I've always had a curiosity and affinity for the outdoors.
My memory of my childhood is patchy, but for some reason I can never get the memory of roaming in the woods, climbing and exploring out of my head. I had a rough childhood. I grew up in a home void of affection, teeming with tension, culminating in abuse. In hindsight, it wasn't much of a surprise that this environment lead to the manifestation of an eating disorder by age 10. My teen years saw 11 treatment facilities in five years, and though I credit some of these stays for helping me work through some difficult issues, I always felt boxed in and that my curiosity and adventurous side was stifled.
At sixteen, I had the amazing opportunity to move to Canada and move in with an incredible foster family, and I have to say, I found that side of me again. It hasn't been easy, but my connection with the outdoors has been renewed and helps making the choice to be in recovery easier every day. I work in a beautiful provincial parks system and relish the availability of the wilderness to me now.
I try and spend every moment I can outside because the natural world is elegantly simple, and to be honest, one of the only parts of my life that isn't complicated. I am constantly in awe at the natural world around me and it is really one of the only places that I feel at home and fully experience every emotion in the book.
I am just finishing up an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science and, for one of the first times in my life, am excited to explore and undertake adventures. This is something that I can only do in recovery. The outdoors is my sanctuary, is what I am building my life and career around, and has given me the confidence to become increasingly more open and passionate about sharing my story and helping others that are struggling with eating disorders and/or difficult trauma.
I came across this project by chance and am so glad I did. It was something I just couldn't pass up being a part of.