Unpolished Journey is a joint effort between two sisters. Morgan Blair who is in recovery from an eating disorder and Emily Blair who has been a supporter through the fight. Here is a little bit of our stories.
Morgan Blair (on the right in the picture above): I am the Founder and Creative Director behind the mission of Unpolished Journey. I am currently a senior at School of the Art Institute of Chicago studying writing, film, and art therapy. I also have a deep love for the ocean, scuba diving, and underwater photography. The ocean has been my solace, peace, and escape through my journey towards recovery. It is the place I have found and reconnected with my soul, which my eating disorder had convinced me didn’t exist.
I have struggled with disordered eating and views of my body for the majority of my life. These distortions were quick to escalate and by the time I was ten years old had developed into a full blown eating disorder (ranging from bulimia to anorexia and back again). But, as those of us with eating disorders know, I was the master at hiding, lying, and maintaining my disease until finally at age 18 I crashed, burned, and finally sought treatment for my struggles. Through the love, care, and support I found over the next two and a half years of treatment, I finally started to build a life for myself. A life free of the lies, rules, and restrictions the disease chained me to.
Part of my recovery journey has been learning to speak about my experiences. That is what this blog is doing. I started it as a place to share my story in hopes that others struggling would be able to connect with my words and find support through their messages. As my recovery has grown, so has my vision for my work in advocacy. Now, this blog is paired with an Instagram and Facebook page all working to eliminate societal beauty ideals. On this page, numbers, weights, calories, diets, or traditional views of beauty do not hold any worth. My desire is to strengthen the soul in every reader. To give you the ability to reach inside yourself and find what gives your life meaning. Because it is meaning and purpose that make someone beautiful, not the size of your pants.
Emily Blair (on the left in the picture above): I am the Event Coordinator and the Director of Operations behind the mission of Unpolished Journey. I am currently a sophomore at Loyola University of Chicago studying Human Services, with a focus in mental health, as well as Spanish and Education Policy. I’m passionate about a variety of things: llamas. And well, that’s it. I’m kidding. I also love traveling and have decided to pursue the goal of becoming a black belt.
I have never personally struggled with an eating disorder, but I will say I have struggled with the following: self-worth, body image, and anxiety. Watching as my sister battled such an insidious disease was one of the hardest things in my life. I think what made it even harder in the beginning was that I was not in a place to support her. When she entered residential treatment, I was going through a difficult place personally my senior year of high school. But what I learned from that experience was that if a plane is going down, you have to put on your oxygen mask first before you can help someone else. You have to take care of yourself before you can support someone else.
What I want people supporting those struggling with an eating disorder to realize is that you have to have a solid footing first. You have to know who you are and know your self-worth before standing along someone’s journey to recovery. Because if you try and support someone when you’re still unsure of your own self-worth, then you both will tumble down a deep, dark hole together instead of searching for the light.