Eating Disorder Recovery Emotions Exercise / Compulsive Movement Fear & Anxiety In Recovery Recovery Motivation

More About Me!

I’ve recently been asked to say more about me & why I started this serious recovery attempt now.

Firstly, though – this is my not so happy story but I know we all have sad stories & I’m just sharing this as people have expressed interest.
I do know many of you have had it worse.

But, I digress…

Having had an eating disorder for well over a decade, I have always wanted recovery.

I have been through treatment cycles in those years – inpatient stays, outpatient treatment… I have had recovery coaching & tried self recovery at home.
I made progress of varying degrees with each attempt, but never sufficient, so quasi recovery or full lapses were inevitable.

Throughout those years, when not in treatment, I continued to work & seemingly function well.

Of course though, this life was made miserable by the eating disorder compulsions & restrictive food rules that meant I was otherwise really quite disabled.

I was isolated, cold & if I’d not been so emotionally numb, I’d have been very depressed.

Last year, I was exhausted of this life I was living.

I’d always loved to travel but with the illness had not been on holiday for years… too routine driven & scared.

So, last year I made some big life changes, hoping this might take me towards a happier life, which in itself would help me get well.

I discovered international house-sitting, I gave up my career & I jetted off alone to some amazing places.

In reality, I was probably running away.

I was running as far as I could (I think New Zealand counts!) to try to out run the illness and the reality of how miserable life in the illness truly was.

I had dreams that the eating disorder would leave and I’d be able to enjoy the international cuisine, relax and ‘find myself’.

If only that were the case!

I did enjoy my travels – I was away for the majority of a 6 month period & I saw incredible places and had experiences I valued but I could never enjoy them fully as ED was still there, keeping me hungry, driven and isolated.  There were days I would be in a new and incredible location and rather than being happy, I was willing the ground to swallow me whole and remove me from the existence I was in.

In April, my 40th birthday came along.

Birthdays are always hard with an eating disorder… but this landmark year was one that really forced me to stop & reflect…

I was in Berlin (amazing city!) but I was alone & very unhappy.

I knew the eating disorder had been getting even stronger (if that were possible).
I was physically weaker than I have ever been and I was depleted in every way.

My birthday I spent seeing Berlin but with compulsive activity, precious morsels of food and no one to share the day with.  I had pushed family away to such an extent that I did not even receive a phone call on this landmark day.

Travelling alone for the months prior to this, it had been weeks since I’d had a meaningful conversation with another person.

It had already been dawning on me that something had to change soon but reaching 40 – having that birthday, made me really take stock.

I knew that if I spent another year in the same way, I would just be more miserable, more alone, more desperate & to be honest I didn’t feel safe.

It was time now to take getting really well seriously.
It was that or at best spending the rest of my life in this half-living, mostly existing state.

Reflecting, I realised that the illness had stolen many precious years from me & opportunities I may never get back but if I really beat it now -not settling for less than full recovery this time…then I could yet have another 10, 20, 30 years of healthy, eating disorder free life ahead.

And, digging deep, I had to finally admit that as much as I wanted to be able to travel & go through recovery at the same time, it wasn’t realistic.

To do EVERYTHING that full recovery takes, to put myself through the painful process, I needed support.

I hated the thought of returning to the UK & moving in with my parents BUT I knew I needed people & support to eat enough & to not compensate day after day.

I knew life had to temporarily stop so that I didn’t.

I returned in May 2019 & focused on recovery.

It has been messy and SO hard and there is still a long way to go.

In previous recovery attempts I have used slower approaches and they never produced results with good outcomes for me, so I’m going faster this time… And faster because I am 40 and I want to get as much as I can from what life I have left, not giving any more to the eating disorder!

4 replies on “More About Me!”

Hi Helen, just read a little bit more about you and am so glad I did. Lots of parallels somehow. 40 sounded the death knell for my ED too. I wish I had known of you last April; I would have invited you to spend your birthday here in Berlin with us. Or at least raise a glass to recovery. Look forward to reading more of your blog as and when time allows. Thanks for your helpful thoughts and I hope things are going well for you!! Hattie 🙂 (compassionate_recovery)


Hey Hattie!
Thank you for your message and taking the time to read my blog post. 40 was definitely a wake up call but you know, I reckon 41 will be a fantastic year!
When I return to Berlin, which I will because even though I was not well when I was there a year ago, I still absolutely loved the city… we will have that drink and drink to recovered lives and a strong future each xxx


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s