a ball with ED forever and just forget about everything. But, I knew I needed help, so I decided to go to treatment.

This time around, I realized I had to leave my job that I was doing so well at and leave my loving and caring boyfriend that has always been so supportive.   This made me realize that these are things I can’t have in life if I’m going to continue this relationship with ED.

I want to get married, have a family and be successful. I want freedom from lying and manipulating situations. I want to be able to be fair and kind to myself and to take care of my body. I want to be stress and anxiety free around food. I want to be in a better mood and state of mind. I want to maintain better relationships with my family and friends.

All of those things are a lot to think about, let alone tackle on my own. Everyone has bad days when all they want to do is give up. Trust me, it’s a constant battle between you and ED…but that’s when I try and be strong and fight ED. I tell myself, Bryna, you’re 25-years-old, don’t you want to live a “normal” life! One that doesn’t involve stupid annoying ED. Getting married, having kids of my own one day and owning a house are all things I want, but I can’t do or have any of that if I don’t stay focused on my recovery.

A huge motivator for my recovery has been being a role model to others. I want to show people that I can be stronger than my ED. Last month I decided to raise money through the NEDA walk in Boston, MA by starting my own team and sharing my story with others. It’s incredible how much support and love I’ve received. It gives me a sense of hope and it’s a great way for me to stay on track and help others like myself who are struggling.

Dealing with an eating disorder is the hardest work you’ll ever do and recovering from one is even harder. I hope that when you’re feeling hopeless, discouraged or like you want to just give up, you can remind yourself of the goals and dreams you have for yourself to keep YOU moving forward in the right direction.

“She believed she could, so she did.”

-Bryna

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About the author:

BrynaBryna Moreau is a former patient of Walden Behavioral Care in Waltham, MA. She is currently in her first year of recovery and is focused on bringing awareness to the public about this stigmatized mental illness. In her free time, Bryna enjoys traveling, skiing and being outdoors.