There is a lot of darkness in eating disorders. Each day is filled with pain, suffering, rules and destructive coping strategies. Recovery also has dark moments. Some days it is hard to have your healthy side win out against the demands of the eating disorder. I think the light in all that darkness is Hope. Almost everyone I have ever met who has struggled has this light within them. It shows up sometimes in small ways that we don’t even realize – the drive to try again tomorrow, the time you set aside to do self care, the commitment to try something new.
Hope, I believe, is one of the biggest catalysts to recovery. We have to want more to get more. This isn’t to say that hope is enough, sadly it isn’t, but it is a significant motivator in our day to day. When we are trying to find our way to our own version of recovery, we are so often focused on the challenges we need to face, the obstacles we need to overcome, and the mountains we have yet to climb. Day to day, these pieces, while necessary, are really heavy. So while your list of challenges awaits, I would try to spend some time thinking about the things, places, people, activities etc that give you hope and write them down. If you’re willing, explore why each of those inspire you and the ways they make you feel about your recovery journey when you are engaged in them.
The point is not to always be in a place where we feel light-hearted and engaged, even those who aren’t struggling with an eating disorder are not in this place all the time. Rather I want for you to be able to go back to the things that bring light to your darkness when it all feels overwhelming and help yourself along.