Recovery, in its most basic form, is getting back the life you once lived before the eating disorder.
But what if recovering was not just "getting back to the old you before the eating disorder" but leap-frogging to the new you that can be in the future.
So it is not about going backwards, but moving ahead.
Ahead to the version of you that knows a bit more about suffering and healing.
Ahead to greater empathy for others who are also suffering
Ahead to live a life full of meaning and purpose.
You've heard it said that...
Recovery is not a sprint, but a marathon.
While I understand the sentiment, I think that we would do better to drop this analogy altogether.
Recovery is not a race
And this analogy may do more harm than good.
I have worked with many people who were in the very early stages of recovery and yet wanted so desperately to be further along in the process.
It was as if they wanted to be recovered so badly (totally understandable) that they made choices to sacrifice supports that they really needed in their life.
It was rarely a choice that resulted in a positive direction.
I understand the sentiment and yearning to be further along than they were, but recovery is not just short-term motivation or a positive feeling.
I think that we can all relate to this common mistake. Maybe it is human nature that we want to be further along in life than we actually are.
Sometimes we hurry to the next milestone in life and then want to hurry to the next.
This is potentially dangerous in the process of recovering from an eating disorder. Learning to accept where you are in the recovery process and continuing to take one step at a time forward is often the best way to move forward.
Accepting where you are.
That is much easier said than done.
But when we come to a place of accepting our past mistakes, eating disorder struggles, or decisions and their impact on our current state, we can more effectively assess the terrain and make decisions and steps that will result in lasting change.
I would say a couple things. First of all,
YOU ARE OK, BUT...
Ok in that "where you are is where you are."
Ok in that assessing your current location in the struggle is vital in determining the next steps.
Assessment does not have to take a long time. It can take 5 minutes. Have an honest conversation with loved ones and professionals about where you are with the eating disorder and then follow wisdom in numbers.
WISDOM IN NUMBERS
If everyone else is concerned about you and thinks you need to seek help but you believe you are ok... chances are they are right.
Wisdom in numbers.
Generally speaking, loved ones who care about you are seeking your best. When they express concern, you may be tempted to view their concern as attack. But, more often than not, I wonder if it is really worry and fear.
Worry that your eating disorder struggles will continue if you don't seek help.
Fear that if you don't get help, something bad could happen to you.
And that would hurt them.
It may be helpful to try and think through where their concerns are coming from.
Anger OR fear?
A desire to hurt you OR a desire to protect you?
As you consider these things, it will help you slow down and be open to taking the next right step in your life.
Thank you for reading this. I do appreciate that you would take the time to read this and I hope that you find all that we offer on our site to be authentic reflection that is genuinely seeking to offer quality eating disorder recovery resources.
The purpose of this blog entry is to share eating disorder recovery related ideas and does not represent professional medical of psychological advice from Mike or Recovery Spark. For professional advice, please connect with the professional eating disorder specialist that you work with.
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