Good morning world! First, I apologize for any errors in this post, but I am attempting to type the whole thing on an iPad. So we'll see how this goes :)
Soooo... Whether you are in recovery or not, if you have or are lived with an Ed, you have at least thought about recovery. I remember spending years contemplating recovery. To be honest the thought of recovery scared the bajeezus out of me, but at the same time many parts of recovery made me want to say 'screw you Ed!' and jump full speed into recovery. I'll admit that I tried, what I call, 'recovery without giving up Ed' many times. This is where I would go to therapy, go to a dietitian, pray, and put half effort into following my the advice of my therapist, dietitian, and God. The other half of my effort was put into following all of Ed's directives. I was allowed to follow part of the meal plan, but certainly not all of it. I was allowed to use to techniques learned in therapy, but only on problems outside of Ed. I did this for years thinking that things would one day get better. I honestly believed that sooner or later I would just get so sick of the eating disorder and I would just 'magically' lose all desire to act on it. I now realize how wrong this is. Now, I honestly believe that people can 100% recover from Ed! I believe this because there was a time in my life, albeit years ago, that I did not have an Ed. Sure, my life was not perfect, but I didn't engage in any Ed behaviors. In fact, I didn't know what Ed's were. And, I believe that I will recover 100%! And, that excites me because I know what I want for my recovery and I know what I need to do to obtain that. No longer am I waiting for Ed to just disappear, now I am turning from him and kicking him out of my life.
I believe on of the first things we must do to recover is define our recovery. Everyone is different therefore, everyone's definition of recovery may be different. What I want may not be what you want and that's okay. To complete this exercise, I challenge you to leave Ed out of it. Sure, he will try to give his input. He will tell you what he wants for your life, but I challenge you to leave him outside while you do this. Spend time with yourself, dig deep and define YOUR recovery. To start, think about these four areas.... Social, spiritual, physical, emotional. Really spend time thinking about what each are will look/be like in recovery.
Here are mine...
SOCIAL: In recovery I spend time with friends and family members. I attend social gatherings that I am invited to and I take initiative to get together with other people. In recovery, I foster relationships with other people. I call people, I answer the phone when others call me, and I am engaged in conversation when I am with/talking to people. I live in the moment when I am with others and enjoy their company.
SPIRITUAL: When I am in recovery, I attend mass regularlly. I spend time with God throughout the day. I pray and I journal. I read the bible daily, I reflect on what God says to me through His word and I act out what He teaches me. In recovery, I am involved in the church and ministry.
PHYSICAL: (*note- this may be the hardest one to write and Ed may try his hardest to give you his input. Beware and refuse to let him control you!) In recover, I maintain a healthy body weight, not a weight that I determine, but a weight that is maintained naturally without using the Ed. In recovery, I eat regular meals and snack that contain all of the essential food groups including treats. In recover, food is not the focus of my day, rather it is a part of my day essential to being able to fully live life, concentrate, carry out daily activities, and enjoy my life. In recovery, I move my body regularly and I give it the test it needs. I do activity to make my heart beat strong, to increase bone density, to gain flexibility, and to release tension.
EMOTIONAL: In recovery, I acknowledge my emotions, but I do not allow my emotions to lead to irrational actions. I cry when I am sad, laugh when something's funny, and I may feel tension when I am angry. I accept my emotions and I know that then will ebb and flow. In recovery, my emotions don't overwhelm me. In recovery I know they are a part of living and I don't base my choices on my emotions.
Throughout your recovery, you definition of these aspects may change. I encourage you to do this exercise. And, please share with me what recovery looks like for you. The next step is to know what you need to do to be in recovery. To have recovery, I had to ask myself, what do I need to do to have the things I listed above. Above all... I had to say no to Ed and say yes to life. Again, Ed will try to win you back time and again. You must recognize him and REFUSE to listen to him. Later, I will talk about a very important word I learned that has helped to to say shut up Ed!