'My name is Brooke and I'm a 22-year-old University graduate working in Marketing. I have suffered from anorexia nervosa for the past 7 years and an anxiety disorder almost all my life. I decided to write this blog in the hopes of helping and inspiring someone who may be struggling through their own eating disorder journey. I want everyone to know that we have the power to take back the lives our eating disorders stole from us and to finally start living the life we all deserve.'
5 Tips to Remember in Recovery
Recovery. It’s a word that some of us are scared of, some of us are working towards or some of us have already achieved through our own unique journey. But what really is recovery? To me, recovery is unique to each person. Recovery doesn’t always mean that the thoughts go away, that your disordered behaviors stop or that you miraculously have self-esteem again. It means that instead of letting those thoughts consume you, you now have the power, support, and skills to acknowledge them and move on. Recovery is a journey that has many challenges along the way. Don’t forget that you’re also stronger and smarter than you once were, so recovery is achievable in your own way. Here are 5 tips to remember while you’re on your journey to recovery:
1. It’s okay to relapse - Many people think that a ‘relapse’ means that you have gone back to the old behaviors. But relapses (are very common), and are simply a hiccup on your journey to recovery. Instead of thinking of your relapse as a failure to recover, think of it as an opportunity to learn and improve your skills so that in the future you can overcome any other problems you may be faced with.
2. You might always have that voice in your head, but you don’t have to listen to it - Many people think that with recovery you also loose that ED voice in your head. For some (including me) that unfortunately, isn’t the case. I believe that for some people, we might always have that voice inside our head but instead of listening to it, we can now recognise our thoughts and move forward. Don’t be afraid of the disordered thoughts - you’re in control which means you don’t have to listen or act on them anymore.
3. You’re going to be challenged daily, but you’re capable of overcoming anything - Whether it’s listening to your friends talk about dieting or deciding on whether to have that slice of birthday cake, you’re going to be faced with challenges daily. It’s okay to feel ‘triggered’ by these comments but instead of letting your thoughts consume you, try using your support system. Your support system is there to help be the strength you need to get through these situations and continue your journey onto recovery.
4. You aren’t defined by your eating disorder - While your eating disorder can be a huge part of your life, it doesn’t define your life. The eating disorder is just a chapter in your story that helped you become who you are today. YOU have the power to determine your own success and future, NOT your eating disorder.
5. It always gets better and recovery is possible - While the journey to recovery is hard, it’s the most incredible and rewarding experience. You’re able to finally take back the power that the illness stole from you and change the course of your life for the better. You have the opportunity to finally live your life, free from the terrible past you once knew - and trust me it’s worth it!
Recovery is possible, attainable and maintainable. Believing in yourself, building and using your support system, and remembering that you’re in control of your future, not your eating disorder, can be helpful along this journey.
Get Support -
You can talk to us. Contact the Butterfly Foundation’s National Helpline -
If you need urgent assistance or support, please ring Lifeline on 13 11 14.