My name is Vivian and I have suffered from an eating disorder for 10 years.
As a child, I was very sensitive to my environment. Because of the circumstances in my family, I developed a very helpful skill to survive at that time: adaption. I never spoke up and held myself invisible. At school I was the popular, intelligent girl. From the outside it seemed I had everything one would want. But no one saw me struggling. Not just me, but my pain seemed invisible as well. When I was 16 I went to my first therapist, on my own request. I could'nt keep up with all the rules my eating disordermwas setting up for me. My thoughts were exploding in my head and I just could not anymore. I learned to eat cookies again, which I did not anymore. And basically that is the only thing I can recall from that treatment. I left my house at 18 to study in another city a major transition. It was just a matter of time before I had to apply for help again. This time, a lot of attention was paid to the roots of my problems. But still, the eating disorder mode was not switched off yet. A major life event then triggered my eating disorder to fire up in ways it had not before. I lost a lot of weight and with that I lost the life I was living. I was held hostage in my eating disorder. While my friends were graduating, partying, having dinner parties and travel, I was laying on my sofa. Unable to move, tons of physical problems and scared as hell to let go of the only thing that I thought I had control over. I consider myself a fighter, someone who has great perseverance. I just used it wrong. At my breaking point, I made the decision to start fighting to get my life back. I started persevere in getting better. After a very intensive inpatient treatment, I finally felt I was truly recovering. I am very thankful to have found a place where they saw me as a person. I learned to let go of my invisible blanket. They helped me to understand why I developed my eating disorder and I learned to stop with my destructive behavior. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I am not ashamed to say that I consider myself a warrior because of this. in the early years of my recovery, I have discovered that my work as a psychologist was worth a million times more, when I was helping people who were fighting the same battle I had. I started to specialise professionaly in eating disorders.
To be able to help setting up the programme for Rise Treatment Centre is the cherry on the cake for me. Rise is the embodiement of what I feel treatment for people who suffer from eating disorders should be like. A place where you do not have to fight your battle on your own. A place where people see and understand you. A place where you learn to let go of your eating disorder. A place where you learn to recover from what has caused your eating disorder. A place where you can learn to love yourself a little better.
A place where you can Rise!