In a society that “thrives” off of the comparison of each other’s’ bodies and lives, it seems nearly impossible to have moments of authentic and powerful self-confidence. After years and years of struggling with the demon I call ED, feeling confident in myself and in my entire life was incredibly rare. I was so insecure about both of my physical and personal qualities. Because of this, I crept through my life while ED whispered lies into my ear. These lies shattered my self-esteem.


It wasn’t until I began treatment for my eating disorder that I began to repair the shattered view of my self-worth. My confidence didn’t return immediately. After 7 years of struggling, it wouldn’t take just 6 months of treatment for it to automatically return. I’m happy to say, though, after being out of treatment for a year, my self-esteem is flourishing. I’ve never felt so confident in my entire life—even before ED’s ruthless words rudely invaded my sacred mind! 

Although I cherish my newfound confidence on a daily basis, that isn’t to say it has been easy. As mentioned earlier, our society lacks confidence in general. The fact that people force themselves to go to the gym in order to burn off the calories from an extra scoop of ice cream, get plastic surgery to alter their God-given, beautiful features, go on strict diets to lose weight that they likely don’t need to lose, and question all aspects of their personal lives like their career choices and love lives just goes to show the epidemic of low self-esteem in our world. The negative self-talk isn’t always kept private, too. People will outwardly spread their negative energy to all who surround them. This is especially debilitating for someone who is fresh out of recovery and is succeeding in feeling confident. This is exactly what I am experiencing. And although it’s incredibly difficult to remain confident amidst such negativity and pessimism, my self-confidence is too precious to lose again. When I hear the negative talk of others, I simply choose to ignore those words. 

The best way to remain confident while others are struggling to find their own true selves isn’t to remind yourself how your past and how insecure you used to be. Instead, think of all of the things in your life that you can accomplish, all of the benefits of living authentically, and all of the exciting moments ahead of you. You cannot control the confidence of those around you, but you can control your own.


Renee Collett lives in Hamden, Connecticut.

She is currently studying English-Professional Writing at Southern Connecticut State University.

At Project HEAL, Renee is dedicated to sharing her story and experiences throughout her recovery in order to inspire others to learn and appreciate their authentic, beautiful selves. 

She is passionate about reading and writing and spreading her optimism/positivity to those around her. She can often be found outside in nature, at coffee shops, cuddling with her dog, or anywhere surrounded by people (major extrovert— she thrives in crowds of others)

Renees favorite ice cream flavor is peanut butter chunk...though she’s never met an ice cream she didn’t like.

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