The Sweet Life

When we went around for highs and lows (where clients share their victories and challenges) at our program last month, I was struck by a theme.

We are helping our clients eat cake!

Two of clients shared HUGE victories. One, told us with a huge smile plastered across her face that she ate her son’s birthday cake for the first time EVER at his 3rd birthday.

Another, shyly exclaimed that she had eaten her very own birthday cake for the first time in years.

This might seem trivial, but for those of who have struggled with food or body image, you know how huge this is.

For years, I vacillated between being “good” and denying myself cake at a friend’s birthday, and being “bad” and just saying to heck with it and eating three pieces.

I was constantly calculating calories and heaping guilt and shame upon myself with each tick upwards on my food log.

Rock Recovery’s Bridge to Life program completely disintegrates this way of thinking. We believe that ALL foods fit, yes, even cake.

Today is National Cupcake Day, and we are celebrating by partnering with Red Velvet Cupcakery and Athleta (check out our events here), and also sharing stories and photos of the joys of eating cupcakes!

One of our program graduates shared a beautiful testimonial and shared the phrase, “How sweet life is on the other side of recovery.”

Recovery IS sweet. And not just because of the cake that is now on the table!

It is sweet because we are free from the constant doubt and shame that can comes with our food choices.

It is sweet because we can look in the mirror with self-love and acceptance, not self-hate.

It is sweet because we are free to be present with our friend at a coffee shop as we joyfully split a cupcake (or enjoy our very own!)

It is sweet because we can eat a piece of cake at our birthday, or our child’s birthday party, and enjoy the unity and joy of the moment.

It is sweet because we can be FREE.

Wishing you a sweet life of freedom!

 

Click here to see how you can help someone find the freedom to eat cake today!

Where I Found My Voice

Food and body image ruled my life for over ten years. My eating disorder was a source of heartbreak, comfort, and control. I stuffed, starved, and obsessed as a way of coping with life. It became such a part of me I couldn’t imagine what freedom looked like. I never thought one day I would walk around not thinking “what will I eat, how many calories are in this, do I look as big as I feel, or what would people think if they saw the real me?”

In 2015 I hit an all-time low, crying to God as I tried to pick myself up off of the cold wooden floor after a binge. I barely recognized myself. I was disgusted and ashamed. I couldn’t do this anymore. I wasn’t living at all. I felt like I was slowly dying. I started looking up treatment facilities and programs that might be able to help me. I was overwhelmed; I didn’t even know what I was searching for. I wasn’t in a place financially to afford somewhere full time and I desperately needed something between residential and individual therapy. I found Rock online that night and emailed them right away. I believe it was God answering my cry for help. I entered Rock in a desperate state, longing for freedom, but skeptical if that was even possible. After my first meeting I was overwhelmed. I had never been in any type of treatment facility or therapy group. It was in our Sunday night groups that I finally felt safe and free to share my secrets and pain.

During my time at Rock I was able to not only find freedom from my eating disorder but also freedom from a life of bondage. I was surrounded by people who understood what it was like to feel isolated and trapped in your own mind and body. The volunteers at Rock both encouraged and challenged me. I walked away each Sunday a little bit stronger. Rock was where I found my voice. It was where God met me. It was where I found peace and acceptance that, despite my eating disorder, I was loved and cherished. I live now not defined by my past, my hurts or an eating disorder. I live knowing that my heavenly father calls me valuable, set free, accepted, holy, and loved. I know freedom is possible. My prayer is for all those suffering to find freedom and be able to live the life God has for them. 

Today, you will find me driving through all quadrants of The District as I fulfill my duties as a case manager. I work at a non-profit where I assist those experiencing homelessness find homes and regain stability. I’ve enjoyed the field of social work so much that I am pursuing my Masters of Social Work at Catholic University part-time. Without the tools I learned at Rock, I wouldn’t be able to handle the stress of my field and school. During my off hours, I enjoy time with friends, refinishing old furniture, and spending time with my fiance and his pup. Without food ruling my life, I am able to breathe. I take the ups and downs as they come rather than stuff them. I have blissful days and awful ones but I am no longer controlled by food or body image. 

To those who support Rock, thank you for helping me find freedom.

And to all those still suffering, freedom is possible. You are stronger than you think. Hang in there! 

 

Since graduating from Rock Recovery’s Bridge to Life program, Jessie’s life has drastically changed. Her life is no longer about food, but rather enjoying the gifts that come with each day. You can help more people like Jessie find healing and freedom in the new year by donating to Rock Recovery today!


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