I also reached out to American cross-country skier Jessie Diggins, who has been open about her own experience with an eating disorder. I told her my story and she responded right away and provided a lot of advice. I’m grateful that she has been so open about her own experiences. To see someone of her caliber – who has also gone through this – be transparent about her story, it helped me feel like I wasn’t alone.

I also learned about the science of my disorder, which was eye opening. My disorder changed my brain, creating a fear response to food. That helped me understand why I couldn’t just say I’d eat more and then I’d get better, and it was a relief to realize I hadn’t “done this to myself.” I wish I had understood this much sooner, or even been informed of the science during that sixth grade health class, as it might have prevented me from going down this path altogether.

In December, the World Cup speed season resumed – without me. At first, I was jealous. I wanted to be there racing. But once I finally embraced treatment and understood the reason I needed to be there, I found the peace of mind to be truly happy when my teammates did well. Watching Keely Cashman, Breezy Johnson, Nina O’Brien and so many other American women have breakout years just made me want to come back even more.

I ultimately decided not to return to the World Cup at all this season. It was actually Jessie who reminded me that I need to return to competition on my own time, and that stuck with me. Hearing her say that allowed me to take a little bit longer, be more patient, and actually do it right.