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Hanne’s Anorexia Recovery Story

My Strive for Perfection

Hanne's Anorexia Recovery Story

If four years ago people would have told me that everything would get better, I would have merely nodded my head while screaming my disbelief on the inside. I thought things simply could not get better, that I’d be forever trapped in the dark room I felt myself imprisoned inside. While my friends went out, I chose to remain home. When I attended parties, I could not help but think that I’d have had a better time on my own. Even when I was surrounded by others, I felt like a bubble shut me out, like I was somehow different from all the others. And even when I found myself in the Intensive Care department of the hospital, I still could not bring myself to reclaiming my life.

I was living a hell – a battle I still fight each day, but of which the victories increase every time I choose recovery. Yes, that’s the toughest part: it takes time, an incredible amount of time. I’ve spent days of my life stuck in my own misery, hours trapped in my own thoughts, and a full year in a foreign hospital. I will soon again go into in-patient treatment in order to have my body (weight) catch up with my much more positive and recovery-minded head.

However, it isn’t all bad. Even I, so incredibly sceptical of recovery at first, learned to envision it for myself. And I envisioned myself writing about this recovery, helping others get on top of things even if at that moment I was not quite sure whether I, myself, would (or even could).

I always thought I wanted to be perfect, but it turns out that I never quite knew what that really was. In fact, for me, my Anorexia was never about food, or about wanting to be thin. Even today I am not quite sure what I wanted to achieve, but what I do know is that it is irrelevant. Yes, irrelevant. What is important isn’t the past – the mistakes I’ve made, the choices that dragged me down – but the future – the promise of brighter days, the idea of recovery.

If I can do it, so can you. I now believe in myself, and I believe in you too. I believe it does get better.

Because of this same reason, I wrote a novel titled “Just Perfect.” It is a novel that finds its roots in the difficult times I have gone through, the bullying I endured and the troubles I faced, and it took me more than three difficult years to write. But it was worth it. It’s definitively worth it. Meant to inspire and help others through the sharing of my personal struggles, I believe it would be incredible to share my work with the largest audience possible to convince people of the fact that they are not alone and that they, too, have things worth fighting for. You are worth fighting for.

If you are interested in checking out “Just Perfect” (I hope with all of my heart that it will help you on your road to recovery), you can find it here: (hardcopy)

Not only would I, in this way, be able to help others, it would also lift a heavy burden off of my own shoulders. Yes, indeed, there were several things that were vital in my recovery, things I could not have survived without. And penning down my thoughts and battles were essential. On top of this, the incessant help of my family was indispensable. Without them, without being able to share my story with them (particularly my parents and twin sister), I would not have been able to fight as bravely through this struggle as I did. Because you can’t win a battle on your own, and I urge you to find that person to open your heart to. I’m certainly open to being a listening ear, and you are never alone in your fight.

The last things I want to leave you with are the following:

  1. You are unique, and you are special and talented in your own way. Go to bed every night and review all the things you are thankful for from that day; pen down your achievements; repeat to yourself the aspects of your personality that you are proud of, and work on those you want to improve.
  2. Get things off your chest. Keep a diary; talk to a parent, a sibling, a friend, and/or a therapist; express yourself through art and write it off. (For me, this was vital: “Just Perfect” was cathartic, not only having received praise from numerous eating disorder sufferers claiming it helped them in their recovery, but also furthering my own recovery.)
  3. Believe in recuperation. As long as you believe it is possible, you can achieve it.