Wednesday, August 4, 2010

alie b.

as i was sewing/tv watching this morning, a girl in a colorless outfit sauntered onto the screen. satcheled over her shoulder was a small, brightly hued red bag. the show hosts went on and on about the "pop of color" the bag added to the look. considering the fact that the only thing i can remember about what the model looked like or had on is her red bag, i suppose the hosts were more than right.

alie b. gorrie has a red bag effect everywhere she goes. her beautiful smile, warm enthusiasm, and limitless ambitions are undeniable, unforgettable "pops of color".

i first met the wonderful alie b. at an EDA (eating disorders anonymous) meeting. Most of those in attendance were college or older, but young alie b. (who's currently attends Mountainbrook High School) was hardly intimidated.

Alie B. suffers from low vision, an optical condition that causes severe visual impairment. She founded an annual event called Songs for Sight to benefit UAB's low vision rehabilitation center and even met with President Obama to raise awareness for low vision.

To have accomplished so much in the midst of her battle for recovery, it's obvious that Alie B. is a woman of incredible strength. here, if you will, is an in-person look into her fight for recovery:

1. How did you come to decide that the fight for recovery was worth it?

"Making a difference, no matter how small is something I value. To put it frankly, when I was entrenched in my eating disorder, I simply could not give to my full potential. I tried, and I was physically present and there for people- but I was doing a half-ass job, you know? I want to be a music therapist when I grow up, and my GI doctor told me that if my esophageal tear got any worse, I could no longer have my voice. OUCH. That is my career, you know? If i cannot sing, how can I lead others to healing through teaching voice and music? My dietician, Sarah, always reminds me of this- because I have dreamt of my music therapy career for years- and I refuse to let some eating disorder get in the way."

2. What has helped you most along the way?

"three things have truly helped me the most in my journey...
1. the time i spent at remuda ranch- they kicked my butt towards recovery in the best possible way...just super hard
2. finally having a network of women in recovery who understand, .

3. having something to put my faith in that is much bigger than me- the Lord."

3. What is some of your strongest motivation to keep going?

" my future. (like number one) i want to have a music therapy career and be in the moment every day when i go to work/school/etc."

4. What is your favorite thing about recovery?

"Recovery has given me SO MUCH! ...I am so much more of the old, free-spirited me, not the up-tight, perfectionistic people-pleaser I used to be. I also have REAL RELATIONSHIPS! (Keep in mind all of the following aspects i love about recovery are not perfect every day- part of recovery is learning how to make these things possible!)"

5. What is your least favorite thing about recovery?

"They say to plan your life around your recovery and not to plan your recovery around your life.... This is so hard. But when I do choose the first option I'm ultimately so much stronger. I also still struggle with the battles in my head! The voice is quieter, but it's still a fight."

6. What do you love/not love about your body?

" I love my legs and am getting to love my arms- i have gotten so strong this year and love having muscle and being able to lift weights and do push-ups and have definition! The one thing i still just am not wild about is my stomach. I really struggle with it, still. So odd how i love the rest, but keep fixed on that one silly part of me."

7. what is something you've learned about yourself "on the other side"?

"i have discovered that i can voice my needs and it is not selfish! i have also learned that i can eat what i want and maintain my weight- i struggle with this idea....but my new therapist checks my weight and heck- i had an amazing cupcake this week and NOTHING HAPPENED. Pretty cool, huh? I have also found i am a heck of a lot stronger than i give myself credit for!"

what a beautiful example you are, Alie B. Thank you for your willingness to contribute, and thank you for sharing with us your story of restoration. much love to you.




  1. yay Alie B :)
    EA, I love that you said she "adds a pop of color;" that's SO fitting! Love you both.