Owning Your Grief and Finding The Beauty in Everyday Life with McCall Dempsey

McCall Dempsey

McCall Dempsey is the founder of Southern Smash, a non-profit dedicated to raising eating disorder awareness and promoting positive body image through events where they (literally) smash scales with hammers. McCall is a warrior and has come a long way in her recovery from her eating disorder but, recently, she has been on another road to recovery; recovery from grief. In May of 2015, McCall’s 8 month old daughter, Marjorie, was diagnosed with cancer. McCall tells us how this devastating news put her life and career on hold but eventually helped to give her a fresh perspective on life and a renewed sense of gratitude. Marjorie is now 2 years old and cancer free 🙂

Subscribe to The Recovery Warrior Show on iTunes or Stitcher

What You’ll Learn from McCall Dempsey

  • How a devastating experience can reveal what is most important in life and teach you how to take everyday annoyances in stride
  • The healing benefits of writing down and sharing your experiences and emotions
  • How to see the beauty in the ordinary
  • The importance of allowing yourself the space to grieve
  • How to stay strong in your recovery when life gets tough

Favorite Quote

Do the next best thing, always.

Favorite Recovery Resource

Advice to Former Self

That there’s hope. That you can reach out and get help in treatment without judgment. That you don’t have to look a certain way or weigh a certain weight to warrant help in treatment. Everyone is worthy of help and a life free from the eating disorder.

Definition of Recovery according to McCall Dempsey

Breathing and freedom. Being able to breathe without feeling like you’re breathing through a straw. Being able to see color in the world again and knowing that there is life beyond. Being aware that you can overcome. Being aware that you’re going to have grief, sadness, and anger. Being aware that you may need to extra support and to be extra gentle with yourself.

For Your Journey

Connect with McCall Dempsey

Tags from the story
More from Jessica Flint, MS
The Power and Potential in the Father Daughter Relationship with Joe Kelly
Subscribe to The Recovery Warrior Show on iTunes or Stitcher Show your...
Read More
Join the Conversation


  1. says: Lisette

    I just listened to this podcast while going for a walk- I found myself doing laps around my neighborhood with tears running down my face. I just have to thank both Jessica and McCall for this amazing episode. Jessica- I realized while listening to this episode that your regular podcasts have truly become a cornerstone to my own personal recovery. Hearing stories and journeys of each unique individual gives insight, understanding, and wisdom. I also can always relate in some ways and it helps me feel not so alone, and to feel hope. McCall- you are a true warrior and I appreciate so much your willingness to share openly. As a mother of three young boys, and as someone in recovery myself, this episode spoke directly to my heart and gave me such perspective. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the ending where you talked about appreciating the normal (and chaotic imperfect) moments as well as the truth that if we choose to, we can apply the lessons we learn through recovery to the other battles we will inevitably face. Thank you both sincerely from the bottom of my heart.

  2. says: Lisette

    Sorry- I have to add one more thing. McCall- I have such huge admiration for the kind of mother you are. You are open, honest, authentic, and so wise. When I heard you talking about how you proceeds with such a scary diagnosis, and how you and your husband worked together, and how you put keeping normalcy for your oldest as a top priority- it just shows what a truly amazing mother you are. Your children are blessed to have you! Thank you for the inspiration!

Leave a comment
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *