This is what helped me on my road to recovery. My hope is that by talking about ED’s we can begin to raise more awareness about the problem itself, and empower the people who need help, to seek it out.
Honesty. Support System. Moderation.
1. HONESTY If you can’t be honest with yourself that you have a problem, then you’re not going to be able to be honest with the other people you need to be honest with. Admitting that you have a problem is ALWAYS the hardest part, and being honest with yourself is no easy task. But, being truthful is a crucial part in recovery. You have to be honest in order to receive the help you need. If you’re not comfortable reaching out to someone you know, there are helplines you can call:
HopeLine crisis line is completely confidential and open right now Call them at 919-231-4525 or 1-877-235-4525
Call their toll-free, confidential helpline Monday – Thursday from 9:00 am – 9:00 pm and Friday from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm (EST) 1-800-931-2237
You have to be 100% honest, completely transparent, with yourself and your loved ones. You’re going to have to admit and talk about things that you really don’t want to talk about. It took me almost two years to be honest with myself that I had a problem. I became so bony that playing sports left scars on my body due to the impact(s)… I have friends who have caused themselves irreparable heart damage because of their eating disorders – they waited too long to seek treatment and that decision will affect them for the rest of their lives. I irreparably damaged my metabolism, and I’m hoping I didn’t cause enough damage to my body where it affects my ability to have children. However, only time will tell…
Hiding this disease is not worth losing your life. The embarrassment and the discomfort you feel when you are honest about having an ED is nothing in comparison to the possible alternatives.
2. Have a SUPPORT SYSTEM This is not going to be an easy conversation. You are going to need someone, or multiple someones, who are willing to help you when you need it, and when you think you don’t (because you still will). Relapsing to an eating disorder is, and will be, hard to fight. More than likely you’re not going to be happy with the way you see yourself. I HATED myself when I was in recovery. I hated the way I looked, I hated the way I felt, I hated anything and everything that was me at that point in my life. You have to learn to love yourself again and be okay with who you are and where you’re at. Therapy is always an option to help with the recovery process, and it’s an option that should be used if needed. You’re not weak for going to therapy – you’re STRONG because you are seeking help and treatment for an addiction.
I completely relied on my mom for this. She was my totem pole, my bright light. I would not have been able to get through recovery as successfully as I did, without her help. Even now, on my tougher days – she’s my support system that helps me stay on the right track. Go into the recovery process knowing that it is not a short, nor an easy road. You’re going to have many unwanted, uncomfortable conversations, many times. Some repeatedly. You need a solid support system to be able to have those difficult, necessary discussions.
3. MODERATION Learning to eat again, and to eat again properly is going to take some time. Whether you were a binge eater, anorexic, bulimic, or other – your body just isn’t used to handling food. Moderation was my key to learning how to eat again. However, American portions DO NOT help with portion control. Carrabba’s Chicken Parm has 625 calories. Not terrible, right? Too bad it has 43% of your TOTAL fat for the day, 50% of your saturated fat, and 77% of your TOTAL salt intake – for the entire day… in one meal. How about a classic Cinnabon cinnamon roll? 879 calories… 85% of your saturated fat for the day, and 42% of you TOTAL carbs. And that’s in a tasty treat, not even a meal. The list goes on and on, but you get the idea.
You have to learn what you can and cannot put in your body portion wise as your body is learning to eat properly again. Everything is ok in moderation. One or two bites of a Cinnabon isn’t going to kill you, and it isn’t going to make you run to the bathroom to purge. But you don’t need one for yourself, one for your mom and one for your friend. Share the cinnamon roll and everyone wins. You get a couple scrumdidily-umtious bites, and you won’t feel like you are going to lose it. As I’ve told you before, to this day I won’t get a dessert if I’m not sharing it with someone, because I know – it would still be tempting for my body to purge.
Let’s get uncomfortable and share our stories.
Let’s get REAL about the daily struggle towards recovery.
Let’s kick eating disorder’s butts together!!