Is it necessary to have belief in recovery to do recovery?
Finding it within ourselves to ever believe in recovery, let alone do so consistently and whole heartedly when we have or are trying to recover from an eating disorder can be very difficult.
Particularly if we have been sick a long time, already tried various types of treatment and have no clue as to what a life as a recovered person could be like for us, believing in our own ability to recover can be a bizarre concept.
How do we find belief in ourselves & in our capabilities or hope within that our lives can ever be different, ever be better, ever be without the prison walls of an eating disorder?
Often when we say we believe in something – it is in something that we have little evidence of being real.
For example we might believe in a God or we might believe in Father Christmas (I do) and yet have no evidence we are right to believe in them.
In suggesting belief in recovery too it is asking to have faith in a future that seems as unreal or unattainable at times as the Easter Bunny (who is also real by the way!).
For some of us too, we might have once held a stronger belief in our ability to recover & had this belief cruelly snatched away in the past by a professional or other people telling us that we won’t (as cruel as telling a child Santa is not real!).
Many a time I have been told and said to others- you must believe in your ability to recover and that you will recover.
But do we have to hold this belief?
Do we have to really trust and have faith in our ability to recover in order to get on with attempting recovery?
I say not.
It would be lovely to have unwavering belief in a future ED free and for that belief in us to lie in all others we meet too… Positivity is never a bad thing!
But it is not an essential ingredient for recovery and maybe it will only come when the evidence presents itself.
To do recovery we need determination, strength, courage, resilience and to make ourselves vulnerable.
We need to recognise that life in the grips of the illness is not a way to live a life.
We need to forge ahead despite holding no belief in the why some days.
And as we do so, belief will come, as we realise that life is opening up and this is recovery…
You don’t need to believe something will happen to will it to happen and to strive for it…
But having said that – I do believe everyone can recover from this illness – I do – so even if you don’t believe, I believe in you (almost as much as I do in Santa & the Easter Bunny!)…