After two months of starting this recovery, I wrote about what I’d learnt at that point.
This is an extension, with the further learnings from month three.
At the start of month three I adopted a faster approach & revised plan, which has had its ups & downs but generally proven beneficial!
I plan to continue this, using what I’ve learnt in month three, into month four!
So… here are my three month recovery learnings:
– My body is changing & growing.
I have to accept this & appreciate my body for all it gives me. I’m learning to disengage from negative thoughts or reactions to my changing body & instead practice positivity towards it, no matter what!
– My job is to deal with the eating disordered thoughts, challenge the behaviours & overcome restriction & to trust my body to do what it needs to do as a result.
– Emotions return like a steam train at times – they can be unpredictable & I’m having to learn how to sit with & tolerate them. The numbness in the ED is gone & it can’t return if I want a recovered life!
– Some of the lows in the first two months were quite dark but the lows in this third month have been incredibly hard.
But interspersed with the darkness are more progress & recovery wins than ever & each new low can result in an eventual rebound to a new high.
– Eating a lot more with the faster approach I adopted has been a game changer in helping overcome a lot more restriction & it’s also seemingly reassuring my brain that the famine is over, food is available & the drive to seek food can end.
When I eat a LOT more, I find the movement compulsions do become weaker than I ever imagined possible! But, if I eat even a tiny bit less again, those compulsions return fast, so staying consistent is vital.
– Some of the other rigid ED rules, behaviours & routines seem to naturally weaken or seem futile as I eat more & my thinking is less rigid.
– I’m identifying more of the ED’s mind games, manipulations & negotiation tactics & avoiding engaging with them (v. slowly!).
– You can eat thousands of calories a day but do so in a very controlled & restrictive way so it takes daily vigilance, honesty & challenges.
– The extreme sweet cravings at the start have evolved!!
Starting recovery, all I wanted was cake & sugar.. now there’s more savoury popping in!
– Life’s starting to feel more possible with nutrition & healing… fears that I had to push myself to face aspects of life I’ve avoided for so long from the start or I never would weren’t grounded.. it’s starting to feel life will open up but it’s very early days!
– I still need to keep prioritising recovery.. at the moment being what feels selfish in the short term means I hope to be very selfless longer term.
– Recovery is relentless, boring & frustrating.
Give ED half an inch, it will take the rest of your life so there’s NO let up!
– Upsetting life events or things out of my control make ED much stronger & recognition of this being a likelihood & so prepared if things happen is vital.
– I have to run my recovery as only I know me.
Comparing to others or seeking permission doesn’t address my individual needs or what I respond to. I’ve learnt to make my plan for recovery, commit & stay focused on it no matter what anyone else does or thinks!
– Recovery need not be as slow a process as traditional treatment led me to believe.
Going faster I feel more mental shifts & that I’m breaking more rules & boundaries than I ever did on a slower approach.
The first two months were very messy to find an approach, work out how to muddle through & my brain tried to make it so complicated!
Month three has felt clearer in what I have to do although confusion & doubt still creep in which I label as ED mind games!
There is still a long way to go but I’m learning & moving forward slowly… it’s been years of illness so fixing my body while rewiring a mixed up brain will take time & I’ll keep going!