In her pre-teen years, her anorexia was so severe she had to be hospitalized. While she was in the hospital, she had a heart attack brought on by months of starvation. Even though the event was frightening and potentially fatal, it did not mark the end of her eating disorder.

She writes,

“I would like to say that this was the reality check I needed. It took a lot of work and involved me having to be admitted to an eating disorder recovery facility for nine months. My days revolved around every type of therapy under the sun: horse therapy, art therapy, music, meditation, group, family, and one-on-one. I knew so much about therapy that I was basically the Freud of 13-year-olds I’m now 21 and happy at what I’ve accomplished and who I’ve become.”

She goes on the share five lessons she learned that helped to guide her through the beginning stages of recovery and that continue to guide her today. Her hope is that if you are currently struggling, or know someone who is, her advice might help along the way.

Read more of Nicole’s story at TheMighty.com.