Eating disorder recovery is not like alcohol and drug recovery. When you’re recovering from an eating disorder you usually experience more of a stair step approach or zigzag instead of a straight-line recovery. When you hit something that’s very impactful it may cause you to engage in your disorder. This is your red flag that something is wrong. It can be a great learning tool. You can discover triggers and what alternative tools you can use instead of using the eating disorder. You can examine what was happening, what you in a thinking and feeling, and what was going on just before you engaged in the eating disorder behavior. You can determine the feeling you may need help with or discover that the feeling may stem from past core issues that you are now ready to deal with. If you are in treatment you can get help at this point and get right back into your recovery even stronger.
You may never know what the exact date that you experienced the freedom of full recovery happened. But as you look back you will see that there was a time when the obsessive thoughts of food, weight, diet and body image went away. You will experience life in a whole new way. You will be at peace in your body. You will know when you are hungry and when you are full. You will have relationships with people instead of the eating disorder. You will be connected to you! You will know what you are feeling and take care of yourself like you would will with anyone else that you loved and cherished. You will know your values and beliefs and be able to use this as your compass. You will know your meaning and purpose in life and be able to live life to the fullest. This is full recover.
This wraps up the three-part series about freedom from eating disorders. Stay tuned for a article on eating mindfully during the stressful holiday season!