Labrador woman shares her recovery from eating disorder in hopes of inspiring others to seek help

·3 min read
Kristin Pardy Morris is sharing her story of recovery from bulemia in hopes to let others know that they can get help and recover if they're struggling.  (Heidi Atter/CBC - image credit)
Kristin Pardy Morris is sharing her story of recovery from bulemia in hopes to let others know that they can get help and recover if they're struggling. (Heidi Atter/CBC - image credit)

Near the end of 2019, Kristin Pardy Morris of Cartwright, on Labrador's southeastern coast, was in a difficult spot in her life. Her marriage was falling apart and her family — she's a mother of three — was struggling.

She was hiding her bulimia from family and friends. It affected the way she parents and it pushed her to try to make everything appear perfect to those looking at her family from the outside.

She decided things needed to change.

"I thought, 'You know what? What is the point of feeling like your life looks OK to everyone else when in reality you're about to lose it all?'" she told CBC News in a recent interview.

Pardy Morris went to her local clinic in Cartwright — about 400 kilometres east of Happy Valley-Goose Bay — to talk to a nurse she trusted. The nurse immediately contacted addiction counsellors, tested her heart and booked her a bone density scan in St. John's.

Around the same time, Pardy Morris had been sharing videos about her family and their 800-square-foot home in a YouTube series called Little House on Purpose. When she started recovering from bulimia, she decided to share that too.

"I feel like it's so important to talk about, because the more we talk about it, the more other people see themselves in those stories," she said.

Heidi Atter/CBC
Heidi Atter/CBC

Pardy Morris's YouTube channel and her social media accounts now document her recovery journey, their small home set up, parenting and raising awareness about mental health challenges. It wasn't easy to post publicly, she said, considering she lives in a town of about 400.

"Clearly, living with secrets did nothing for me or my family. So even though, you know, it's hard to put it out there and it's an ugly truth, it is the truth. And I think the truth, our truth is all we have. And it's important to share," she said.

Two and a half years after seeking help, Pardy Morris said she's doing better and hoping to help other mothers understand they're not alone. There's a lot of pressure on parents to have perfect, clean homes and to post beautiful photographs on social media, she said.

Heidi Atter/CBC
Heidi Atter/CBC

"We see Pinterest and think, you know, 'I can't live up to that,'" she said. "Nobody can live up to that because it's not real. And as long as you're trying your best and loving your kids as much as you can, that's all that matters."

There are resources available for people struggling with eating disorders. People can contact the Eating Disorder Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, 709-722-0500, or call the toll-free helpline run by the National Eating Disorder Information Centre, 1-866-633-4220.

"If you're struggling with an eating disorder in particular, please know, for one, you're not alone. That's the biggest thing," Pardy Morris said. "Please go ask for help. There are so many resources out there.… Please take the first step."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

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