Motivation, Patience and Hope for Eating Disorder Recovery
In this series of blog posts, we are going to be working our way through Carolyn Costin & Gwen Schubert Grabb's book 8 Keys to Recovery From an Eating Disorder Workbook.
We start at Key One: Motivation, Patience, and Hope. One of the assignments from this Key is to interview someone who is recovered - here is what our Founder Kristie has to say...
What surprised you most about the process of recovery?
"How hard it was - I didn't realise the magnitude and how long it would take. The self-awareness aspect of it that I had been distracting myself with, blaming it on my body and food. The deeper stuff still had to be addressed even when I had reached a maintenance weight, It took me 4-5 years to be 'done done'. Also, how good recovery is - a freedom I can't quite describe. Peace, space in my brain to think about things other than my food. Recovery is priceless."
What general advice would you give me to help me in this process?
- Don't give up. Whatever you do, keep fighting, keep trying, even when it seems hopeless and you feel like you're drowning and struggling and going backwards. The people who keep trying get better.
- Don't compare yourself to other people.
- Reach out, reach out, reach out.
- Design your own experiences to recover - go above and beyond.
What do you wish someone had told you about the recovery process?
That Recovered is possible; that there was support available. It is so important to find someone who gels with you, who gets you
What do you wish you had done sooner?
Recovered! And worked on the body piece sooner - after I had recovered I still struggled with my body image a lot. You get to do YOU in recovery.
Were there specific turning points you can remember in recovery?
- When I first decided to go to treatment (after losing my job, friends) - hitting rock bottom. When I started to recover, I was told I couldn't 'semi-recover'.
- One day in group, wearing a purple t-shirt and feeling so grotesque and looking down thinking 'I don't think I can stand this body, but I also don't think I can stand my ED forever. What if for one year, I was really able to trust, surrender and let go, trust in this recovery process?'
- Playing cards one day and laughing - in that moment, I was fully present.
Do you have any tips for dealing with body image?
Educate yourself - read books. This helped my trust my body and realise that it's not my fault my body is the way it is. Also, surrounding myself with body positive stuff, such as books, podcasts, journals, talking to others, blogs, music - anything that wasn't my own fears.
Next week, we finish up our interview with Kristie - watch this space.