Making It to the Bumpy Road of Recovery

images / modern hepburn 

images modern hepburn 

When I hit my rock bottom my eating disorder was in charge and  I was literally incapable of seeing anything clearly. Everything had come to complete stop and I felt like a shell with nothing inside.  So, it wasn’t surprising that I was filled with self-doubt and hopelessness that I was ever going to walk out of treatment into a place of hope and healing.  As I think back to the day I was finally discharged and had successfully completed my treatment a smile still comes to my face and yeah I still feel the urge to pat myself on the back for making it to the road called Recovery. 

The night before my final day in treatment I wrote my version of a self-assessment. As a part of my saying my goodbyes to the people in my process group and the therapist who helped guide me out of hell this is what I read to them:

Tina Klaus | Self-Assessment | April 29th 2010

What do I want say out loud in this room before I leave treatment today and what do I want anyone who will listen to me to know. Know that I sit before you in a place of complete vulnerability, emptiness and immense sadness. I recognize how much I have lost, my life as I knew it before I walked through these doors on February 11, has been turned inside out and upside down.  I have lost my parents and am no longer willing to be the broken daughter of two people who can’t accept or see all of who I am. I have stopped reaching for the hand that has continually defined me and held me down. I have willingly walked away from so called friends, my home in order to create something new and I have asked my husband to follow me, even though I have know idea where I’m going.  I’ve realized that I can’t continue to define myself by my eating disorder, I’ve always known it to be the easy way out and it has kept me from being myself.  I’ve also, loosened my grip on my attachment to the feeling that all I deserve is pain.  I know what it feels like to push my body beyond its physical capabilities and have forced it to do things it was never meant to do. I know what it feels like to have a deep passion for something and then have it fade away. I know what it feels like to achieve great success and then fall to my knees in great failure. I no longer find deep comfort in the belief that I’m undeserving, a fuck up, unworthy or an unlikable person. I am not defined by my anger and I do not accept that role anymore. I’m a force in the making, and If you can’t handle all of who I am then you can walk away but I’m not walking away from myself anymore. I now know what it feels like to have honest meaningful connections. I’m eternally grateful to those who have been willing to see me because I’m something to seen.  I’ve spoken my truth even when it felt like I was the only one listening. I have ripped open my tightly wrapped box and have started to climb out knowing I can’t turn back and climb back inside; it just doesn’t fit me anymore. I also, know that it would be more painful to turn back then to move forward towards the unknown. I don’t know what I want or what I want to be or what I can firmly hold onto. 

 Still, I sit here before you in still in a place of complete vulnerability, emptiness and immense sadness but in it I have found my power, and my soul trusting that it they will lead me in the right direction.  I know I’m ready to leave today not because I am fixed or cured but because I crave my life and know it is time to use my voice to propel myself forward.  



tina klaus

Don't Live Small is the brainchild of speaker Tina Klaus. Both a blog and website she created as a way to share her own story and use her voice as she publicly speaks out about the chaos of eating disorders, the bumpy road to recovery and the creating a BIG life. The Blog is a personal space where she provides her readers a mixture of inspiration, practical advice, hope, supportive resources, honesty, understanding and her personal thoughts, all while encouraging you in you own journey towards recovery. Tina Resides in Denver Colorado with her husband Jeff and Dog tulip.