Why I don’t believe there is such a thing as ‘failing at eating disorder recovery’ EVER!!!
(& this applies to you too!)
On many occasions in the years I have had an eating disorder, I told myself that I’ve failed at recovery, should be ashamed, that it’s too late now for me to recover – even that I no longer deserve any more chances to get recovery right.
Many of us cycle through treatment attempts -inpatient stays, outpatient treatment, recovery coaching, self-recovery processes & if it doesn’t work we feel as if we have failed ourselves, our family & treatment teams.
BUT I am now of the firm belief that this is never failing.
Since I acknowledged I had an ED about a decade ago, I have always wanted full recovery -never willing to settle for life in the illness.
In those early days though, I had no idea about anorexia – despite being a nurse I had little ED knowledge or knew what recovery meant or took.
My family too were in the dark.
Over the years I’ve EDucated myself & learnt from treatment.
I learnt from what was not helpful & what can help me to make progress.
Wider global understanding of eating disorders has also increased.
Information not available a decade ago has come to light & is now advocated by many (still with a way to go!).
I understand my ED much better – how it works, how it manipulates, where & why previous recovery attempts were not lasting.
Without these years I wouldn’t be in the position I am now to understand clearly what I need to do to get better.
I now see that each of the earlier recovery attempts & the periods of time I spent in that ‘half-life’ ED existence or ‘quasi recovery’ were perhaps necessary & if I use those experiences the years were not wasted.
I never failed at treatment before -it didn’t get me to a full recovery but it did teach me & it was key in getting me here, today: understanding & committed.
In an ideal world we’d all be diagnosed early, given the best information & treatment from day one & recovery would be fast.
But for those of us who have muddled through 10, 20, 30 or more years of illness – we NEVER failed recovery.
Recovery is a long process, we learn from every part of the journey & full recovery is never out of reach.