I remember googling “how to recover from an eating disorder” many times over the past years and reading various blogs and websites. What I thought was quite disheartening is that many seem to think you cannot fully recover from an eating disorder.Apparently You can be in remission but the possibility of relapse always lurks in the background.
Well I have to say I really disagree.Although know recovery is more of a journey than a destination I don’t like the thought of there being no end to my eating disorder.
Recovery is not a straight path by any means.I think I went from restriction,to attempting recovery and then back to restriction,then being sort of recovered but not really as I still had issues about weight and never really worked on the emotional aspects of recovery. Weight restored does not equal mind restored.I think that by not addressing the emotional/mental side of recovery I set myself up for a relapse this year.This time I am so glad to get professional help with recovery as I think that by addressing feelings and thoughts and not only the physical aspects of recovery I will be able to be recovered,one day.I think it is a lot about mindset.If you want it,you can do it.It may not happen straight away but I refuse to belive that full recovery is impossible,
I read this blog post the other day which said you cannot cure anorexia with bulimia and you cannot cure bulimia with anorexia. Which really made me realise that its kind of what I tried to do. In the summer The more I binged and purged the more I tried to restrict and it simply backfired and I’d end up binging and purging more. My mind-set was unhealthy. Rather than trying to recover fully I was trying to get rid of binging and purging but wanting to hold on to the restriction. That just kept the eating disorder alive.
I now have a different mind-set and I am trying to get rid of all the eating disorder behaiviours as well as addressing the self-criticism, self-abuse, perfectionism, and restrictive/all or nothing mind-set.Of course I am not perfect and I don’t get things right 100% of the time and weight gain and letting go of the eating disorder still are scary, but i’ve realised it’s ok not to get things right all the time.Whta I have realised is that you cant recover and simultaneously hold onto parts of the eating disorder.For example being a healthy weight but still weighing yourself or restricting then I think its important to step back and ask yourself “is that really helpful to me?,is that what I need to do to live a happy meaningfull life?”Is what I have been trying to do.
I was also reading an article the other day and this small piece stood out;
“People always said once you have an eating disorder, you’re always going to have an eating disorder,” she said. “I tell people, ‘There was a time in your life when you didn’t have an eating disorder, and if that’s possible, anything is.’ ”
Recovery is better than living in control of the eating disorder but I am so excited for one day being recovered. I refuse to believe I will be 90 years old and still struggling with binging/purging/restriction urges when having ice-cream for example with my grandchildren.(If I ever have children haha)
Its hard to define what full recovery is but I have every hope that it is possible. I don’t care what anyone says otherwise because holding onto the hope that it is possible is what keeps me going.
In fact low self belief is so common in people with ED’s that having hope and believing you CAN do it is so important!
I find it helpful to think of this as a divorce.Ha,I might sound crazy but think of it as divorcing your eating disorder.The breakup is hard but then you are so much happier and free without your ex eating disorder.You no longer want to see them,text them e.t.c .
For a long time I buried my emotions but Also something I Learnt this week it’s ok to be sad about letting go, it’s ok to cry and be upset. Its better to let feelings out by crying than to hold onto them. I got told that feelings come out eventually and its better to cry than to purge/starve them away as that doesn’t really work in the long-term.