There are many lessons to be learned during recovery. From understanding our body’s basic needs to coping with life in a bigger body, there are numerous learning opportunities. But it’s not just about what we learn, but also putting these lessons into practice. Recovery is often daunting and seemingly endless. There are many tears, tantrums, and instances where you may want to run away.
Six Important things I learned during recovery.
Recovery from an eating disorder can be a long and difficult process. When I was first diagnosed with anorexia, I was referred to an eating disorder clinic which helped me through my recovery. Although I wasn’t keen on the clinic sessions, there were lots of lessons my sessions taught me. And not all of them were necessarily related to eating disorders. These lessons have stayed with me since discharge, and have helped me through many difficult periods in my life.
But Allow me to give you some context.
My name’s Emily, and I currently run a blog called Love, Em. I was diagnosed with anorexia when I was between fifteen and sixteen years old, but I’d been suffering from body dysmorphia and disruptive eating long before this. My eating disorder progressed when I started sixth form, possibly due to the change and stress that came with it. My school is a forty-five-minute walk from the train station, which somehow, I managed to walk every day. Despite my knees aching, I continued to walk the distance day in and day out.
In October of that year, I was finally admitted to a clinic after I had a binge which left me distraught. From there, recovery was a long process, but one I’m glad I made.
Asking For Help Is The Hardest Step.
I still remember the day I asked my parents for help. It was just after my brother’s birthday party, and I had binge eaten some of his cake. I felt horrible after and had a major breakdown. It was quite distressing, but it meant that I asked for help. I went to my mum’s room and lay on her bed with her crying. It was a really sweet and needed moment for me, and it was the turning point I needed. It’s a hard lesson to learn, but you’ll feel grateful for doing it. From asking for help, I learnt another lesson about my recovery. The lesson is that sometimes you need something bad to happen before a big change or a happy ending can occur. Just because you feel at rock bottom, doesn’t mean you can’t turn things around.
You Won’t Recovery Unless You Want It.
If you’re being forced to recover, you’re more inclined to rebel. Before I made real progress, I had to want to recover, rather than have a therapist tell me this is what I want to do. It was hard to make that decision, but I didn’t like my therapy sessions or the clinic. The quicker I recovered, the sooner I’d be discharged. I may not have had the right kind of motivation, but it worked. Find a reason to recover and work towards that. You won’t make significant progress unless you do.
Don’t Strive For Perfection, Only Progression.
Even a year after discharge, there are still habits that I can’t break. I will still be cautious over what I eat, and only eat certain foods unless it’s an occasion. However, I do eat every food
group and eat enough during the day. I have a healthy exercise routine too. From recovery, I learnt that you will never be 100% “better” and there will always be something in the back of your mind. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about being in a better place mentally and physically. In recovery, you’ll slip up and possibly relapse. That’s okay, and you shouldn’t punish yourself for it. Progress is important, and it’s better than not making any changes.
You Will Learn Who Your Real Friends Are.
Sadly, I had a few friends that didn’t believe in my diagnosis and left. I would decline eating out with them, meaning they stopped inviting me to things. During recovery, I found out who my real friends were and which people cared. It’s upsetting when there aren’t as many people as you think, but the ones who stay you should cherish. Eating disorders are hard on everyone, so if your family and friends stick by you, you’ve got really good people surrounding you. Just remember, it’s okay to let some people go, especially if they’re not supporting you.
Not Every Recovery Journey Is The Same.
I hated going to a clinic, but some people enjoy the comfort of services to help them. My real recovery started when my family and I were left with the tools to continue ourselves. Some people will thrive having therapy sessions, while others are disciplined enough to use a self-help book. No one will have a straight recovery, and some people will be discharged quicker than others. Everyone is different, meaning your recovery will be different from other people’s. Just because something works for you, doesn’t mean it works for everyone. I would compare my recovery to influences, but this wasn’t a good way to do things as it led to a lot of distress when things weren’t working. You shouldn’t compare journies.
It Is Possible To Get Better.
When I first started my recovery journey, I felt like I’d never be the same again. When you’re suffering from an eating disorder, it feels like you’ll never get better. There was also a part of me that didn’t want to give my disorder up. Something I’ve learnt is that anything is possible, and you can get better, you just need to put in the effort and believe. If you haven’t recovered as quickly as you thought, don’t worry. Progress can take months to notice, so don’t feel disheartened. All you need to do is keep your head up and keep going. I promise you, you can recover. You can get better.
Recovery isn’t impossible, but it is hard, emotional, and you may feel like giving up. When it doesn’t look like it’s improving, just keep going. I promise you, it’s so worth it. Since recovering, I’ve built a blog, run my own business and have an apprenticeship at my dream job. You can do this. You’ll learn so many life lessons during recovery, and they continue to guide you, even once you’re thriving. What lessons has recovery taught you? I’d love to hear what amazing things your recovery has bought you, and what gave you the motivation to keep going! Just remember, you can do this!
What important lessons have you learned in recovery?
About the writer!
Em is a UK blogger focusing on blogging, business & sustainability on her blog “Love, Em“. With 4 years of experience in the blogging world, she is keen to share her knowledge. Emily is passionate about helping others, and since leaving college, has decided to put her passions into writing. You can find her on social media!
Your family and friends is your main power and its very important to know whos sitting with you in your company . so choose your company wisely .
Tahnk you so much for this post
I do agree that you have to be open to change in order to go through the healing and recovery process.
Thanks for sharing your personal story, Em. Your story of your recovery is quite impactful. The courage in moving forward even when it seems difficult. It’s exciting to read how you are thriving now. Great encouraging story for those seeking support.
I’m glad you shared this with us. Recovery sure can be a long process. I’m glad you listed all these steps. It will be helpful to so many.
These are all so true! Asking for help is not easy at times but we should know that there are people who are willing to help.
Thank you for sharing this. Many will benefit from this blog and from your experience. I will share this with my friends
Thanks for sharing your story! It will be a help to thousands of people around the world. What an impact you are making!
This is a great post – recovery of anything can be so hard, but perhaps especially with an eating disorder as it completely plays with how you see and feel.
One of my friends just told me her teenage daughter is struggling with an eating disorder. Her daughter doesn’t want to get better yet. Good for you for taking the steps needed for recovery.
It’s so true that you have to want to get better to get better. No amount of convincing from others will change your mind if you don’t want to. Thank you for sharing, so many people and their families are going through this.
Recovery is an everyday struggle. Good luck with your recovery and I loved this powerful statement you made.
The first step to recovery is wanting to feel better. Thank you for sharing your story and for being so open about your eating disorder.
I can’t even imagine having to deal with anorexia. If you’re an alcoholic, you just don’t drink. Easier said than done, I know. But with food, you actually need it. This was a really powerful look into your life.
I completely agree when you say not every journey is the same. It’s so important to remember that! Thank you for sharing your story. It’s very inspiring!
Thank you so much for sharing your story, I know this post will help so many people!! xx
This is such a good blog. I know a few people who are now in the process of recovering from eating disorder . They might like this one.
Thank you for your story. I know that these tips can help a lot .
What an inspirational post! I think these tips can be used for different cases of recovery. It’s so important to want to recover and ask help. I’m glad you found help.
I’m glad you got the help you needed. This can be such a hard one to overcome too. I’ve never experienced this myself or known anyone personally, but I can imagine how hard it must have been just to seek help.
This is so insightful. I never experienced an eating disorder or have friends who did so it is great to know what’s important to help and support someone with this kind of challenge, thanks for sharing.
Anything is possible. You just have to believe in yourself that you can do it. Best of luck.
This is a very informative post. I agree that recovery looks different for everyone. Thanks for sharing your story
Great information for people who are going through recovery and their loved ones who are there to support them. Thank you for sharing.
Great tips. I agree to all this, getting help and wanting it is the key.
People don’t realise how hard it can be to recover from this sort of condition. It won’t happen over night. The biggest thing is for them to want too.
This is such a great help to those people who are undergoing recovery, very inspirational post. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.
These are all good points for recovery. It is true that you learn more about yourself and those around you.
Thank you for sharing this very personal story. I am so glad that you got help.
THis is an excellent resource to help us learn more about the proces of recocvery. Glad that you shared this with us today.
You are so brave for sharing your journey. It’s going to help so many that are also going through the same!
This was such an inspirational read. Thank you Emily for sharing your story. More power to you.
I’m so glad that you were able to get the help you needed! I think your story will help other people get the help they need, thanks for sharing it!
This post is very informative. Thanks for sharing these lessons.
Great blog post. With my own personal recovery I learned that staying around positive people and not giving up is the key to success.
You’re SO right, when you say – YOU WONT RECOVER IF YOU DONT WANT IT – it’s a mental SWITCH that needs to be flipped – and NO ONE ELSE can tell or make you recover, YOU have to do it!
I’m so sorry the comment above belongs to me but I was signed into the wrong account! I’ve never had an eating disorder but I still learned a lot from this post. Very well written and I love this, “Don’t Strive For Perfection, Only Progression.” I would love to use it (giving you full credit of course!)
I’ve never had an eating disorder but I still learned a lot from this post. Very well written and I love this, “Don’t Strive For Perfection, Only Progression.” I would love to use it (giving you full credit of course!)
I love this! Yes, it’s always possible to get better no matter what. Sometimes people have trouble remembering this.
I loved reading this post, asking for help when you need it most is incredibly tough, to me, it’s like I’m admitting defeat to myself, but it isn’t, it just means I need a little pick me up from someone else x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
This can be applied to so many aspects of life. I appreciate you sharing this so much.