There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.

—Zora Neale Hurston

For well over a decade this quote stalked me. I’ve known for some time, long before I was out of the woods with bulimia, that I’d one day share my story with others. It would be agony not to. Despite the static of internal prattle, I’ve always been able to distinguish my soul’s voice- the one that would never settle for less than true healing and integration. I struggled daily with bulimic thinking and actions. I looked for quick fixes while desiring lasting change. I wanted the suffering to over with. I wanted the process to be easy, neat, pain free. I hated and resented being faced with the daily grind of recovery. 

Long before I was able to change for good, I simply wanted healing really, really badly. There were the “fake it til ya make it” stages too, while I got braver and braver at letting go and feeling the feelings I thought would destroy me. Ironically, it turns out not feeling my feelings was the source of my pain. I would’ve never guessed the thing I feared the most would be what sets me free. 

Staggering fact: at least 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the United States alone. Eating disorders don’t discriminate- they affect all races, ethnic groups and classes. (Source: The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Inc. (ANAD))

Stories are healers. The pain of keeping quiet is more than any soul should have to bear. May my courage be yours and may you uncover your own path to ENOUGH.

Lilly Bright, 2018


Valerie Hager is an award-winning solo show writer-performer, actor, movement artist and former exotic dancer. She’s written six solo shows that have been produced across the US, UK, and Europe, including Off-Broadway at 59E59, The Barrow Group, and more. Naked In Alaska, her autobiographical solo play about her experience stripping in Alaska, has had over 75 performances including a 27-show run in the Edinburgh Fringe (Pick of the Fringe), the New York City Fringe (Best Solo Show Award), Chicago Fringe (Audience Favorite Award), Rome, Italy’s GendErotica Festival (Festival Headliner), and the Last Frontier playwriting conference in Valdez, Alaska. In 2017, Naked In Alaska received its Los Angeles debut at Bootleg Theater. Valerie also works one-on-one with women as a story and movement coach and director, helping them bring their own fierce voices and stories to the stage. She has directed numerous solo pieces and ensemble productions in New York City and Los Angeles. As a teaching artist, she has worked with nationally recognized arts organizations such as the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Queens Theatre, and Artworx LA to support underserved communities in telling their experiences.

For more information about Valerie visit:


Jeff Gardner is a Los Angeles based Sound Designer.  Design credits include DRY LAND for Echo Theater Company (Ovation Award- Best Production, 2016), TREVOR for Circle X Theatre (Ovation Award- Best Production, 2015) and THE RECOMMENDATION for IAMA Theatre (Ovation Award- Best Production, 2014).  He has designed and performed throughout the country including The Shakespeare Theatre, DC, The Studio Theatre, DC, Sacred Fools, The Colony Theatre, Odyssey Theatre, The Antaeus Company, A Noise Within, The Kirk Douglas, The Kennedy Center and  Williamstown Theatre Festival.  Jeff can also be seen at L.A. Theatre Works where he regularly performs live sound effects.