Stories - @alicejoiner

BY: ALICE JOINER

The aim of an eating disorder is to kill you. As a woman, it denied every single thing about who I am as a person, physically, emotionally and mentally. My body, my mind and my relationship with myself were consistently beaten down. I never felt seen, accepted or worthy of the love and freedom I proudly feel and surround myself with today. I never believed in myself so I would take photographs of my pain and hide them away for the years that followed without the intention of showing anybody. And now there seems to be purpose in it all. The dots are beginning to connect. In my healing I have realised that all along I had everything I have ever needed, I just didn’t realise it at the time. I have made a home for myself with the work that I create, and I am now in a place where I can be of service with it and talk, share and honour this profound transition and healing in the hope that it can help others. The very term empowerment was never a part of my life when I was unwell. But my recovery has opened me up to who I am as a woman and an artist, and in doing so; I have never felt more empowered in myself, my body, my spirituality, my work, my relationships or my sexuality. I feel empowered today because I have worked hard to get here: I have done this. I feel empowered because I have a spiritual family around me who blow my mind on a daily basis with their beauty, kindness, love, compassion and support. I have never felt more supported or held in my entire life. But none of this fell into my lap; none of it has been easy. My recovery is the single hardest thing I have ever done and will ever have to do. But it has set me up now for the rest of my life and it has prepared me for today. I am able to experience life from a place of pure sensitivity and a deep emotional understanding of who I am by turning inwards. I know now that I can and will get through anything. Whatever I create, wherever I go, I will always honour this journey. One day the dots begin to connect and the love and pain seem to mirror one another. They exist alongside one another and they are teaching me everything I know. Alice Joiner

The aim of an eating disorder is to kill you. As a woman, it denied every single

thing about who I am as a person, physically, emotionally and mentally. My body,

my mind and my relationship with myself were consistently beaten down. I

never felt seen, accepted or worthy of the love and freedom I proudly feel and

surround myself with today. I never believed in myself so I would take

photographs of my pain and hide them away for the years that followed without

the intention of showing anybody. And now there seems to be purpose in it all.

The dots are beginning to connect. In my healing I have realised that all along I

had everything I have ever needed, I just didn’t realise it at the time. I have made

a home for myself with the work that I create, and I am now in a place where I

can be of service with it and talk, share and honour this profound transition and

healing in the hope that it can help others.

The very term empowerment was never a part of my life when I was unwell. But

my recovery has opened me up to who I am as a woman and an artist, and in

doing so; I have never felt more empowered in myself, my body, my spirituality,

my work, my relationships or my sexuality. I feel empowered today because I

have worked hard to get here: I have done this. I feel empowered because I have a

spiritual family around me who blow my mind on a daily basis with their beauty,

kindness, love, compassion and support. I have never felt more supported or

held in my entire life. But none of this fell into my lap; none of it has been easy.

My recovery is the single hardest thing I have ever done and will ever have to do.

But it has set me up now for the rest of my life and it has prepared me for today. I

am able to experience life from a place of pure sensitivity and a deep emotional

understanding of who I am by turning inwards. I know now that I can and will

get through anything. Whatever I create, wherever I go, I will always honour this

journey. One day the dots begin to connect and the love and pain seem to mirror

one another. They exist alongside one another and they are teaching me

everything I know.

Alice Joiner