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

Online support from BEAT

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  1. I really love this post because it’s so important to help people understand what you go through- and also how people can best support you in your recovery. Thank you for sharing x

    1. Thank you xx

  2. Well done on being confident enough to put this post together. Its so important to educate people on eating disorders. So many people think its all about eating habits but its really more about the mental side.

    1. Thank you so much <33

  3. This post is so important, and I really appreciate your bravery and sharing it! It’s going to help so many people going through the same recovery as you xx

    1. Thank you! xx

  4. Thank you so much for sharing your experience Caroline. I have found your posts this week really interesting and I feel I understand much more what people with eating disorders face.

    Like any mental illness, ED is a lifelong battle. I commend you on your progress and wish you continued recovery and success.

    1. Thank you! It means a lot to me 🙂 x

  5. Thankyou for sharing your experience, I can really understand the recovery isn’t linear paragraph! This is really valuable information that will help so many people x

    1. Thank you <3

  6. Thank you for being so honest and for sharing your experience, more people need to read this so that they can get a better understanding of what you went through x

    Lucy |

    1. Thank you 🥰

  7. overdressedblogger says:

    I can relate to a lot of what’s written here. so, thank you for an honest blog post! xx

    jessica |

    1. Thank you 🙂 x

  8. lynnmumbingmejia says:

    Aw, wow, Caroline! Loved reading this and my heart goes out to you always. You are so strong and thank you for continuously choosing to be better and creating more awareness around ED’s. xx

    1. Thank you <3 xx

  9. Nancy says:

    There is a lot to learn when it comes to being aware of what people around you go through. I am sorry about the things that ED made you went through. Recovery is a tough road, but it is achievable :). Thanks for sharing all of these insights!

    Nancy ✨

    1. Thank you 🙂 xx

  10. It’s great that you are able to speak up on your experiences and raise awareness. This will help people battling the same thing and help people without any ED knowledge to understand it better 🙂 x

    1. Thank you ❤❤

  11. I can definitely relate to all of these, especially the losing friends part and that recovery isn’t linear. Thanks for being so honest and sharing your truth.

    1. Thank you x

  12. I don’t know anyone who has an ed and so this is really helpful to know in case I need to support a loved one. Thank you for sharing this information. It will be really helpful for others!

    1. I’m glad it’s helpful 🙂 x

  13. I’ve had friends recover from EDs when they were teenagers and these are all completely valid points! I just tried not to have an opinion as much as I could, and just be there to support them and distract them as much as I could!

    Katie |

    1. I’m sure they really appreciate it! <3

  14. This is a really informative post; I hope you’re really proud of yourself for CHOOSING recovery every day. I hope this post helps someone either support a loved one with an ED or feel less alone in theirs xx

    1. Thank you! This means so much to me <3

  15. Amanda says:

    Loving your bravery in this post! It’s so hard to talk about but I love that you are sharing your story and helping others understand it more! Thank you for sharing!!

    1. Thank you 🙂 x

  16. Isa A says:

    I didnt know about the ed abbreviation but knew the terms in full. But nothing more sadly and apparently. For the first time I’ve read such a post and it’s a new perspective. Thanks for the knowledge and the eye opener and also detailing the experience so that we or I can have more empathy towards the situation. I wish you get well and better and better every coming day. <3
    Isa A. Blogger  

    1. Thank you for commenting this, I’m glad that this has been useful <3

  17. Thank you for sharing your story here, Caroline. I’m sure this post will be very informative to people wanting to know more about ED & the recovery process.

    1. Thank you! x

  18. Love how insightful this post is, the honesty and openness makes it so easy to understand, so thanks for sharing! I never thought about having to relearn things like cooking, great point.

    Anika |

  19. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s awesome that you are raising awareness for ED. I am learned a lot from reading your post about what not to say and do.

    1. Thank you! That means so much to me <3

  20. Back when I was in high school, one of my classmates had to go through recovery for eating disorders and I remember the girls all being very supportive and helpful to her, but I wish we knew about all you spoke about here! Thank you for sharing x

  21. I’m proud of you for your progress! Having experienced an ED myself, I agree, it’s hard to explain to people what you’re going through. Calorie counting is a nasty habit to kick, but it feels so freeing once you find yourself not obsessing anymore.

  22. I really appreciate your honesty with this post, you are really brave for writing this. I know for sure this post will help persons who may not understand or help persons in their journey to recovery. Great post!

  23. […] Related post: 5 things I wish my friends knew about eating disorder recovery […]

  24. […] people (i.e some of my therapists) telling me that if I let the ED go, I would be better at keeping friends around. Or that my old ones would come back – I don’t want them to. They don’t […]

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