Quotes From Clients Who Have Recovered
Nelson Mandela said, It always seems impossible until it’s done. ‘ Eating disorder recovery is like that. Having patience was so important. I needed to have patience with the recovery process and myself. There were days where everything was going great and things were looking up. Then other days I just wanted to give up and give in to the voice inside that said it would never get easier and I should stop trying. It is so important to not give in to that voice. If you have the patience and courage to hold on to the small healthy voice inside, the bigger that voice will get and the eating disorder voice will get smaller. One day when you look back, you will realize you won’t even hear the voice that tells you it is impossible. You will already have proved that it is.
Before I came to treatment and even while I was there, I thought I would never be able to stop binging and purging. I thought it was impossible. I thought other people could recover, but not me. Now it’s been almost 9 years or so since I have had any eating disorder behaviors. There are days when I think back about what I used to do and I think I wouldn ‘t want to do that to myself. The other days I just don’t think of it at all. It’s amazing and I am so thankful.
Don’t let anyone tell you that it can’t be done. I had my eating disorder for 25 years and spent years going to 12-step groups and therapy. What changed was when I stopped making the eating disorder my enemy and learned what it was doing for me so I could learn to do it for myself. I now give back as an eating disorder mentor and I tell everyone not to give up. Being recovered is available to anyone, though it might take some longer than others to get there.
Getting There Being Recovered
Just as there is not a day you can point to and say, That is when I officially got an eating disorder, there is no specific day when you will be recovered. You will have glimpses of being recovered along the way and then you will notice you feel free from it for increasingly longer periods of time until eventually you realize that you are living life without the thoughts, feelings, or behaviors of an eating disorder. Only you can determine when you are there. Being recovered doesn’t mean never having a bad feeling about your body, or never wishing it were different, or never feeling bad about what you ate. These are feelings that normal people have sometimes. Our culture is so obsessed with thinness, dieting, and losing weight that it is nearly impossible not to ever have any negative thoughts or feelings about food or your body. One way to differentiate normal feelings and those influenced by an eating disorder is to look at the duration, intensity, and degree of distress caused by these feelings, and whether or not these thoughts and feelings led to, or were precipitated by, eating disorder behaviors. Understanding the difference between what is normal or disordered in relationship to body image, food, and weight can be confusing in the beginning of recovery, but it will get easier as you progress.
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