I ran a Looking Glass training recently for the hand in hand program and in doing so gave some role plays of scenarios I have seen and worked with both in my practice and also in my personal life. In doing so I spoke of someone who has relapsed after many years free from her eating disorder.
Sometimes we don’t know what life will throw at us. We don’t know what curve balls we feel we can dodge and which ones feel like they hit us straight on. I am a huge believer and advocate for recovery even if you happen to relapse. I don’t believe we can ever not know what we now know, rather we just choose to not engage in that part of ourselves. We choose in those moments to believe that we are powerless to the disorder that has already robbed us of time, health, relationships and happiness.
I would argue against that the belief. I think if life throws us off track, and our eating disorder seeps back in, we can absolutely move forward and find our footing again. Just because you have slipped doesn’t mean you can’t get back to where you have already been. So instead of focusing on the relapse, focus on the growth and remember the courage you already possess having tackled this before. Recovery is about putting one foot in front of the other, however small it may seem, and trekking forward.
So if you find yourself in the situation where life has become too much and your eating disorder has come knocking on your door again, be good to yourself. Don’t make it about your weakness, rather remind yourself of your strengths. Life sometimes is really freaking hard and there is only so much any one person can handle before our destructive defenses feel like the easiest bandaid for the pain. Remind yourself that this bandaid is temporary and that once you catch your breath you have the skills and ability to move forward towards your wellness once again.