What is recovery?

Road To ED Recovery

I am not wearing any makeup in these pictures. My face shows the scars of past acne, days I forgot to wear sunscreen, nights I didn’t feel like washing it because I was too tired. It’s not ugly and it’s not pretty. It just is. To me my face is what the path of recovery really is. It’s that squiggly line where you mess up and try again. You cry because you screwed up. You try again. And again. And yet again. My shoes on the other hand are pretty and pink, fancy and new. They are how recovery is seen by everyone around you. Oh, you must be recovered because you are at a healthy weight. Let’s go out to dinner, you’re okay with that right?

IMG_0393.JPGNow don’t get me wrong I really love my shoes but I’m realistic. I know that they will get nicked and smudged and newness will wear off pretty quickly. I have been in recovery for four years now. I did go out to that dinner but then I relapsed and stuck my finger down my throat. Recovery from an eating disorder is a unique monster. We cannot walk away from it and never use it again. Every day we have to face it three to six times a day. So, some days when I have a banana I feel so full I want to purge and other days I feel like I could eat three cheese pizzas. I have to learn to live with ED, the monster, to survive and hopefully thrive. He or she will never go away.

Tell me then, what are some tips to help keep the monster in check?

  • I still follow a meal plan. I don’t always write down what I eat but I do track, at least in my head, what I eat. Based on the meal plan provided to me, by a medical professional familiar with eating disorders, I am able to track fruits, veggies, carbs and proteins and dairy. My body desires a balance and my wise mind has to reminded that it’s okay to have all of those types of foods!
  • Speaking of the wise mind… I write down negative thoughts. If my ED has hijacked my brain for the day I write out the thoughts. While this will not end your negative self-talk, it will take away some of the power of those thoughts away.
  • I text that one friend I know will text me back. We all have that one friend who is willing to listen to your crap for as long as it takes. As soon as an eating disordered thought comes into mind grab that phone and hit him or her up.
  • Arts and crafts time. Grab your glue gun Martha Stewart. Whether you color in an adult coloring book or make a recovery craft, get your hands busy doing something.
  • If you slip up, then try again the next minute. Don’t write off the whole day. Recovery is an intimate battle that is fought within minutes. If you didn’t have lunch, then fight back and have dinner! The day is not lost on you.
  • Give yourself a break. We tend to treat ourselves like something we scrape off the bottom of our shoes but we are ready to shower our best friends in love in support. Its time to make yourself a best friend. Cheesy I know but try it. All those negative thoughts you fill your head with aren’t working so why not give the positive ones a shot?

I’ve been there. I am there.