September is National Recovery Month! Workit Health is celebrating recovery with stories from our team.
As the head of counseling here at Workit Health, I know how important it is to celebrate recovery and the people who are in it. I have personal experience in recovery from Bulimia Nervosa and a history of self harm.
For me, recovery has been more than treating my eating disorder. It has been a journey of acceptance and radical self love. To celebrate recovery month, I’ve written a love letter to the parts of myself that I once despised and misused.
To my brain, what some would say caused all this trouble.
I spent a long time thinking that you were beyond repair. I filled you with horrible thoughts. Now, I find peace here on my darkest days. You hold the memories of my fondest moments and allow me to visualise the bright future of my recovery.
To my feet, who have run away from so much.
You’ve stood on cold bathroom floors, squirmed anxiously in my shoes, carried me to beautiful places. You’ve never let me down, even when I overworked you. You continue to march me into the storm of life, unafraid.
To my stomach, where the bulk of this hatred has been directed.
Thank you for giving space to my organs so that I may live, despite trying to destroy them for so long. You’ve grown with me as I recovered and held up as I tried my best to shut you down. You’re nothing to be ashamed of.
To my lips, who have betrayed me.
I used you to speak hateful things about myself. Bitter words produced as a symptom of insecurity and shame. These same lips now speak words of encouragement, support, and positivity. They tell a story of hope and healing.
To my fingers, the unexpected victims.
I’ve picked at you nervously, bitten you to pieces, used you as a tool for my own destruction. I’ve pointed you with disgust at the mirror, at others, at the world. Now I use you to type, as a tool for healing. To send messages to people I love, my clients, and the world.
To my scars, my weakened teeth, the reminders of the past,
I love you and accept you. I hold no grudges against you. You make me the person I am today and I am happy to share you to the world. Through hugs, smiles, and a voice with a story, we will inspire others together.
To you, wherever you may be.
You are stronger than you think. You have control over your body and your mind. There will be bad days, good days, and a lot of days spent in limbo. You’re not too sick or not sick enough. Find your path and follow it unapologetically, without fear. We’re in this together, and we can make it through.
My journey to self love has been a long one, and I still have days where I feel like rebelling against my body. It has taken practice and a lot of trial and error to see myself as a whole being rather than a mind and body that don’t match. My eating disorder left me with lasting effects and a passion for showing the world what lies on the other side of recovery.
Brooke Houser is a mental health advocate and counselor at Workit Health. As someone who has struggled with disordered eating and negative body image, she is passionate about educating and empowering others around the topic. Brooke is currently pursuing her Masters Degree in Social Work with focuses in Interpersonal Practice, Mental Health and Human Services Management. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, spending time with her family, and listening to true crime podcasts. You can follow her on Twitter at @Brooke_Houser_ .