This page is all about my conception of RAW and what health looks like for me.
For years I thought that health was “one size fits all” and that being thin was synonymous with health. Oh how the times have changed me! I now view the word “health” as an overarching concept, where there are a multiplicity of definitions. In other words, while there might be some underlying, core contributing factors, health looks differently for everybody, and this inspires me!
Instead of comparing myself to others like I used to, I now glean ideas and inspiration for how to create a better world for myself.
Health to me is not just about how strong or fit my body is, it’s a state of mind and a state of being. I firmly believe that mental, emotional, and spiritual health are critical components for a balanced and enjoyable life.
My journey has included a lot of road bumps along the way. During my junior year of college, I fell into a pattern of restricting/purging and overexercising that quickly became a full blown eating disorder. As a college senior, I traded in my dorm room for a treatment center, and continued to struggle with anorexia for the next year. 2011 was the year I took a medical leave of absence, postponing my last semester of college, and attempting to find some peace and balance within myself.
I spent a lot of time in various treatment centers throughout the country that year, and was also diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, PTSD, and a few other things. For what felt like a long time, I clung to my diagnoses to give me some kind of identity and used them as a way to define myself and the world around me.
In May of 2012, I finally graduated with a BA in Philosophy. I continued to struggle with my identity though, and after a terrible breakup with my college boyfriend, I left Philadelphia to go back home to Colorado and sort out my life.
I was heartbroken, on the verge of a total relapse in my eating disorder after 9 solid months of recovery, and confused as ever as to who I was and what my purpose was here. Sometimes gifts come in funny packages, but looking back, that soul-crushing depression I felt after my breakup was the greatest gift of all.
I began to do a lot of soul searching and eventually found a spiritual guide and healer who helped uncover the real me, who was buried beneath old layers of sadness and depression. While I still have struggles, I’ve moved away from labels because a diagnosis doesn’t define me; I do.
Many people have asked me why I choose to be so open about my diagnoses and the reason is because I believe that there is still so much stigma around mental illness, and I want others to know they are not alone. Sometimes a diagnosis is what helps us bond with others who understand our troubles, and that’s not something to be overlooked.
I also want my readers to know that I don’t claim to have it tougher than others. I share my story not because I think I’ve overcome monumental obstacles, but because I want others to know that they don’t have to settle for a definition of themselves that they don’t like or agree with. There’s a life beyond depression, anxiety, eating disorders, etc. I was on the other side for many years, and thought so poorly of myself that I didn’t want to live. I write about my life, the good and the bad, because I don’t want others to give up when it seems like the sun will never come out again.
So what does RAW mean?
RAW for me is authenticity. It’s sharing the nitty gritty and not-so-pretty along with the shiny, happy parts.
It’s being honest and open because that’s how we connect with others on a deeper level. It’s not being afraid to say, “This is who I am and where I’ve been” and also being ready to say, “This is who I want to be and these are the changes I’ll make to get there.”
Being RAW is about getting back to the basics, which for me means balanced and fulfilling mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical lives.
It’s also about my desire to eat foods that make me feel good, and exploring food as a way to enhance to my life.
What will you find here?
I started this blog as a way to document my recovery from an eating disorder, depression, and BPD. While these are the underlying motivators, I’m shaping my blog into something that is about much more than recovery.
I’m now aiming to show others how I’ve come out of the shadows in my own life and how I’m creating for myself a life that I actually want to live!
Here, you’ll find a different kind of lifestyle guide, one that is based upon the desire to achieve balance in all aspects of life.
My wish for my readers is that they find inspiration here that they can take to shape their own lives, and I hope that they will share their successes with me and with others.
Life isn’t about competition and I’ve found that by viewing other people as teachers and interactions as opportunities to learn, I grow so much more as a person and I’m able to create a deeper, more satisfying life. And really, that’s what it’s all about.
I’m so grateful that you’ve taken the time to read about my story and I hope you will visit again soon!