The recovery process
Focusing on the process of recovery from an eating disorder can feel less overwhelming than focusing on the end result, which may feel far away and unattainable. Many people who have recovered from eating disorders have identified the following themes which have helped them through their journey of recovery:
- Support – feeling supported by those around you will help your treatment and recovery. A circle of support will also decrease the isolation often experienced by people with eating disorders.
- Hope and motivation – having a strong sense of hope coupled with the motivation to change eating disorder behaviours is the foundation of recovery.
- Healthy self esteem – remembering that you are worthwhile will remind you that recovery is too.
- Understanding and expressing your emotions – it is normal for a person with an eating disorder to feel a range of emotions and it is helpful to acknowledge and express feelings.
- Acknowledging set-backs – with the focus on recovery, even taking a step backwards can still be making progress.
- Coping strategies – developing a list of coping strategies that calm you down and help you regulate your emotions can help you during stressful or triggering situations.
- Engaging in activities and interests – revisiting the things you enjoyed before the eating disorder will build self-esteem and reconnect you with the world around you. For example, if you used to enjoy drawing, taking a pencil and pad of paper to your favourite place can be a helpful, and enjoyable experience.
Recovery is possible
Eating disorders are serious, potentially life threatening mental and physical illnesses, however with appropriate treatment and a high level of personal commitment, recovery from an eating disorder is achievable.
Evidence shows that the sooner you start treatment for an eating disorder, the shorter the recovery process will be. Seeking help at the first warning sign is much more effective than waiting until the illness is in full swing. If you suspect that you or someone you know has an eating disorder it is important to seek help immediately.
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