What is your biggest challenge in recovery?

There are many big challenges in recovery and trying to pinpoint just one is very difficult. Going by some of my more recent CBT appointments I would have to say that learning to identify, feel and then fully manage my emotions/feelings is a big obstacle for me.

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What is your biggest challenge in recovery?

There are so many things that challenge me when it comes to recovery. Trying to pinpoint just one is nearly impossible. For me, challenge arrises in eating my six meals a day, in eating fear foods, in staying away from certain behaviors and in becoming master in my own mind.

However, the whole point of this week is to choose just one.

Challenge in recovery

Back To Basics.

Going by some of my recent CBT appointments, my biggest challenge appears to be learning to identify, feel and then fully manage my emotions. I’ve used many negative coping strategies to cover up or ‘mask’ what I’m feeling. It doesn’t necessarily stop with starving and involves a whole other host of harmful techniques such as self-harm, drinking, and recreational drug use on occasion.

I’m trying to undo 26 plus years of unhealthy coping mechanisms and replacing them with self acceptance.

However, I’m learning that I’m not alone, and emotional regulation isn’t just an issue for me, but for many other people in the world. Being in touch with our feelings is not something we don’t do in modern society because we have so many distractions around us to help us filter them out.

Food & Feelings.

A great tool for learning about emotional regulation, and it’s correlation with disordered eating habits, is Karen R. Koenig’s book ‘The food and feelings workbook; A full course meal on emotional health’.

I’m learning how to walk again essentially and a great tool for that is a book by Karen R. Koenig called ‘The food and feelings workbook; A full course meal on emotional health’.

The Food and Feelings Workbook.

I was recommended this book by my therapist in January. She described it as being the bible of learning to eat again in recovery. Desperate for anything to work, and an avid self-help book owner, I left her office, sat in the car park of M&S and clicked ‘Purchase‘.

I’ve been working through the chapters for the last couple of months, and have found that I related exactly to what the author is describing on almost every page!

Some sentences read as if they are taken straight from my mind.

Moving through the book at my own pace has given me the confidence and hope that I can overcome anorexia once and for all. I’m using this along with therapy, but for those who don’t have the luxury of treatment, this book is an excellent starting point to explore your relationship with feelings and food.


It’s not a quick fix, takes time and determination. I’ve read over some of the chapters again and again before they finally managed to sink in. But if you’re ready to try something different and have the motivation to improve your relationship with food, then I say go for it.

** If you like what I do please consider donating to my KO-FI fund. I’d like to be able to reach more of an audience so I can potentially grow this blog to be much more than it currently is. I also hope to bring freebies and eventually toolkits to you all as a way of saying thank you for your support.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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66 comments

  1. Sharing own journey is the best thing it inspires others…..Good to hear that you are stepping forward….This books looks much interesting….gonna surely read it once…hope it will make me out of certain things too….Thanks ????✌

  2. I love how intentionally step-oriented your recovery has been. You have a great testimony to share with others who have been struggling.

  3. Thank you for sharing! I am glad that the book is also helping you with your recovery. By sharing what you are going though and what you are finding helpful might help someone else in a similar position to yourself.

  4. You are very welcome. If you ever need anyone to talk to (even just to rant) my door is always open ????????

  5. I have it on my wishlist on Amazon but was advised against it until I am fully ready to incorporate it into my lifestyle. At the moment it’s all about eating with my meal plan, building up my strength and weight and learning to be at peace with food and my emotions. All that will come in time.
    Thank you for reading and commenting.

  6. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment 🙂 I do hope you check it out, it’s so useful for anyone, not just those in recovery.

  7. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. It means so much to have your support and your kind words behind me.

  8. Thank you for sharing Nyxie, being open with it all. This might just help someone out there. The journey to recovery is never easy or straightforward, but you can do it. Glad you are finding the book helpful. All the best with your recovery. Keep going. Sending love and light to you❤️

  9. This isn’t something I can give any advice on, as I haven’t experienced it myself. But you have been so brave even by just talking about it and sharing your story. All the best for your recovery.

    http://www.yuletimes.com

  10. This is great. As a clinical psychologist in training, I found most of this post enlightening. I will certainly check out the book

  11. I’m glad this book is helping you. I found a similar connection to a book called Intuitive Eating that my therapist recommended to me. Thank you for sharing!

  12. Thank you for stopping by! This book has honestly changed how I think about food and emotions, I would even go as far as to say it’s given me leverage in my recovery! x

  13. I love it when a book comes along (or something else) that just opens up something we can use to help ourselves and works. Anything that gives us tools to help is a blessing! I loved reading this post!

  14. I didn’t realise I had a problem with my emotions until this year. It took me almost 27 years to find out that I’m actually really emotionally unintelligent! I think everyone in modern society has an aspect of this problem and, in some way, uses food, alcohol, drugs, etc to mask them.

  15. I am so glad that you found something that is working for you. My biggest struggle in it all was to learn to accept my emotions. I have always been a bury them away type person, and that only exacerbated what I was dealing with… it’s been hard to accept that a) I have emotions and b) that’s okay

  16. Seems like a pretty amazing book!! Let me tell you something, I am so proud of you for how you’re fighting for your healing!! ???????? Still praying for you in this process! Keep up the good work. You are truly an inspiring woman ❤️

  17. Thank you so, so much for this comment. It gives me hope among everything else that’s going on. I’m currently in my late twenties (and it feels so weird saying that), and it pushes me to get out of this even more. I don’t know if I want children but I would like the option, I want to be stable and have a future in some way, a future that my grandparents would be proud of.

    I’m making small goals every day and week of my life at the moment. They are the only things keeping me going. I’ve never been admitted to hospital but it’s something I have been threatened with and it’s the one place I want to stay out of, that and the grave.

    Thank you for taking the time to read and comment, your support means so much to me.

    – Nyxie

  18. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. The book is honestly a life saver and I can’t thank the lady who recommended it to me enough 🙂 x

  19. I battled severe depression (which affected my weight and I’m already a naturally tiny oriental woman) from the age of 16-20 and had to see a psychiatrist every single week. I was also admitted to a hospital for 4 months. I honestly thought I’d never ever get better. But I’m 22 now and have more happy days than sad days. A tip: really helps if you make little goals and have projects on the go. I’m so glad you’ve realised that you’re not well. Think of your weight recovery as being able to have a healthy future. Being able to do more things. I’ve seen severe anorexics in their late 20s but look like they’re in their 50s. I’ve seen anorexics in their late 30s – childless, no career, no partner. Often university educated. It’s honestly heartbreaking. I’m sorry for the long comment but I just needed to reach out to you xx

  20. Thank you for sharing your story. I am so incredibly proud of your strength. I know recovery can be very difficult. You are so strong! I will definitely be checking out that book and sharing with others as well. Sending you all the positivity and love on your continued road to recovery! ????

    Jackie

  21. It’s most definitely a book that everyone could do with. I’ve even told my mother that she needs to get it, or she can borrow mine. I think everyone has a bit of messed up relationship with food and their emotions, and the connection they both have.
    Thank you for stopping by and reading love 🙂

  22. Thank you so much for stopping by and reading. This means so much to me.
    I know it will take time, I’m just very impatient with myself.

  23. Thank you for sharing your story with me, and thank you for your kind words. I hope you continue to heal and to take each day as it comes.
    Much love x

  24. This is a great review of a book that looks really interesting! Great share!

  25. Great Story! I’m really a firm believer that sharing your story helps others that might be going through the same thing. Kudos to you!

  26. It’s really interesting for me to read about the connections to emotions with eating disorders, as a person who hasn’t experienced this type of mental health illness. It’s really great that you’re talking about it. 🙂

  27. I have been in recovery from PTSD for the past several years. I don’t believe it will every truly go away but I have learned how to deal in a much healthier way than I used to. It took a long time to overcome my childhood and I had to work really hard to re-wire my brain (my therapist helped a great deal with that). I am so glad this book is helping you and I hope you continue to grow and learn and heal.

  28. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment 😀
    The book is so helpful and although I have yet to finish it, I honestly think it has helped me so much!

  29. I’m so happy to read this book is helping and how determined you are! It will take time but you are going to get there!
    Thank you for always being so open and honest with us!
    Alyssa
    THESACREDSPACEAP.COM

  30. I’m so happy that your therapist was able to recommend you a helpful book. It sounds like it’s something that it might be good for me to try out too, I’m just a little on the fence right now of if I can manage the deeper soul searching without support.
    To be honest it actually sounds like a book that everyone could do with reading; we are taught through popular media to manage our feelings with food (I’m thinking Friends, Gilmore Girls….I’m sure more would come to mind) so I think a counter to that is good and healthy. To teach us that it’s okay to feel.

  31. I have been clean over six years but I just learned how to walk this year really. My theth part series explains it.
    Thank you for your awesome posts please follow mine as well bc I’m following yours!
    Comments please!

  32. Thanks for sharing your story, it’s not always easy to do so but I think it’s helpful to know you’re not alone. The book that was recommended sounds really good. Sending you luck and love on your road to recovery! x

  33. I’ll try anything at this point, even hypnotherapy! There is no shame is giving it a go even if you’re not 100% sure.
    I think most people have an unhealthy relationship with food in one way or another, they just don’t realise it. From reading the food and feelings book I was able to identify key things in most of my relatives, friends and even my partner when it came to food.

    Anyway – thank you so much for stopping in and reading 🙂 It means so much x

  34. Great post – this sounds like an interesting book and an interesting option for anyone in recovery! I suffer from mental illness and have have problems with food in the past (although thankfully not anymore) and I really do think having a variety of options available and trying them all – even the ones you’re a bit on the fence about is important.

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

  35. I recent learnt about CBT in my psychology lessons, so I understand that it can be a long process, but I’m glad that your therapist referred you to that book! Happy and sweet recovery ❤️

  36. It’s an amazing book – I never realised how much I needed it until I began to read through it and fill out the exercises.
    Thank you so much for your kind words, and for stopping by and reading xx

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