I had a client the other day say to me “My life isn’t propelling me towards recovery.” It was such an honest statement and yet not one that we often think of when we are on the recovery journey. If anything we think about how recovery will propel us towards life not the other way around. But this perspective is one worth thinking about, especially as we are trying to navigate recovery during Covid.
An important question to ask yourself is: What am I doing to make my life filled with enough joy, enough connection, enough entertainment, enough conversation, enough learning, enough growing, enough living etc to make your eating disorder not feel like the only thing you have in your life?
While in so many ways recovery is a 24/7 commitment, I also believe, the more you make your life outside of recovery a reflection of what you want, the more motivated you will be to keep recovering. This is hard for a lot of reasons but I also think it will ultimately make your recovery a greater priority. When we realize all the good that can come out of our life when we prioritize things other than our recovery, it builds the courage to leave behind the disorder that robs you of so much joy and freedom.
When my client said this, one the main things she was highlighting was the fact that with Covid, it’s really difficult to have your life reflect what you want because it’s difficult to access some of the activities or people that would facilitate that. I get it. Honestly this year has been a doozy and it has made even simple things feel hard. My recommendation however, is that we have to adapt to what is. If we wait for the outside world to be perfect, we will be waiting a long time to move on with our lives. Instead, you want to try to challenge yourself to work with what you’ve got. There are endless classes/courses available online so pretty much every hobby you are interested in you could access in some shape or form. Maybe you want to learn a new skill or language. Perhaps you want to join a club or volunteer. All of these are things you can do from home if you choose. And now is the time to choose. We are heading into a tough season, but that doesn’t mean everything has to be made tougher by you not choosing to have a life that propels you towards recovery. Don’t overwhelm yourself, but also don’t placate your disorder by giving up on the other things you value in your life. In my therapy practice, those that typically reach their recovery goals the fastest are the individuals who learn to value themselves as a whole person; someone who has a lot of different parts to themselves and who takes the time to honor each part. So as the weather slowly starts to change take some time to think about how you can create a life that propels you towards recovery. Doing so will make your journey towards recovery easier and a lot more fulfilling.