In my meetup group the other night we talked about the 4 things that promote eating disorder recovery. While of course there are many other factors necessary, at times, to recover, these 4 things are critical to your success.
1. Social Support: Eating disorders thrive in secrecy. The more you go against this and against the self imposed shame, the greater likelihood of you recovering. We need to have people to run
to in our desperate hours (and every recovery journey has desperate hours). The more support we have, and the more support we allow ourselves to access, the better our chances of recovery. My only piece of advice with this is to be sure to pick your people wisely. Some people will support your recovery, others will support your eating disorder.
2. A Counsellor or Professional Support Team: Navigating recovery is difficult and sometimes/often it can be hard to make sense of the journey. Having someone who specializes in eating disorders will help you navigate the difficult times while also challenging you to get well. Because they understand the world of eating disorders, they will be able to point our healthy steps you can take that will be helpful to your recovery. This support can be one on one, a group, treatment centers etc.
3. Being Patient: It takes a lot of courage and motivation to get well. Usually when in it, however, we want to be over it. The best way out (or really the only way out) is through. Be patient. The average recovery time from start to finish is roughly 7 years. Some will be sooner than that and others longer. However long it takes doesn’t matter, what matters is that you patiently keep putting one foot in front of the other. Unhealthy and unrealistic expectations work against your recovery.
4. Self Care: I believe this may be the most critical component. When in the middle of an eating disorder we often have a neglectful, cruel disregard for ourselves. Maintaining this disregard ensures a continued relationship with your eating disorder. You have to learn and maintain a self care practice that promotes you being kind, gentle, supportive and nurturing with yourself. Recovery typically lapses when someone’s self care lapses.
What do you think are the most important things that promote recovery? Write them in the comment section below and let me know.