Very often nowadays, you will hear people say, ‘I am committing to my recovery‘ or recovery coaches might say, ‘you have to commit!‘…
And it sounds great doesn’t it?
It sounds wonderful. To be committed to the process and committed to our recovered selves…
But what does it really mean when we talk about commitment and being committed to eating disorder recovery?
I recently read a broad definition of ‘commitment’ as,
“Doing the thing you said you would do, long after the mood in which you said it has left you…”
Now of course in recovery terms, when you made the commitment to recover, it might never have felt wholeheartedly positive and possibly was not declared with excitement and passion. From the very start that commitment might have been made with some trepidation and almost certain fear.
But if you have truly committed, then it means you do whatever it takes to see that commitment through, no matter how you feel about staying true to the course or how much anxiety and fear is triggered in the process.
Commitment also involves living out your intentions through action.
Words alone are meaningless…
When we commit we are not saying ‘try’ or ‘maybe’….
We are saying ‘I will’ and ‘I am’ (and then doing it!!).
And when the actions we take to reach our goal of recovery are not working, then being committed to recovery means we don’t just give up but we establish what we need to do or change and what support we might need to ensure that our commitment is still actively realised .
But commitment to recovery, like any commitment has to be 100% or not at all, even if it is frightening to make that pledge in the beginning.
Saying you are committed to recovery but only putting in 90% effort is allowing room for excuses, procrastination and doubt.. Allow those thoughts and emotions in and you will just make the whole thing 10 x harder for yourself as that potential for ‘get out’ will increase at an alarming rate and very soon your best laid intentions will be gone and the eating disorder is back with the full upper hand.
So, what are some signs that we are not fully committed?
– Delaying action – always saying ‘tomorrow’ or after x event.
– All talk, no action.
– Repeating methods that have never worked before, staying in the same miserable cycles, which might feel safe but also keep you stuck.
– Being stuck in the one step forwards, two back game, rather than continuing forwards even when it is tough.
– Feeling confused about what we are doing or why.
– Feeling constantly filled with doubt and overwhelming anxiety.
To be committed means doing what you set out to with intent and action, no matter what!
Commitment means diligence, integrity and clear intentions.
With commitment in recovery, we allow our true selves to rise from within us as we are finally true to who we really are beyond the eating disorder (yes, we all do have an identity and values well beyond an illness!). When this happens, any doubts that we are committed to the right cause will most certainly go, leaving us with a greater sense of inner peace.
Making that commitment to recovery is hard.
But do it – say out loud,
‘I am committed to do whatever it takes to recover’
..and tell yourself that each and every day, several times a day if you have to to make it real.
Keep that promise to yourself and rather than talk it – DO it!
(***I have not spoken about the practical ways of committing to recovery in this post as there is plenty on that all over this website if you need it… I will add a little reminder though that if we are truly committed to recovery then we are eating without restriction, no diet products or other ‘safe’ shite; resting and not giving into compulsions or lower level movement; not compensating in other ways and also breaking habits and routines that keep us stuck. We commit to doing nothing to suppress our natural body weight. If we are committed then we do whatever it takes in our life to make it possible to achieve a full recovery, making space for it, seeking support and acknowledging it is terrifying but doing it anyway!**).