“The best kinds of people are the ones that come into your life, and make you see the sun where you once saw the clouds. The people that believe in you so much, you start to believe in you too. The once in a lifetime kind of people.”
     To me, this would be all of the people from Project Heal.
     I am 17 years old, I live in New Jersey and I am currently in recovery from an ED. I have the amazing opportunity of being able to have a mentor and friend from the Project Heal NJ Chapter, Jessica Jurinich. I have also been lucky enough to be able to talk one of the founders of Project Heal, Liana Rosenman. I can truly say that both of them, and the organization, Project Heal, have changed my life.
     When I was younger, I struggled with over eating. I never thought anything of it. When I was about  14 years old, I had started binging and purging, or just purging after eating. But still, I didn’t think anything of it, because “I didn’t restrict enough or purge often enough” or “because I wasn’t thin enough.” But no matter how much weight I lost, it was NEVER enough. I never thought I had an actual problem up until recently. Little did I know just how much worse it would get. It got to the point where I was restricting so much, I would almost pass out. I constantly felt tired and weak.
     That is when it finally hit me: this coping skill I started, in order to stop feelings of guilt and to have some control, was now controlling me. I had no say in how much I restricted, what I could or couldn’t eat, or when I could or couldn’t eat. I had NO control. I had no energy or motivation. I couldn’t concentrate on anything. School was so stressful, and I got anxiety over everything. The smallest everyday tasks would give me anxiety attacks. I never thought it would get to that. But I had finally gotten to the point where I KNEW there was a real problem, and something had to be done if I wanted to stop ‘living’ like that.  I say ‘living’ because when you live with an ED, you are not really living.
     That’s where Project Heal came into my life. Jessica Jurinich and Liana Rosenman have taught me so much. They have played a HUGE role in my recovery and still do. They have inspired and motivated me so much. They have taught me that recovery IS possible. They have continuously told me how much they believe in me and want me to keep fighting. And that has always kept me going in recovery.
     Project Heal is such an amazing and inspiring organization, and the people in it are even more amazing and inspiring. They are TRUE heroes, to not only me, but many people who suffer with EDs and struggle with recovery from it.
“Heroes are the people who empower and impact the lives around them through their compassion and courage.”
     Although I am still in recovery and have a lot to work on, I now have the hope and strength I need to work at it. As Jessica and Liana would say: Recovery is a process, it is really hard but it is COMPLETELY possible. I am working towards that every day.
     Project Heal is full of so many wonderful role models. I can’t wait to hopefully be a part of Project Heal, and be able to change the lives of people, just like Project Heal has for me.
I CAN do this, and so can you!
Thank you so much Project Heal!
Katie Gilmore

Howell, NJ