When Our Struggles Show Us Our Strength: My Journey through ED Recovery, Infertility, and Becoming an Author

Late last year I received news that I thought was only the stuff that dreams were made of: I had procured a contract with a large publishing company to write a book! (what?!?)

Ever since I learned to write, I’ve been concocting stories, poems, journal entries, manifestos — pretty much any form of writing that I could get my hands on.  After grad school (where there was no shortage of writing assignments!) I channeled this mostly into my blog entries, which serve somewhat of a journal as well as a way to get to know me professionally.

And now I get to do it in the biggest way possible! Holy crap!

I haven’t written much publicly about my infertility and pregnancy loss that I experienced in 2014, but that is about to change in a big way so I’d better get comfortable with it (or at least get used to sitting with the anxiety).  My upcoming book will be published in 2019 and is entitled “The Clinical Guide to Fertility, Motherhood and Eating Disorders: From Shame to Self-Acceptance“.  It is a mix of personal stories (including my own and many of my clients and other people I interviewed), research overviews and clinical tools for working with women who struggle with these issues.

I am writing this book for many reasons, but the primary one is that I would love to spread knowledge and resources about these issues so that other women may prevent or heal from the same struggles that I did.

When I was struggling to become pregnant after about 9 months I finally did conceive but then went on to suffer two miscarriages in a six month timespan. I plunged to deep depths of despair, pain, anger, and shame.  I had thoughts like: “this is my fault. Because I had an eating disorder {over 10 years earlier}, I directly caused my body to not function in the way it should.” And “You’re a failure“.

Huge blanket statements that I know (and knew) to not be true, but they damned well felt true at the time, and came to me through such a mean and convincing voice in my head. . . much like the voice of my eating disorder all those years earlier.

I will never forget this time of my life.  It rocked me to my core, and my husband and I were devastated by reoccurring pain.  Loss after loss after loss.

 

Pushing Through the Pain

I have had two experiences in my life that I would say changed me in ways that I had never thought could be, and after both I was not the same.  The first was recovering from my eating disorder and if you are reading this and know much about EDs, you know how hard that is.  I fully believe that one can recover from an ED and give so much respect to anyone who commits themselves to do it (and also know how many ups and downs there can be in that process). But it is damn HARD.

The second was going through the infertility and losses that we endured and coming out the other side.  I now have a healthy, headstrong, smart and adorable two year old daughter who I cherish each and every day.  But the scars of what we endured are still there…and always will be.

I embrace my scars.  My scars of my eating disorder. My scars of my fertility challenges. They make me who I am today and I wouldn’t at this point wish them to be any different.  But there were days – weeks – years – where I wished my life was so different.  Where I wished that I was not me.

Finding Hope

I am now on a writing journey to help others heal or accept their own scars, and I feel so good about doing this.  I also feel anxious and overwhelmed sometimes.  Can I do this? Do I have what it takes? Can I get out of my own way?

The answer is yes (I hope 🙂 )!  Stay tuned for more on my book writing journey, which I already know will be yet another life-altering experience for me.

I am here today, writing to you, because I want to say to you that YOU CAN DO IT TOO.  Whatever it is: trying out for the school play; asking a girl/guy on a date; starting your own business; calling up a therapist and getting help; applying to college; becoming a parent.

None if us knew we could do these things until we tried. So, I don’t have all of the answers but if I can be a place where you can turn to for encouragement to climb that mountain you are looking up, please reach out to me.  I’m happy to be an email buddy or give you resounding moral support from afar.  We are all in this together and together we will shine.

~

xo

Kate

PS: please feel free to share any challenges that you are overcoming or have overcome in the comments.  It helps us all so much to hear of others’ bravery and resiliency!