Anyone who has struggled with an eating disorder or has helped someone in their recovery process can appreciate how complex, unique and different every experience can be. Reading personal essays and stories is a great way to understand what others have gone through and what they have learned. Our blog, In Their Own Words, is a forum for people to share their insights, experiences, and, importantly, to let you know that YOU are not alone

Tanya: Optimistic and Confident About Recovery

I am 36 years old, but my eating disorder began when I was 15.

It has been a long 21-year struggle with Anorexia Nervosa (binge/purge subtype), depression and social anxiety. My ongoing mental health struggles were also compounded by the death of my older brother when I was 16 and two other subsequent traumas that occurred in my 20s.

Over the years, I have experienced psychiatric hospitalizations several times in Ottawa, Toronto, Mississauga and most recently, treatment for my eating disorder in London. I can truly say I have come a long way from where I have been.

Although I continue to struggle with my eating disorder and other mental health issues, this past year has been a real turning point for me. I am now waiting to begin the trauma treatment program at London Health Sciences Centre and plan to go back into the London Eating Disorder treatment program this summer.

“I can honestly say this past year has been a real turning point for me. Thanks to the amazing support from WaterStone Foundation for funding the eating disorder transition house where I have been residing for the past 6 months. I feel like I really have a chance to put this eating disorder behind me once and for all.”

Thanks to the amazing support from WaterStone Foundation for funding, I lived in the eating disorder transition house for the past six months. The transition house has been a safe, supportive, and motivating environment that has been lifesaving.

Without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am more optimistic and confident about my ability to fully recover from my eating disorder. I am nearing the end of my nursing studies and looking forward to soon becoming a registered nurse, something I am passionate about.

I cannot put into words just how grateful I am to have had this opportunity and to have such amazing support around me over this past year because with the right support around you, you CAN get better, life CAN get better, and you CAN recover. Thank you, WaterStone Foundation, for all that you do to support recovery for people like me – I am truly grateful.