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IMG_7804Dawn Sachleben

Current City: Olalla, Washington

 Topics: Eating Disorders, Body Image, Addiction, Depression, Anxiety, and Recovery.

 I grew up on the beach of Southern California with two younger siblings. My parents loved us and did everything they could for us but there were problems on the horizon and it was felt in the home. At a young age I developed a love for dance, the only problem was I was much bigger than the other dancers and that was the beginning of my disease. My disease started with restrictions and later turned into bulimia. I had such a unhealthy relationship with food that my eating disorder just became a way of life. I was depressed and constantly anxious, I would pray that I would just go to sleep and never wake up. As a teenager my mother looked for help for me but at that point I was afraid to say what really was going on and I was a master of disguises. No one really ever knew how sick I truly was. This went on for years but along the way I would pick up other destructive behaviors I became a addict and alcoholic and in my thirties lost everything including the custody of my children. I had given up, I felt as if I couldn’t fight anymore. In January of 2011 my stepsister died due to complications with her eating disorder and addictions. This sent me further on a path of destruction and by the end I had isolated myself completely. Then one day I woke up and decided I had, had enough and decided I needed help but had know idea where to go or who to turn too. Luckily I somehow figured it out and today I am here to share my story of recovery and let others know that I have been there and there is hope.

 Why where I Stand?: Because together we are strong. Where I Stand has brought me so much comfort. Knowing that there are others like me out there has helped my recovery and now I want to help others who may be feeling lost and alone. Our stories are powerful and inspiring and we should be proud of who we are because we are enough. Society needs to be educated about mental health. The diseases that fall into this category need to be talked about and not ignored. There should not be guilt and shame associated with them. We should be able to talk about them freely without the negative stigma and I am passionate about spreading hope and being a voice for us.

 Interests/Hobbies: I love to paint and draw and be artsy. I love to dance my heart out when no one is looking. I love the smell and sounds of the ocean. I love Music. I love to write and learn. I am currently back in school working on my degree in Social Services Mental Health.

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