Kindness is important to recover from any illness. Especially when you are in recovery from an eating disorder, but it cannot only come from outside of yourself. You need to give yourself the same kindness and understanding that you would give to someone else.
This can be difficult, and it may feel even harder when many people tell you how you should feel. The things you should avoid are just as important as the things you should do.
Always remember that you do not have to go through this difficult journey alone. Your eating disorder treatment center is there where you can seek help, take advantage of their resources and become your best self.
Don’t Try to Do It All Alone
This is not a journey that you have to or need to take alone. Studies have shown that a specialized treatment plan works best for people with eating disorders. These plans involve the guidance and care of therapists, dietitians, and doctors, all working together to help you escape the clutches of your illness.
Don’t Blame Yourself
No matter how difficult the road to recovery is, you cannot fall into the mistake of blaming yourself. Only you know the mental pressures that you endured, which led to this state of events. Be kind and understanding with your lapses and mistakes.
Recovery is not an easy task, but the fact that you’re on this path is something to be proud of, so take heart and keep at it.
Don’t Give in to Shame
You must find ways to stay motivated and keep going even on days when your confidence is low. There is so much shame associated with eating disorders, but understand that this is an outside influence that you can ignore.
Do your best to be positive and use affirmations and simple mindfulness exercises to keep your mind happy and stay strident on the path to recovery.
Don’t Prioritize Others
You matter, your recovery matters, and the amount of time it takes is the right amount, no matter how long or short it may feel to others. Sometimes, when we are hurting, we take care of others or prioritize their needs above ours.
This is a trauma response, and you must share these feelings with your therapist as clearly as you can. You deserve just as much healing and recovery time as anyone else. Your feelings are as valid as anyone else’s.
Don’t Give Too Much of Yourself
Try to remember that you are in recovery, and giving too much of your time to other people may exhaust you emotionally and mentally. Because you are going through a time of great emotional upheaval, others may feel that they can share their stories with you.
But you are vulnerable and must set boundaries with them. Limiting contact with possible triggers is self-care and very important to your recovery.
Don’t Avoid Other People
Even though giving too much of yourself is harmful, this does not mean that you should avoid asking for other people’s help. There are people in your life who want to support you and are simply waiting to know how they can do so.
You can also find new friends who have been through what you have been through. Give your friends, family, and group therapy participants a real chance to be there for you and support you during this difficult time in your life.
Don’t Hide Your Condition
You found the strength and courage to seek help. But you can never know how many other people are still struggling. By sharing your journey and dispelling any notion that having an eating disorder is something to be ashamed of or hide, you cannot know how many others will be helped.
Share your journey at your pace and as much as you are willing to do so, and you will be doing yourself a great favor as well as a great kindness to so many others who will gain their courage from your courage.
Don’t Let Impatience Win
You will meet others at different stages of their recovery treatment plan. It may be tempting to compare yourself to them and feel impatient that you are not progressing as well as they seem to be doing.
This is very unfair to your recovery process. Everyone grows at their own pace, and expecting someone else’s pace to be your own is a recipe for losing motivation and feeling downhearted.
If you feel yourself getting dispirited or disappointed at your pace of recovery, immediately inform your therapist. Trust your treatment team and take heart in knowing that you are taking as long as you need to ensure a brighter and more stable future for yourself.