Proud2Bme | Finding and Nurturing My Recovery Voice

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Finding and Nurturing My Recovery Voice

By Katrin Alyss--I have gotten more than gifts for my birthday. I have gained my inner strength and my recovery voice. What is a recovery voice? A recovery voice is a voice inside any person that is in recovery from an abusive situation or recovering from an eating disorder. This voice can help you say no to situations that will set you back in recovery. This voice can also be used to tell someone that they are stepping on your boundaries.

When I was going through my first round with an eating disorder, I wanted people to like me. I said yes to them regardless to how full my schedule was. It was like the eating disorder was saying, “Don’t say no or you won’t have any friends.”

I was made to feel guilty for saying no in my biological family. I heard things like “They are your family and you need to help them.” It really didn’t matter what I wanted but what made them happy.

Little did I know that when I told my now-ex-family that I wasn’t going to stand for their treatment of me that I was finding my recovery voice and strength. It felt good to get rid of what was holding me back in my first round in recovery.

During my apprenticeship, I told another apprentice that I couldn’t fill in for her on a Friday. I was celebrating my anniversary. At the end of my apprenticeship, I decided not to do another year there. I wasn’t appreciated for the time that I was putting in. I think that my recovery voice was coming through.

In my second round of recovery, I told this other toxic person that I couldn’t be a friend to her anymore. This person was way into the eating disorder and didn’t want to recover. I didn’t want her to pull me back into the eating disorder after trying to crawl out of that recovery hole. I felt by saying no to her freed me up to move forward in my recovery.

I am fortunate because I have good friends who encourage me to use my voice and to say, “I can’t do this.” My friend and her husband help me by telling me that people should respect my no’s. My Stress Management instructor told me, “Part of stress management is maintaining healthy boundaries.” This goes hand in hand with using my recovery voice.

Friends accept no’s from other friends and respect boundaries. I realized my inner strength when I realized that I was maintaining toxic relationships and that I deserve relationships free of obligation and guilt.

I know that I can move forward with my recovery life and not be afraid to use my recovery voice to say no when I am feeling overwhelmed or my schedule is too full.  I also know that true friends will not unfriend me when I tell them that I can’t do this; they will love me and respect me more because I am being true to myself!

These gifts didn’t come in packages that I could open but they were the best birthday gifts that I gained this year. I found my voice and my inner strengths and they are priceless!

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Proud2Bme is an online community created by and for teens. We cover everything from fashion and beauty to news, culture, and entertainment—all with the goal of promoting positive body image and encouraging healthy attitudes about food and weight.

This site was developed in partnership with Riverduinen and made possible by generous contributions from JPMorgan Chase, Globant, the University of Delaware, and The Hilda & Preston Davis Foundation.

Proud2Bme was first launched in the Netherlands by Riverduinen, a mental health organization that has licensed the concept to the National Eating Disorders Association. Unless otherwise noted, all original content on this site is copyright The National Eating Disorders Association. The Proud2Bme brand, logos, and trademarks are property of Rivierduinen.