It’s two months today since I set up my Instagram recovery account and a lot has changed in that time.
I thought I’d take this opportunity to share some of the things I’ve learnt in recovery so far…
– When anxiety is rising it’s usually because the ED has become more powerful, I’m engaging in mind games, feeling exhausted & pulled in two directions.
– When distress is worse it’s usually because I’m exhausted from the battles or feeling defeated & worn down.
– Let up even slightly on rate of recovery attack or challenges & ED will try & worm back in fast!
– When I do put in recovery action & avoid engaging in ED chatter, the anxiety is less, counter to what the ED will say.
– Allow too much time to pass between eating and the eating disorder thoughts become overwhelmingly more powerful very fast!
– Weight gain is a long & ongoing process & does not happen overnight just from a day of eating more… it takes regular, consistent & high levels of food!
ED lies when it says otherwise!
– Weight gain is ok… flesh on the body is ok & I can more than accept & cope with it.
– Recovery is exhausting, overwhelming at times & all consuming & it’s definitely a marathon, not a sprint as @feast_ed say but sticking with it is the only option I can see.
– There are incredibly dark times when I want to crawl out my skin with anxiety or the thought of carrying on feels unbearable but it’s remembering these moments will happen but will also pass- everything is fluid.
– Interspersed with the dark moments are moments of achievement, glimmers of hope & occasional exhilaration.
– If I can stay physically still & eat a lot then the anxiety lessens & it is more possible to continue to do so.
– Conversely, be more active or restrict & it’s harder to rest & eat more.
– Anxiety masks hunger. The hunger is there & comes through if I can remain calm.
– Putting in recovery action each day won’t feel possible & the brain creates a variety of stories & feelings for why I can’t ‘do recovery’ this day but that does not mean it is not possible!
– I do really love food, I like eating, I want to sit… I’m really very tired, very hungry & my body deserves some long term TLC… It’s a process learning to listen & respond to my body signals but it’s getting there slowly!
– I never knew I could swear so much but sometimes it really does help!
– This recovery process is the hardest thing I’ve ever done but I’ll take it any day over the cold ED existence.
– I already knew that I was very fortunate with my parents, but having moved back in with them for a while to focus on recovery, I have learnt just how amazing they really are…. They have put up with tears, tantrums, slamming doors, frustration & anger & they have patiently stayed beside me: supporting, reassuring & just being there.
– ED recovery is more than a full time job. In the past I told myself I could recover while doing x,y,z… that I could recover without any help. Those were ED tricks – I am not saying that nobody can recover alone but it is 10 times harder & although asking for & accepting help, while putting my life on hold was terrifying – it is the best thing I have ever done.
So…. I’m learning a lot in this process about myself, recovery, this illness & all from different sources.
Recovery is a long road but I don’t doubt it gets less bumpy along the way!
For an extension of this post, please see an article I wrote for FEAST on their website…