Eating Disorder Stories: A Recovery Story
Our story today comes from a woman who shows us that recovery is a journey that IS possible. Are you ready to start your journey to recovery?
NEDA week has finally arrived, and this year, the initiative is “Come As You Are.” When I take a closer look at the theme, my focus is drawn to the action word that begins the phrase, “come.” To me, recovery is largely about action. A wise therapist once told me that to get different results, you have to do different things…aka make changes. Easier said than done when most people, including myself, would rather spend decades deciphering ancient hieroglyphics than change. So, why do it? What’s the point of recovery? And really, what is this fabled recovery?
To understand what recovery truly is, I believe that we have to take a serious inventory. Don’t worry, you will not be subject to any management accounting quizzes. By inventory, I mean more of a self-analysis. A lot of people share what recovery is like for them, discussing what they have endured and how life is better for them now, after achieving recovery. But I have trouble translating others’ stories in to something tangible for me. Their experience is theirs, my life is mine.
This is where the inventory comes in handy. Recovery is meaningless unless it applies to you, so make it applicable to you. Honestly analyze all aspects of your day, your life, your health and your physical/emotional/mental well-being. Caution: self-analysis takes work, and time (therapy is critical here)…but again, we can’t make worthwhile changes unless we have an accurate understanding of what we have, and what we need.
Once you have a clear inventory, aka a snapshot of your current status, you can be really truthful with yourself. Think: is this what I want for myself? Am I happy? Do I feel good? How do I relate to people around me? Are there limits I need to enact anywhere? Am I setting myself up for meaningful connection with others, and myself? Only you can answer these, and many other questions. The answers then become the bedrock for your recovery and your why.
Your “why” is your motivation, your reason(s) for making adjustments. And it’s OK if your why morphs over time. It’s yours…it can be whatever you want. But make sure it’s something that you can cling to during challenges. This is the logic behind taking action, making change, coming as you are…you aren’t going to do it unless you have a strong reason why and an understanding of what needs to be done.
Turning away from an eating disorder is slow, grueling work. Day after day, hour after hour, decisions must be made that either align with your why, or not. Recovery for me is an in-the-trenches process where I force myself to choose the path that’s parallel with my why, NOT the eating disorder. I have to be gritty and stubborn and remain focused on the foundation of my new actions. It helps to ask for help, to be surrounded by support and reminded that I’m not alone, because I’m not. The first step, along with every subsequent step, has to start with you. You have to come as you are, and you definitely can. Choose life, I promise that it’s worth it.