What Pride Month Means to Me in Eating Disorder Recovery

What does Pride Month mean to me in eating disorder recovery? That's a question I have explored intently during the past year. This is a vulnerable article for me to write because I have not spoken about it publicly until now, and it requires putting myself out there in a raw, exposed way. But since I am passionate about destigmatization—both in mental health and other sociocultural spheres—I think it could be meaningful to share this facet of my own personal identity, which has also become central to my eating disorder recovery. 

My Journey to Embrace What Pride Month Means to Me

Last year, in June 2020, I came out to my husband as a bisexual woman. In the deepest recess of my soul, I had long known this truth about myself, but I fought to repress it for most of my life. Back in 2013, I fell in love with the man who would become my husband, but I still wrestled with inner sexuality that I couldn't name or understand. After years of conflict and sexual frustration in my marriage, combined with an intense love and authentic desire to heal the brokenness of our relationship, I finally acknowledged what I could no longer deny. I am someone who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, etc. (LGBTQ+).     

I was terrified to verbalize this aloud because of how much I love my husband. But in a beautiful turn of events, which I will forever be grateful for, he received the information with so much tenderness, compassion, patience, and gentleness. The safety he created for me in that moment has since paved the way for more connection, honesty, depth, love, intimacy, and mutual respect than either of us could have imagined. Our relationship is solid because no parts of ourselves remain hidden anymore, and we still choose each other daily. But how does all of this intersect with my eating disorder recovery? Allow me to explain. 

Eating Disorder Recovery Through the Lens of Pride Month

Learning to understand the nuances of my own sexual identity has transformed the ruthless, complicated relationship I've had with body image from the time I was a child. For over 15 years, I blamed this body for the discomfort, secrecy, and repression I felt in the marrow of my bones. I starved this body out of desperation that just maybe I would come to accept myself at a certain weight or size. I wasn't consciously aware of the truth I used my eating disorder to numb out from, but when I finally reached a point where I could voice it into existence, this abusive treatment of myself began to lose its foothold.   

I will not make any pretenses or claims that I am now "cured" from my eating disorder, but I have experienced firsthand the healing, restorative power that self-acceptance can bring—no matter how scary or painful it can be. I know this process comes with inherent risk, and I realize my own immense privilege to walk it out in the context of a safe, trustworthy, love-filled marriage. But I chose to write this article in hopes that if anyone else out there wrestles with embracing the connection between their body image and sexuality, these words might affirm their journey. So what does Pride Month mean to me in eating disorder recovery? It means celebration, freedom, and permission to treat my full, true self with the kindness she deserves.  

APA Reference
Schurrer, M. (2021, June 9). What Pride Month Means to Me in Eating Disorder Recovery, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 19 from

Author: Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

Connect with Mary-Elizabeth on Facebook, Instagram and her personal blog.

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