My name is Brandy Eaklor, and I’m excited to be writing for the Getting Through Tough Times blog at HealthyPlace. I am 24 years old and have been struggling with anxiety and depression since I was around 12 years old. I lived in a toxic environment as a teenager, with a stepmother who did not want me to have a relationship with my father. The alternative was to live with my mother, who had abusive men in and out of her life. This pain also lead me to emotional eating and binge eating to cope with my emotions. I felt alone, unaccepted, self-conscious and unworthy.