The first time I was put into a treatment facility, I was fifteen years old and had just gone to my sophomore year homecoming dance. I wouldn’t say that I was easiest teenager around but I wasn’t exactly a troublemaker either.

I was struggling with an eating disorder and self harm like many of my peers and tended to stay out later than my parents probably appreciated. But overall, I was a pretty average adolescent.

On September 29, 2011, my mom picked me up from school and drove me about 30 minutes from our house and signed me into the…

My Time With An “Instagram Therapist”

I have been in therapy, pretty consistently, for eight years. In that time, I’ve seen a few different therapists. Usually these are people that I’ve heard about from friends or even referrals from other practitioners.

But a couple years ago, I decided to take a leap of faith. I’d been working with my therapist for around 6 years and felt like it was time to shake it up. So, I googled for eating disorder therapists near where I lived at the time.

And next thing you know, I have an intake with a therapist…

The Chronic Case

In 2015, at the age of 19, I sat in an office at an eating disorder treatment center. This was not my first, or second, treatment stay.

The doctor looked at me and said: “you need to accept that you are a chronic case. You will spend the rest of your life in and out of treatment centers”.

When I think about that moment, all I feel is the same level of defeat that I did in that moment.

That feeling of realizing that even the doctors were giving up. Where it no longer matters if I…

I have a clear picture in my head of when it happened.

The moment that the man I was supposed to marry, changed his mind.

We were in my apartment.

I had taken a break from doing laundry to have a conversation with him.

I felt hurt and betrayed and broken.

He…. He looked like nothing was out of the ordinary. Like we were just hanging out.

And now? All of my future plans look different And feel different.

Because, in way, his decision made everything different.

Psychologists say that this type of memory is called a “ flashbulb memory”.

Detox Tea: Behind the Scenes

Part 3: For My Own Health

If you’ve ever read my posts before, you know that I’m in recovery from an eating disorder.

And if you didn’t know that, now you do.

Being in recovery caused some issues when working for a weight loss company.

The technical term would be “cognitive dissonance”. But all it means is that working there required me to hold different (namely: conflicting) beliefs and thoughts at all times.

I was selling you tea and telling you how amazing it tasted. …

I’m sure you’ve all noticed that somehow you’ll be sitting and feeling insecure about one specific thing and then all of a sudden you get an email about how to “fix” that very same thing.

Crazy, isn’t it?

Well…not so much.

At the time when I was working for this detox tea company, the most employees we had was five. That’s right, 5 people.

  • Myself
  • My roommate/assistant
  • The owner
  • A guy who actually ran a marketing firm
  • The person in charge of shipping.

And three of the five of us spent hours on the internet every day trying to figure…

My name is Barbara. And for 6 months, I was the brand and e-commerce manager for a weight-loss detox tea company.

That’s right. For 6 months, I sent out emails and social media posts to constantly remind you that you weren’t good enough. And that our tea could help you be the person (read: thin person) that you deserved to be.

And then, I got internet hate. And I heard from individuals who felt betrayed. And I started learning more about what my job was doing to people.

I started learning about how I was contributing to a major societal…

We’ve all been there.

We reach a goal. We fall down a little bit. We get halfway back up. And all of the sudden, the top that we had once been at, seems impossibly far away.

The rollercoaster of stagnation.

The ups and downs that keep us trapped and moving at the same time.

So, what do we do?

Do we choose to ignore the strength and victory that comes from going up? Do we focus on how we could have possibly fallen down again? Or do we see the peaks and valleys for what they are? …

I was recently listening to Just Break Up podcast (Ep.4) with Sierra DeMulder and Sam Blackwell. They were talking about toxic relationships and I couldn’t quite figure out why it was hitting me so hard. Until I tweeted at Sierra directly to ask if it also applied to non-romantic relationships. Her answer, unsurprisingly, was that it does.

All of the sudden, it was like all of the pieces that had seemed random came together to form a beautiful picture.

The people who my friends keep reminding me I don’t need in my life, the ones that drain my energy, that…

This post was inspired by this blog post by Jennifer Rollin MSW, LCSW-C.

When recovery isn’t instagram worthy smoothies or eating pints of ice cream…it’s work.

It’s work that sometimes feels really,well, terrible. You feel anxious and scared and depressed. Up is down and left is right.

Rightfully so.

Eating disorder recovery takes everything you’ve told yourself and spins it and twists it into something completely new.

And making something new, is hard work.

It’s trial and error.

It’s cuts and bruises.

It’s creating a new you. A new life. A new perspective.

Sometimes that looks like tears. Sometimes that…

Barbara Schiffer

Eating Disorder Recovery. Adventure Seeker. Live Well, Travel Often.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store