Lifelong Eating Disorder Recovery Is Not as Bad as You Think
When I was new to eating disorder recovery, I thought it would dominate my life. I thought about it all the time. I was in constant fear that I’d somehow fail and fall back into the grips of the disease and lose sight of why I was trying so hard to get better in the first place.
Everything I read about eating disorder recovery made it seem like it was a lifelong, grueling, exhausting battle. It turns out that statement was only partially correct. Yes, eating disorder recovery is a lifelong process, but it is not a process that will dominate your life.
Lifelong Eating Disorder Recovery Will Not Dominate Your Life
I wish someone had told me lifelong eating disorder recovery wasn’t as bad as I feared in the beginning. It would have made those first few months and years of recovery so much more bearable. Instead, I felt buried under the weight of the disease and thought I’d have to live in active battle forever.
The truth is, one day, you’ll stop thinking so much about your eating disorder recovery. This truth holds in the case of every single person I have spoken with about their recovery. It is certainly true for me.
It is not that you never think about your lifelong eating disorder recovery–just that you only think of it passively, for the most part. When you treat your recovery with the respect and dedication it deserves in the beginning–when you seek help if you need it, when you give yourself time, and when you learn how to eat healthfully–you will be creating habits that will become second nature. As such, eventually, you won’t have to think about doing the things you need to do to support your recovery: they will become part of your everyday life.
I’m not going to lie and say you will never, ever actively struggle again: that eating disorder recovery will be smooth sailing after the first year or so. In my experience, now and then, you will find yourself in a stressful time and you’ll feel like old habits might start creeping back. In this case, you will have to work harder than perhaps you have in a while to get your ship sailing smoothly again, but once you do, you won’t spend years getting your footing. Your sea legs will already be in place.
Do you agree that although lifelong, eating disorder recovery loses its dominance in your life over time? Have you found that you seldom think about your eating disorder years into your recovery? Share in the comments.