Research shows that eating disorder recovery takes time and patience. I can attest to that since
reaching fully recovery took me over ten years. At times I desperately wanted to give up and
knew that deep down I deserved a life without my eating disorder.
A major component to recovery is reaching out to people INSTEAD of your eating disorder.
What does this mean? It is straight forward and difficult to practice. For some of us our eating
disorder behaviors, like restricting, bingeing, purging, over-exercise, are so automatic that we
have a trigger and act. You have a bad day at work and then you binge at night. You are stressed
about a presentation and you restrict. You are nervous about an important conversation with your
significant other and you spend hours at the gym.
The first step to reaching out to people is to practice pausing- that glorious lull before you
engage in an eating disorder. Even if you pause for one second that is progress. Take one deep
breath and simply notice. The second step is to reach out to a supportive person- a therapist,
mentor, coach, parent, partner, or friend. You can call, text, email, facetime or talk to someone
face to face. You can simply text “hi” to someone- the important part is that you are changing the
dance- instead of engaging in rote behaviors you are doing something different!
And it is ok if you still engage in the eating disordered behavior. Yes, I just said that it is ok to
engage in your behavior. Ultimately the goal is to use support instead of using the behavior, but
as I said earlier recovery takes time and practice. Pausing and reaching out is a huge step and
with persistence the eating disorder behaviors will decrease.
So, for all of you in recovery, I ask you to reach out to someone today. We cannot recover alone-
we can recover together.
Full recovery is possible,
For eating disorder treatment please go to meredithobrienlcsw.com and to read more of my blogs
go to: recoveryfromanorexia.com.