still becoming by Laurie Yurchuck, National Alliance for Eating Disorders
I used to think that healing was a race. I thought that one day I would cross a finish line and I would be done.
I used to think that healing was black and white; all or nothing. I would say that I am your typical Type-A perfectionist, so I thought – or rather I hoped – that I could approach recovery the same way I approached everything else in my life: with rigidity and rules. I wanted someone to tell me how to recover, step-by-step, so that I could check it off my to-do list.
But healing exists in the gray. There are no finish lines, no precise directions, and no exact timelines. As cliché as it may sound, I now know that healing isn’t a destination, it’s a journey. A non-linear, bumpy, messy journey filled with detours and wrong turns.
So, maybe I will always be healing;
I think that there will always be more for me to learn and unlearn; more space for me to grow; more things for me to become.
After all, I’m only human. And we, as humans, are always evolving, adapting, and changing. As a wise woman once told me, “you don’t recover to utopia, you recover to life.” And life, like healing, is a non-linear, bumpy, messy journey filled with detours and wrong turns.
Now, that’s not to say that recovery isn’t possible or that I think I will struggle with an eating disorder for my entire life. It’s quite the opposite, actually. My eating disorder took up so much time, space, and energy. My whole world revolved around food and my body. From the moment my eyes opened in the morning until the moment they finally closed at night, it was all I could think about; nothing else mattered. I couldn’t dream or plan for a future because I was convinced I didn’t have one. I couldn’t imagine a life without my eating disorder, but I also knew that I couldn’t have a life with my eating disorder.
Recovering from my eating disorder frees up all of that time, space, and energy. It gives me the ability to dream and plan; to imagine a future of endless possibilities. Now, it’s not filled with sunshine, bunnies, and rainbows; and it didn’t happen overnight. My healing journey has been the hardest thing I think I will ever do. I have fallen down and wanted to give up more times than I can count.
But I always get back up.
Even when hopelessness has washed over me like the morning tide.
Even with wobbly knees, trembling hands, and tears in my eyes.
I’ve gotten back up.
And I will continue to get up.
Continue to heal.
Continue to grow.
I will continue this journey and allow myself to still become the person I was always meant to be.
If you or someone you love is experiencing an eating disorder, please reach out to the National Alliance for Eating Disorders, the leading national nonprofit organization providing education, referrals, and support for all eating disorders. Visit allianceforeatingdisorders.com or call 866.662.1235 for more information.
Laurie Yurchuck (she/her) has always been passionate about helping others. Laurie graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree (B.A.) in Psychology from the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University. She first became involved with The Alliance in high school after attending their adolescent support group. Through her own recovery, she took on a part-time role as Project Coordinator, managing findEDhelp, The Alliance’s interactive referral website, as well as The Alliance’s social media accounts. After graduating, she took on a full-time role as The Alliance’s Administrative + Technology Coordinator. Laurie plans to go on to get a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. When she’s not working, you can probably find her drinking a nice cup of coffee and watching Grey’s Anatomy (...again)!