Alicia Fenner Shares Her Recovery of 16 Years of Eating Disorder Struggles

Alicia Fenner ImageHi my name is Alicia Fenner, and I have struggled with an eating disorder for 16+ years, and the message that I want to share with all of you is that recovery is possible! I never thought it was possible because I had given up on myself and those around me were losing hope.

I have struggled with many addictions from anorexia, bulimia, self-harm, and over-exercise. I never thought that I was worthy of recovery. I didn’t feel like I deserved it.

My eating disorder started when I was 12 because I was bullied in school by girls, my parents got a divorce, and I felt like I was losing control of my life. I said to myself there must be something that I can control. So, I started counting my calories and over-exercising.

I never knew what a dark path it would lead me down! My mom and sister were very concerned. They didn’t know what to do? My mom took me to the doctor, and at age 12, I was admitted to my first eating disorder hospital.

When I was admitted, I couldn’t believe that I was there because the eating disorder wasn’t real to me. I still thought I was fat!

I just remember not trusting anybody and feeling really scared! I stayed for a while at the hospital and gained back the weight I had lost and looked healthier. With the help of the eating disorder specialized doctors and nurses, I started to believe that I was worth recovery!

After staying for many weeks, I was discharged, but something just didn’t feel right. I still hated the way I looked! I ended up losing the weight I had gained in the hospital but even more this time.

I looked even worse! I felt like I had lost control again and didn’t know where to turn? So, I turned my frustration on myself again.

I was mad at myself and depressed, and that fueled my eating disorder. I didn’t know what was happening to me?

My mom quickly realized what was going on, and I was taken to the doctor again. This time I rode to the hospital in an ambulance. That’s when I said to myself “this is really serious,” and I realized the seriousness of the situation! This time I was around 13 years old, and my mom and sister were so scared for me because they didn’t think that I was going to make it

I pulled through and started really challenging my eating disorder thoughts and worked with eating disorder therapists and doctors who helped me realize that I wasn’t alone! I physically became healthier and just started working really hard on my recovery! I had a lot of relapses and, but I never gave up!

My mom and sister have been my two supports throughout my whole journey and if it weren’t for them and the help from the eating disorder treatment hospital then I would’ve given up on myself – but they saw strength in me that I never knew I had!

Anyone out there who is dealing with an eating disorder or has dealt with one, I want you to know that recovery is possible! I am not fully recovered. I still have my bad days where I struggle, but my hope, one day, is to inspire others and let them know that they are never alone.

Even in your darkest days, you can come out on the other side victorious! In the end, whether I knew it or not, I chose recovery because it ultimately saved my life!

I thought that when I went to the hospital again, everyone around me would be upset, but they were actually proud of me even though it wasn’t my decision to go. They were proud of me for getting help!

Even my second time to the eating disorder treatment center, the doctors at the hospital were really encouraging. They strongly motivated me to challenge the eating disorder! To this day, I really owe them my life because if it weren’t for them, I would not be here today sharing my story of inspiration with you!

My recovery was not a straight line. It was very rough, and I had a lot of relapses. I learned that it is a part of recovery, and it is not going to be perfect! You just have to put every ounce of strength into your recovery and give it all you got!

That’s what I did, and to this day, I have had many relapses, but it has made me want to work even harder on my recovery!

Thanks to everyone who has helped me in my recovery my mom, sister, countless eating disorder treatment programs, hospitals, and doctors.

This is the message I want to share with everyone! My hope is that my story inspires you to realize that you can recover and have a better life without the eating disorder. You just have to be willing to change and fight.

I still have days where I want to give in to the eating disorder, but I make it through with the support of many people who are there to help me even on my worst days. When I wanted to give up, my mom, sister, and the hospital were there for me, and they wanted me to live and get better!

I am not fully recovered yet, but my hope one day is to be healed because I want to be a light for other people who might be going through the same thing!!

Alicia Fenner


The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer a discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Published on November 27, 2018.
Reviewed & Approved on November 27, 2018, by Jacquelyn Ekern MS, LPC

Published on

About Baxter Ekern

Baxter is the Vice President of Ekern Enterprises, Inc. He is responsible for the operations of Eating Disorder Hope and ensuring that the website is functioning smoothly.