Jessica Jurinich – Email Jessica
Being recovered is nothing like I ever imagined it to be, it’s better, harder and is full of gray (lots of colors, too). For eight years I struggled, living in the abyss of my eating disorder; a world of black and white, of control, obsession and loss. Of course there were stories of recovery, individuals who told their stories, accounting their descent to the bottom and rise to the top. But, it always seemed unrealistic-how was I going to achieve that??
With the support of an incredible treatment team, family, reconnecting with friends and making new ones, I found recovery, though it surely wasn’t picturesque as some had described it. It was awkward, frustrating, amazing, everything I never thought it could be. I love being able to share my story, letting others know that it IS possible to live, really live and enjoy your life! I went from a shy, uncertain, self-loathing girl to being able and loving to speak in front ofany size group, moderating a recovery group, and believing in my abilities to be a therapist and help others on their journey to recovery.
Life is beautiful, and so worth living! I am certainly blessed having met Kristina Saffran while we were in treatment together. Had I not, Project HEAL may not be such an integral part of my life. Seeing this organization grow, having others being as passionate as I am about this cause is beautiful, and I love being a facilitator of that. I would love to see Project HEAL in every state and have representation at all universities. We can truly change the face of eating disorders!
Ashley Tritt – Email Ashley
It amazes me to think about how much life has changed for me in the past few years. It is hard for me to believe that not so long ago, there was a time when I never thought I’d say, “I am hungry, I will eat, and I will enjoy it,” and that I would mean those words.
There was a point in my experience with an eating disorder where I could not picture my future without being obsessed with weight. My body and mind were so ravaged from months of restricting and dieting, that I did not see my life without a full-blown eating disorder. There was a lot of denial and resiliency to get better, because I was too sick to see how unhappy I truly was. I embraced recovery when it became more about feeling better, and, ironically, less about food. Funny enough, a side effect of feeling better, in general, was that I would actually WANT to nourish my body.
I am so proud and excited to be a part of the Project HEAL team! My hope is that we can get to a point, as a society, where we can learn to accept our bodies–imperfect yet amazing as they are–and, in doing so, we can heal from the negative messages about weight and thinness that have become accepted as the ‘norm’ in today’s culture.
The wonderful thing about recovery is that, eventually, we learn that instead of depending on an eating disorder, we can depend on something far stronger and more absolute, that is, ourselves.