For the last post in Eating Disorder Awareness Week, I’m going to be talking about things I wish my friends knew about ED recovery. For my previous EDAW post, click here.
Recovery isn’t linear
I might go one step forward but then I could go two steps back. I had so many ups and downs in recovery. There can be some really good days where you challenge a fear food and don’t feel majorly guilty but then the next day, I could wake up and feel completely sh*t.
My brain was constantly thinking about calories
Due to obsessive calorie counting for so many years, it was so hard for me to just forget the numbers in each meal/food. That meant that I didn’t really have that much control over what I was eating. At the start, my parents chose for me but I was still counting in my head.
I would literally be thinking in lessons about calories which meant I couldn’t focus at all. If I was talking to someone, often my brain would still be thinking about calories/exercise etc. My mind wasn’t really ever present.
I didn’t want to lie, but my ED didn’t let me tell the truth
If someone would ask how I was, I would never truly be able to say how I was. If I did, my ED would punish me later…whether that be verbally, self-harm, exercise or eating less.
I lost so many friends through my ED because it always told me that it was my friend. It would tell me that it was the only friend I knew, that it was my best friend.
If we are still friends now, it means the world to me ❤
I had to relearn ‘normal’ things
During ED recovery, I had to relearn how to do so many things. For instance, it took me a really long time to learn how much was the right amount to eat. I genuinly forget how being full felt. I was so used to being so hungry all the time, it was strange that I then had to honour the hunger by eating.
I had to learn how to bake/cook all over again. Remember when you’re younger and you get to lick the bowl? I stopped allowing myself to do this. When I was baking, I had to have someone ask me if I wanted to try some of the mixture. I couldn’t just have some.
I used to be so good at baking & cooking, but because I hadn’t done it in so long, I lost some of that skill and became a bit unsure of myself. I had to get my family to help me learn to make a good nutritional meal again.
Even going to a supermarket was hard. Looking at all the food, my mind automatically sorted it into categories of what I was and wasn’t allowed to eat and therefore buy. I had to learn that having sweet foods are good for you.
I had to make the choice of recovery everyday
This is something that I always find slightly hard to explain. It wasn’t like one day I chose to recover and that was it. I had to choose to recover. Every single day. Every single moment. During ED recovery, there can be some moments where there’s an option to skip a meal or choose to obsessively exercise again but I had to choose recovery.
If you don’t choose recovery, you are effectively choosing to get worse.
I hope this made some kind of sense <3
Best wishes, Cx
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