Welcome, welcome, welcome!!

Firstly, whether it was accidental or on purpose, thank you for coming across my blog and taking the time to find out a little more about me and my site.

My name is Eleni but as some people find that hard to pronounce (it’s Greek) a lot of my friends and family call me Leni or Len. I predominantly go by Len though.

I like Len.

The main focus of my blog is my eating disorder recovery, in particular, bulimia. In fact, that’s the reason I started my blog in the first place. My therapist wanted me to journal my thoughts, feelings, emotions and for some reason I struggled to put pen to paper to write it all down. I found it easier to take my fingers to the keyboard and type.

I found that typing really allowed those deep raw emotions to come pouring out on the page. I felt more restricted on paper. I don’t really know why, that was just me.

Coming online also allowed me to meet a community that I could relate to. It made me realise I wasn’t truly alone. It was fascinating to learn about other’s journeys and wonderful to make some extremely supportive online friends.

I was an international athlete and I developed bulimic and anorexic habits in 2011 which quickly turned into bulimia in 2012. Initially I never binged, I would purge after eating fruit, but although I had a multitude of anorexic symptoms I was told I was still too large to get an “official” diagnosis. However, when I retired from elite sport all my habits were purely bulimic.

It wasn’t just sport and coaches that caused my eating disorder. “Friends”, family, bullies, toxic boyfriends, sexual assault – the whole lot contributed to my eating disorder. You can find more about my backstory on that page.

I have several disabilities (juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, psoriatic arthritis, mild cerebral palsy, nerve damage and IBD) and from a young age they always made me feel “broken”. This was another factor that significantly contributed to my eating disorder.

My blog was initially called Umbrella Adventures (for reasons you can find on that page!) and that name lasted for a good 8 years. However, 6-8 years after it all began (as I entered recovery) I found that Umbrella Adventures didn’t resonate with me anymore and I became unmotivated to write.

I began wondering if that was because the change in myself had changed my writing. I was no longer writing from a place of turmoil and heartbreaking pain but a place where I was learning what it meant to be in recovery. The vast majority of my posts were metaphorical and poetic in a way because that was the only way I could understand and release my pain.

I would look back on some posts and I could feel the pain I had been in but it no longer consumed me. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a fair amount of pain but I no longer needed Umbrella Adventures in the way I once had. It didn’t feel right to use that safe space differently, as though I couldn’t use it except for my darkest days.

Perhaps a new road needed a new focus?

And so I changed my blog to The Recovery Lens. True to form, I like the play on words with my name but I also like the idea of my blog providing a snapshot into my recovery.

I have kept all history of Umbrella Adventures. I haven’t deleted a single post and there’s a page explaining why that was my “then blog”. Umbrella Adventures has served it’s purpose but I want to remember it for everything it did for me.

To new roads undiscovered.

Len x

instagram: @elenipapa92 / @recovery_lens