Eating Disorder Recovery

recovery is a process, not an event.

It’s important to remember that recovery is a process, not an event. This was a hard pill for me to swallow. I wanted it to be a quick event and put it behind me. However, it doesn’t work that way. Here are a few things that helped me in my recovery journey.

  1. Know your triggers. Write a list. You can see an old list of my triggers below.
  2. Create a supportive environment.
  3. Stay focused on recovery by getting involved in a support group.
  4. Get involved.
  5. Be with friends that support your recovery and who respect your needs.
  6. It’s your responsibility to take care of yourself despite what others say and do around you.
  7. Keep your needs first. It’s not selfish.
  8. Communicate with friends and family about your needs.
  9. Build a balanced life.
  10. Avoid “all or nothing” thoughts.
  11. Keep your expectations realistic and balanced.
  12. Strive to balance your schedule – work, responsibilities, social things, and relaxation.
  13. Don’t avoid feelings or issues, but also don’t spend all day focusing on your problems and stressors.
  14. Be aware of switching addictions. Addictions are avoidance.
  15. Be honest if you have a slip up. It doesn’t mean you are a failure or it’s a full-blown relapse. Be honest and don’t be critical. Figure out why. What are you avoiding? Are you using self care? Are you being assertive with your needs? Are you balancing your schedule in a healthy way? Are you reaching out for support?
  16. Be patient and gentle with yourself.
  17. Accept yourself and move on. Don’t linger on things.

My old trigger list and ways to prevent eating disorder relapse:

**This list was written when I was in eating disorder treatment in 2006.

  1. Build Up of Stress: Reduce by talking to someone, walking my dog, or exercising with a friend in a healthy way.
  2. Emotional Overreaction: Journal, recognize the overreaction, and listen to my rational mind.
  3. Failure to Ask for Support: Make sure I do ask for support and look at the charm bracelet filled with charms from my support network.
  4. Dishonesty: Be honest and explain the lie if it comes to that.
  5. Isolation: Reach out to friends or family, go to a support group meeting, research non-profits to get involved in, or read at a coffee shop.
  6. Avoidance of Problems: Focus on the problem, analyze it rationally, and deal with it. Don’t ignore it, but also don’t fixate on it.
  7. Feeling Hopeless: Think about things I am hopeful for and grateful for. Write a list.
  8. Self Sabotage: Journal, talk about what I am thinking, and pay attention.
  9. Alcohol: Drink in moderation and pay attention to the amount you are drinking.
  10. Engaging in Other Compulsive Behaviors (Example – Shopping): Be self aware and don’t go shop when I am unhappy.
  11. Rationalize Cutting Corners on Meal Plan: Don’t allow it to happen by creating accountability and keep daily food journals.