Ellie graduated from the Recover Clinic in July 2014. The graduation ceremonies we organise at Recover are very special and reflect who we are and the work we do. We invite all members of the Recover family, therapists, clients, and those that have left, to join us in celebrating one persons special journey in recovery.
Hearing Ellie speak about her time at Recover was incredibly inspiring. We learned about her struggles, the battles, the tears and the times where recovery seemed nearly impossible. Hearing about how she conquered these battles, and the freedom and happiness she found once she had, was hugely touching. We were left with a sense that recovery was possible for anyone. “If Ellie can do it, why can’t I?”
As we prepare for another graduation ceremony, we thought it fitting to check in with Ellie and see where she’s at now;
How did you initially feel about going into recovery?
In the beginning I was sceptical. I was at the point where my parents were very involved and very determined to fix me, so my mum scheduled my assessment out of the blue. I didn’t really believe in therapy or know what it was, and I came with the attitude that ‘I got myself into this, I can get myself out’. I was “willing” to get better, but also completely and utterly stuck in my eating disorder. At the start I found it difficult to understand what my therapist was asking of me. It took me time to open up, trust and listen to her.
What was your turning point in your recovery journey?
It wasn’t a specific event or milestone, although I remember a turning point happening within one-to-one therapy over the course of a few sessions: I just started genuinely caring for my therapist. I’d leave the session and feel the desire to text her and thank her for it, or I’d openly contact her when things were bad. I think this was the turning point because I started letting people in and allowing people to see the real me. I went from not caring about anything or anyone, to suddenly really caring about people, especially my therapist and the work we were doing together.
What made a difference in your recovery?
The most significant difference to my recovery was how my therapy journey was tailored to me and my needs. My process felt flexible but challenging, in a truly honest way. The Recover Clinic found the perfect balance for me to enjoy myself and feel their care for me, whilst also addressing the serious things I needed to come to terms with. I will never forget the Spiritual Groups which simply gave me space to breathe and forge real friendships with the other girls at the clinic.
How did it feel graduating from the clinic?
Very different to how I expected! I felt ready to leave, but I didn’t realise it would feel so natural. I didn’t feel scared at all, and I still feel that even now if I had a problem I could reach out to them. Time has flown since my last therapy session and I haven’t even realised it. I miss the girls and my therapists without a doubt, but it is an incredible feeling to graduate and celebrate recovery.
What is life like today?
Today – crazy! But only because I’m working in PR! Otherwise, life feels like an unwritten book that I will write. I have achieved everything I’ve wanted to achieve -from doing well at uni to securing my dream job. I’m still with the boy I met in first year just a couple of months after I started at Recover and we live together with a cat! Life is simple, but beautiful. I’m truly content.
What does recovery feel like?
Life feels in my own hands, I trust myself and my ability to deal with life on all levels. I also trust my emotions, they are my guidance, not my enemy. I feel capable of achieving anything because recovering from an eating disorder is the hardest thing I will ever do, and in doing that I proved that I can reach my dreams when I put my mind to it. Recovery is exciting and happy, it’s freedom and being able to literally not give a fuck about things that don’t matter.
How do you feel when people say that it is not possible to recover from an eating disorder?
It makes me angry when people think that it’s impossible to recover from an eating disorder just because it’s an impossible challenge to forget nutritional information – but that isn’t what recovery is about, which is why people are wrong.
Recovery is about have a strong love for yourself, keeping your heart open to people and experiences, and having gratitude. I am a foodie – so to me recovery also involves me enjoying and indulging in food and appreciating the happiness it brings my friends and me.
Recovering from an eating disorder is about realising that life is so much greater and so much more beautiful than the food that you do or do not eat or how much you weigh – I have no idea how much I weigh and it’s great! You need to believe in your ability to recover completely in order to recover – and YOU WILL RECOVER.