My name is Bella Florence. Welcome to my blog.
I began Destination Recovery on March 2nd, 2017 to share my experience, strength, and hope in recovery from anorexia nervosa, which at the time held center stage in my life. However, my eating disorder takes many forms. It has manifested as orthorexia (an obsession with “healthy” eating), exercise addiction, binge eating, food addiction, and the occasional use of laxatives.
Food addiction got me first. It compromised me long before anorexia did. For most of my childhood, when I started to eat, I was unable to stop. In fact, as recently as February 2020, I relapsed, eating mass quantities for 24 hours straight, until my body involuntarily vomited.
Thus, when I finally developed anorexia, I felt triumphant. I fell freely into the disease of restriction, losing 40 pounds in 3 months, moving swiftly from 120+ to 80. I had the control I’d dreamed of, the control I never thought I’d have, and I was hard pressed to let it go.
Letting go was inevitable, however. It was either let go, or die. Being a minor, I had no choice but to get treatment, and when I finally leaned in, I found great healing in writing. You’ll read that writing here.
I write about my eating disorder in all its forms, as well as my struggles with OCD, anxiety, and depression. I write about treatment (both in-patient and out) and the life I lead today.
I write about the transformation of my recovery from mental & physical to emotional & spiritual. I write about my sexuality, not directly related to my recovery per se, but if I am the product of my recovery, then my recovery includes the whole of my identity.
This brings me to my racial identity.
I am white.
For a while, I used this platform to talk about race, racism, Anti-Racism, and my experience of whiteness. However, I have since taken those posts down, determining that publicizing this process does more harm than good.
Writing about my whiteness elevates my voice over the voices of People of Color, it makes me seem more credentialed than I am , and it turns my activism into a performance. If I am truly doing my work – if I am internalizing, embodying, and living the principles of Anti-Racism to the best of my ability – then I don’t need to say so. I don’t need to prove it to you. I don’t need to let you know.
Instead, I have created a page on this site called “Content I Endorse,” featuring voices of People of Color (and a few white folks) who are far more qualified to share on this topic. This includes Nicole Cardoza’s newsletter, Anti-Racism Daily.
I believe that my recovery from anorexia complements my recovery from whiteness – I believe the two are intertwined – but whereas I’m experienced in eating disorder recovery, I’m a novice in unpacking whiteness. I understand that silence from white folks equates to violence to Folks of Color, but I know that lip service does the same.
As of September 2020, I do not have the confidence or expertise to teach others about race. For now, my work has to happen off-screen.
This blog is a work in progress. As I grow, it grows. As I change, it changes. But in the midst of this evolution, one value remains the same:
Honesty – my unconditional standard. Honesty is my spiritual practice.
I care that my words are truthful.
I care that they come from my heart.
I care that they reflect love for me and for those included in my story.
This practice of honesty connects me with my purpose – to tell stories.
This blog is one of those stories.
It is my own, personal story.
Neil Gaiman says, “You never learn how to write a novel. You only learn to write the novel you’re on.”
I find this to be true of every project I create, whether it be a piece of theatre, an interaction with a friend, or the architecture of this blog. I don’t know what the outcome of this blog will be; I learn as I go.
I dream of a world in which eating disorders don’t exist.
Maybe that’s wishful thinking; then again, maybe it’s not.
There is no “posting schedule.” I write when I feel called, and only when I feel called.
Thank you for witnessing my humble contribution.
I now grant you permission to explore.
This blog is dedicated to everyone, everywhere, who has ever struggled with an eating disorder.
Destination Recovery has no external social media.
All sharing is appreciated, as are donations via Venmo: @destinationrecoveryblog.