Millie is one of my heroes

As cliché as it may sound, ever since I was blessed enough to meet Millie a few months ago when I was an inpatient, she has continued to be my shining light throughout my recovery. I have been struggling with anorexia nervosa for four years now and never have I come across someone as inspirational, hard-working and determined as Millie.

Whenever I feel ready to give up hope and starve myself to death, I think of Millie because her incredible story makes me remember that it is actually possible to recover and live a happy, healthy life. A life free of rules and restricting and a mind free of negativity and abuse. She ignites my belief that one day I could be like her and come from the darkest place to one of such joy.

Although I’m still a long way off being recovered; I don’t think it’d even be possible without Millie’s help. The hardest thing about recovering from an eating disorder is that you feel completely alone because it seems like no one understands what you’re going through. This is why it’s so incredible having Millie as a mentor because she truly gets it. When she sends me messages, it’s as though she’s reading my thoughts. There have been countless times when I’ve had a traumatic experience and when I talk to Millie about it she tells me she’s had that exact same experience when she was recovering. This is an amazing thing for me to hear because I don’t feel completely isolated with my illness – there’s actually someone who understands, who can comfort me and who can provide me with tools and strategies to deal with my distress. For example, comparing myself to others – particularly other skinny girls and women – is one of my biggest barriers to recovery. When I told Millie this she was so understanding and send me numerous quotes which I’ve now stuck up all over my wall to remind me why comparisons are futile and I need to let them go.

Not only is Millie just a source of inspiration and motivation but she is the kindest, warmest, most generous person I’ve ever met. Despite living in different states and having known each other only a short time, she’s never let me down and is always there when I need her (which is at least once a day!) We talk to each other all the time about everything and anything and I know I can always be completely honest with her and not ever fear being judged or misunderstood. She picks me up when I’m down, she’s the one who keeps me going when I feel like I can’t do it and she always is able to make me smile no matter how much I feel like crying instead.

That being said, Millie recognises that recovery is the toughest thing a person will have to do and has so much patience and understanding throughout this journey. She knows there are times when I’ll curl up into a ball and cry, when I’ll be feeling really upset, when I’m lacking motivation – but she is never judgemental of these moments and she never gives up on me. My eating disorder makes me feel like a failure whenever I eat, whenever I am not exercising and especially when I restore weight. Somehow Millie has this magical ability to lessen my eating disorder’s voice and strengthen mine. Just last week when I’d be told I’d had a weight restoration by my doctor, I told Millie this and her happiness actually made me feel proud of myself for the first time ever. She instilled a sense of hope that maybe everything actually will be okay and weight gain isn’t going to make my world come crumbling down. Millie is one of my heroes. I just hope that one day I can be a fraction of the person she is.

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