Trigger Warning: This Spotlight posts discusses disordered eating 

Hey hi hello! My name is Alexa, I’m a plant eating, loud mouth, unfiltered feminist. My interests include touching peoples’ faces (I’m an esthetician in training) and talking about my feelings (I have a lot of them). 

Just recently my favorite week to over share occurred. That week would be National Eating Disorder Awareness (NEDA) week. I was taking a break from social media at the time due to my own struggles, and it was such a weird feeling not being able to participate.

It’s been a long time since I was at my worst, and every year I would sing the praises of recovery. I would be bubbling over with gratitude for my health and mental wellness. Most NEDA weeks have been a time to reflect on my progress, but this time I was restricting and hating myself instead. 

The worst part of recovery is that sometimes, even years later, you still miss being sick. I feel like such a hypocrite sometimes because I want to give up. Fighting is hard. I get tired. I want to wave my white flag and surrender to my disordered habits, and sometimes I do. Recovery isn’t easy. It’s not a pretty package tied in a bow handed to you upon arrival at your first outpatient therapy session. It’s more like a damsel locked in a tower that you have to hunt down. Then once you find it there are like three dragons you have to fight, sticker bushes to crawl through and a five mile walk up hill before you’re even close. It’s messy and beautiful and scary, but most importantly it’s worth it. I went into NEDA week restricting and slipping back into disordered habits, but I ended it eating crepes and macarons with my boyfriend and my family. Those days make it all worth it. Sometimes it feels too hard to carry on, but when you push through there truly is a light at the end of the tunnel. 

I’m so proud of how far I’ve come and I’m thankful that I can be honest about when I’m struggling. I hope that creating a space to be real about where we’re at in recovery, to not be afraid to really talk about things, will help to end the stigma around eating disorders. I hope that no matter your age, size or gender you know you are not alone.

Alexa is 22 years old, and studying to become an esthetician at Evergreen Beauty College. She was called to the beauty industry by her love of making women feel beautiful, inside and out. She has been a mental health advocate since high school, and hopes to see the stigma surrounding it disappear as more people open up and share how they're feeling. You can follow her on twitter at @lexlove__ or on instagram at @lex.triplett.