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  • sherrisacconaghi


If someone had told me that in my lifetime, I would be living through a pandemic that would shut down my world, leaving me isolated from my family and friends, and make me concerned for my health and livelihood, I would have said. “no way I would survive that."

I know that isolation is not healthy for me. Staying connected with close friends was key for my emotional and physical well being this past year. (My Cohort, Mt. Hood, 2020)

But I, like so many of you, have survived it. And I have learned quite a bit about myself. One of the most important being that I do not need so much stuff. I have taken the past year to evaluate the people and things that serve and support me. I have developed clarity on what and who brings me happiness. I have emerged from 2020 with a cleaner house, a calmer mind, and a deeper connection with the people whom I love.

I have the rest go.

Perhaps the tumultuous part of 2018 with my family was not a global pandemic. If someone had told me that I would someday face a crisis where my family would shut down, where I would feel isolated emotionally from my husband and afraid to be around my child, I would have said, “no way could I survive that."

But not only did I survive, I also continued to recover. And I learned quite a bit about myself. The most important being that I no longer needed the habits I had held onto for so many years, believing they were vital to my survival. With steadfast support from my friends and my treatment team, I got through the most stressful time in my life without relying on anorexia for comfort. I was able to withstand the constant anger that swirled around in my house without resorting to extreme exercise to numb the pain. I did not allow the neverending knot in my stomach from the persistent tension to prevent me from fueling my body nor did I turn to food restriction to find control during a time in my life where I felt I had none.

It certainly helped to have amazing friends who, in my time of need, whisked me away to a desert paradise and supplied me with wine, carbs, and love. ( Phoenix, AZ 2018)

I am not quite sure how I did it and I am sure there were setbacks but nowhere in my my journals during that time can I find my thoughts around my body, exercise, or food intake. It was as if I went on auto pilot, knowing my family, especially my son, needed me—a mom with a rational brain and a strong body. He needed me to be his soft place to land in his world of sharp edges and dark corners. I had not provided that to him for many years, and I wanted more than ever to be there for him when he needed it most. I needed my family back more than I needed anorexia.

I came out of that dark year with a calmer household, a stronger mind, tighter pants, and the surprising realization that I didn’t need anorexia to survive. It no longer served a purpose.

It was time to let it go.


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