By Annie Robinson
Anna left her home in Burlington, Vermont to begin treatment at Monte Nido Vista on April 28, 2014. More than one year into recovery at the time of the interview, 25-year-old Anna is living in Denver, Colorado and pursuing a nursing degree.
Anna is admirably candid about the challenges of recovery. Six years into her eating disorder – which involved cycles of purging, binging, over-exercising, and restricting – it became clear that she needed more intensive support than just an outpatient team in order to break the patterns. The four months Anna spent in residential treatment and then a transitional living house in California were transformative, but life back in the real world proved surprisingly difficult.
Anna admits her eating disorder still tempts her and occasionally catches her off guard with unexpected triggers. In addition to support from her boyfriend Thomas, her parents, and the recovered therapist she works with, Anna possesses an impressive self-awareness and “Healthy Self” mentality that she honed in treatment. She discusses how she challenges cultural misnomers about what “healthy” means, and the benefits of life in recovery: deeper intimacy and presence in relationships, a burgeoning sense of spirituality, and growing motivation to heal in order to help others. Though it has been rocky at times, Anna is proud of and committed to her recovery.