Give Yourself The Gift Of Recovery This Holiday Season Give Yourself The Gift Of Recovery This Holiday Season

Give Yourself The Gift Of Recovery This Holiday Season

Colleen Werner

The holiday season is now upon us, and with that comes the constant discussion of what gifts everyone will be giving and receiving this year.

One of the most important and impactful gifts of all can't be found in a store or ordered from Amazon. In fact, it's a gift that you have to give to yourself — recovery.

Recovery is scary. It is terrifying to let go of long held coping mechanisms and open yourself up to the huge amount of change and newness that recovery entails.

However, it is also extremely freeing. Giving yourself the gift of recovery allows you to reclaim your life from the disorder that controlled you for so long. It gives you the power to redefine yourself and discover who you truly are.

I asked some of my Instagram followers to share the gifts recovery has given them, and here's what they had to say:

•         "Love. Recovery has shown me how to love, how to lift people up, and, in return, surrounded me with so many supportive people who love me."

•         "The ability to form meaningful relationship with others."

•         "Being able to fully live my life, and learning to love all parts of myself each and every day."

•         "Being able to use my experiences and voice to help others."

•         "The capacity to fully enjoy the moments with the people I love instead of being obsessed with constantly calculating calories in my head."

•         "Freedom to figure out who I am beneath it all."

•         "Inclusivity."

•         "Stronger relationships with my family and friends. It has allowed me to be present in those people's lives."

•         "The ability to care for my son again."

•         "Resilience and strength.''

•         "The ability to love myself and believe that others do, in fact, love me."

•         "Self-awareness and sensitivity to others' struggles."

•         "Recovery has allowed me to feel again."

•         "Recovery has helped me be more present with my family and enjoy time with them instead of focusing on the food we're eating."

•         "I'm an active participant in my life. No more hiding away or sneaking around.”

•         "The ability to feel my feelings and identify them."

•         "The ability to feel happiness and have good days and live outside of a hospital."

•         "The ability to spend time with loved ones without only thinking about calories and exercise."

As you can see, while recovery can be very scary and intimidating, it is also beautiful and empowering. If you are struggling with an eating disorder and need help choosing recovery, please check out the following resources so that you can give yourself the gift of recovery this year:


    Project HEAL is largest non-profit in the US delivering prevention, treatment financing and recovery support for people suffering from eating disorders. They provide education, treatment grants, and a mentorship program for people who are struggling with eating disorders.
  • National Eating Disorders Association

    NEDA supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders, and serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care. Their helpline can be reached at 1-800-931-2237, and there is also a click-to-chat option.
  • Crisis Text Line

    If you live in the US and are experiencing a crisis, you can text “NEDA” to 741-741 to be connected with a trained crisis counselor 24/7.
Spacer - green.jpg Colleen Werner Contributor

Colleen Werner is a writer, dancer, and future therapist from Long Island, NY. She’s studying Psychology at SUNY Old Westbury and plans on going to graduate school for Mental Health Counseling. She aspires to start an eating disorder treatment program for dancers. Colleen’s experiences in recovery from an eating disorder and anxiety disorder have inspired her to share her story in an effort to help others, end the stigma, and create a sense of community. She is a National Ambassador for Project HEAL, a Campus Editor-at-Large for HuffPost, and a contributor for HerCampus and The Mighty. Colleen’s Instagram, @leenahlovesherself, inspires thousands every day with her posts about authenticity and mental health.