Location: California, USA
Ethnicity/Nationality/Religion: Hispanic, Christian
I’m a mental health therapist at a resident facility for adults. I have both a bachelors and masters degree in social work and am currently pursuing a special certificate in nutritional psychology and another in eating disorders. I’m a strong mental health and civil rights/social justice advocate, with a passion for helping and standing/speaking up for those who can’t for themselves
How has Beating Eating Disorders helped you?
Beating Eating Disorders has been a constant inspirational reminder of hope and possibility of change and the quotes and articles/blogs are incredibly relatable with a sense of community that is so inviting and supportive I never feel alone.
Where are you in your recovery journey?
I’ve been in recovery (with a couple little slips) for 5 years.
What are your future recovery orientated goals?
I’m working toward developing a specialty in treating eating disorders within my mental health practice.. My goal is to also be a mentor for those reaching for or in early recovery, through an eating disorder anonymous group.
What is the most helpful thing someone has said to you? What has been the most harmful?
The most helpful thing people have told me is that it doesn’t matter what others think and that my recovery isn’t for anyone but me. For a while, it seemed like my family refused to believe I had an eating disorder or needed help. They believed it was a behavioral choice and were not slow to tell me that on a regular basis which made it very difficult to believe that I needed any help, no less be willing to reach out for it. But my family of friends were there for me and reminded me, that my eating disorder wasn’t a figment of my imagination or me seeking attention and that whether my family chose to believe it or not, my recovery was about me and that I needed to change the way I thought because I had no control over what my family thought or wanted–my recovery had to be about me. The most harmful thing people told me was that I wasn’t “sick enough” to need help. People would talk about how “normal” I looked and how it was all in my head. They were right, it was in my head but there was a lot going on in my body, even before I looked “sick enough” for others to believe I needed help.
Share some of your recovery insight.
If you think you might need help, you probably do. Eating disorders look different on everyone and if you even have to question for yourself, it’s ok to seek support. It’s easy to tell yourself you don’t have an eating disorder or that you’re not sick enough, but if you ever notice even a little doubt, you could use some help and it is okay to seek it out. On the other hand, if you believe you DONT need help, but your loved ones and other people around you think that you do, you probably do need some help, and that doesn’t have to mean something like immediate hospitalization, but some level of intervention is probably needed and it’s okay to admit that or at the very least, if you’re ambivalent about whether you REALLY do need help, it doesn’t hurt to try. You don’t have to commit to something, go straight to the hospital and admit yourself, or fly away to residential treatment, but at least see what professional recommendations might be.
Is there anything else you would like to add that you want people to know? Any advice to give to fellow sufferers?
The same way that eating disorders look different on everyone, recovery does too. There is NO PERFECT mold for an eating disorder and there is no perfect or exact way to recovery. Seek support from others but don’t expect that you’re going to fit exactly into someone else’s footsteps. It’s ok to pause or take a break. It’s ok (and likely) that you’ll fall backwards at least a little, once or twice, and that doesn’t mean you won’t get to recovery. It means that you can let someone help pick you up, then brush yourself off, and you can pick up where you left off. You don’t have to start over every time. Recovery is a never ending learning process and it’s okay to enjoy (or struggle) through the ride.