The National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD) claims that nearly 30 million people experience an eating disorder each year; they can affect anyone of any age and are very serious – even life threatening. If you have an eating disorder, note that with the proper support and treatment, recovery is possible. You may be feeling skeptical about seeking treatment, but many people have gone through it and have succeeded. Of course, there are going to be some challenges along the way, but that’s what will make your recovery most worthwhile.
Many people have reported recovery as being a series of ups and downs, with both good moments and bad ones. One person explained this on The Mighty by stating,
“Some days recovery feels easy. I feel good in my body and I don’t obsessively think about calories or how big my thighs might be getting. These days are wonderful and carefree, and they make coping with the hard times feel a little bit easier. I know I’m always going to have days that aren’t so great, days when I struggle to feed myself and use my mindfulness in a positive way. What matters is getting through these rough patches and not succumbing to them”.
What comes with the ups and downs of recovery are, at times, relapses. Relapses occur when you temporarily retreat to old habits of behavior associated with your eating disorder; most people associate relapses with failure, but they are truly moments of learning and growth. Relapses are quite normal. As one writer explained his story on the Huffington Post, he said,
“While in recovery, I have gained weight and lost weight, relapsed and gained weight, relapsed, gained weight, thought about losing weight, etc.”
Recovery involves learning some healthy tools that you can use to cope with negative thoughts and feelings. For example, you may learn more about meditation and mindfulness, distractions such as reading a good book or going to the movies, self-soothing activities such as taking a hot bath or going for a walk, journaling, and more. By speaking with a therapist, you will get the chance to uncover some of the feelings you haven’t tended to over the years. You’ll be able to work through those issues at your own pace and will have a support team to work with you along the way.
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