We are all looking for answers. Perhaps you are deciding on college next year, in search of a career change, or meditating on ways to live a more meaningful life. If you have taken the step towards recovery from an eating disorder, there is already some form of pursuit of life without this kind of suffering. In the beginning of treatment, it is very normal to seek answers to questions, and to feel as if your questions around the process won’t ever stop. One piece that I think is important to address in this process is the myth that there is a “one stop shop,” so to speak, or a “right way” to recover from your eating disorder. A few things to remember if you have had this thought:
- Every eating disorder is different and everyone has different struggles. I believe that each individual that steps foot into my office has unique personality traits, strengths, and gifts. Furthermore, this individual has a story unlike anyone else’s on the planet….and how amazing is that? No two experiences leading up to the eating disorder are the same and no recovery paths will be the same either.
- What works for one person may not work for you. There are many circumstances and examples in which this may be true. For example, one person in recovery may have a supportive family who has made significant efforts to understand their loved one’s eating disorder. The person in recovery may be grateful for their support and want them to be involved in the recovery process. However, someone else may have a completely different experience; one that does not include family member’s becoming involved in the treatment process. For this second person, it feels safer to them to exclude their family from their treatment process.
- Show compassion for yourself, and others struggling. There will be seconds, minutes, days, and hours that are hard and you may feel like giving up. Instead of beating yourself up and saying, “I’m not doing recovery the right way,” try something like, “I choose to be kind to myself for this __________” . Maybe something like, “Wow, this felt really hard, and this is one thing I can do for my recovery right now _________________”. These are my examples, but I encourage you to come up with your own that feel true to you and resonate with your spirit!
We as humans are diverse, and that is truly a gift! That allows for room for uniqueness, creativity, and differences of opinion. These are aspects of life that can be celebrated. That being said, the next time you hear about something that worked for someone else that may not have worked for you, think about your story. What has worked for you? What hasn’t? Moving forward, honor your story of recovery, as it is yours, and yours alone.
Sending you hope,
By: Laura Deneen