Recovery from an Eating Disorder

This post is for Eliza following her request earlier today. Check out her blog

I’ve written a number of posts about living with and overcoming from an eating disorder. Today I want to talk about living in recovery. I’ve been recovered for about 10 years now. It’s different in so many ways. One of them is having the ability to actively choose to self-soothe with food without going in a full relapse.

Shortly after my mother died I had a stressful day that pushed me to my emotional limits. Grief, stress, and worry weighed on me. One of those days where everything goes wrong and nothing helps relieve it. I’d used every coping skill in my arsenal. I thought about how much I just wanted a piece of cake. I went through the mental gymnastics of how it wouldn’t really make it better and all the reasons why. I ultimately decided that the piece of cake wasn’t going to kill me and I’d literally used every single skill. Exhausted, I went to the grocery store and bought that slice of cake. With the first bite I felt the weight of the world start to slip away. I needed comfort. In that moment, I decided that the comfort I needed was a piece of cake.

I didn’t slip into relapse and eat more or do the same the next day. I was satisfied. The mental obsession didn’t kick in. I didn’t feel guilty or shame for the cake. I’d successfully eaten A PIECE of cake and gone back to normal.

This particular event shaped what living in recovery looks like for me. It’s when I realized that I was recovered and had developed a healthy relationship with food and my body. Full recovery from complex eating disorders is possible. I’m living proof.

13 thoughts on “Recovery from an Eating Disorder

  1. Reblogged this on Journey to life and commented:
    What does recovery look like?

    So many people view recovery as complete abstinence for life. Although for now that is how it is for me, I believe it doesn’t have to be that way. I believe recovery means that it’s no longer a part of your life. That it’s a non issue.

    What do you think?

    Thank you S.S for writing and sharing this. I really appreciate it! For proving that it can be done.

    Recovery IS possible.

    So long as there’s life, there’s hope.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fantastic post, so positive and encouraging because it shows it is possible.
    I just wanted to say that there are success stories of people who have ‘recovered’ as though it’s a destination, though I don’t know what proportion of ED sufferers that accounts for (my guess would be a minority). For some it’s a continual work in progress. Others, like me to an extent, likely can ‘recover’ from many of the behaviours, but the thoughts can linger as though imprinted indelibly on their brains and their way of life. Oddly enough, ‘recovery’ for me started when I accepted an eating disorder and thought ‘I’ll live with this forever’, I guess it took a lot of pressure off me by viewing it that way. The thing to remember is, as you’ve said, it is possible to get a life back without an eating disorder.
    Caz xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beautiful comment! Thank you, Caz.

      I say that I’m recovered because I no longer live with the constant obsession about my body, food, guilt, shame and all the crap that goes with it. I haven’t for quite some time. I won’t say that I haven’t had a couple of slips along the way. I have. Anorexia is my trigger point when I slip. It never happens on purpose any more. lol I couldn’t if I wanted to!!!! It’s slippery for me if I get sick and don’t eat for a couple of days, or barely. I don’t let it go more than a couple days. That’s part of being recovered to me. I slip rather get the fuck it’s and go full on.

      It took me many, many years of therapy and eating disorder programs to get recovery. Going through formal ED programs had the aim of recovery and not just curbing the behaviors.

      Overall, I think it’s a matter of semantics whether you’re recovered or recovering. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Those slips can be triggering in themselves, can’t they? I used to think so black and white about them, that all-or-nothing approach. If I slipped, then sod it, might as well go a bit further and mess up more, give up for a while. Took me a long time to relearn the process of changing those thought patterns. The hard work you’ve put in over the year has definitely paid off to be able to life without so much of the ED baggage on your shoulders, let alone curbing the behaviours. You should be hugely, amazingly proud of yourself!  ♥ x

        Liked by 1 person

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