by Hannah Fields
from Hannah’s Instagram
Welp, here goes nothin’!
This photo reflects my mixed emotions for what I am about to unfold. So, I was a little delayed in starting my outdoor season. I’ve been using the past few months to focus on my mental and physical health.
To lay it all out there, I have battled with an eating disorder on and off since college.
It all came to head in early spring forcing me to make the decision of stepping back from training/racing in order to seek out treatment. I have debated for a while about how open I wanted to be about the disorder because honestly I am still battling with shame around it and I am also still in part-time treatment. I decided I want to share my experiences more in the midst of the storm and not just wait until I felt like it was a “success” story. Although there have been some true and real transformations around the disorder, I still would not say I am in a completely recovered state.
Another worry of mine in sharing is how the information will be received: what will people think of me, will I say the wrong thing, what if I relapse and then feel like a failure. It’s uncomfortable to be this vulnerable with people I don’t know and don’t know me. My hope though is that there is someone that will see this and is struggling with something similar. I want them to know they are not alone and it is okay to get help and there is hope for freedom and healing. I plan to talk more in the future about how the disorder developed, the process of deciding to get help, and the triumphs and frustrations of recovery while pursuing my dreams in running.
As much as I wish an eating disorder was not a part of my story, it is, and the more open I am about it, the less the grip of shame has on me.
I cannot defeat it alone and am forced to rely on God’s strength and love. If all this means I get to experience a grace and love that is beyond my comprehension, then it’s worth it.
To close out the novel, I cannot fully express how thankful I am for my family, friends, Brooks Running, and my Brooks Beasts teammates who have supported and cheered me on through it all. If you take anything from this, let it be that no matter the circumstances, there is hope!