Eating Disorder Recovery is Possible

 source: recoveryspiration

source: recoveryspiration

It's National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and I wanted to take this opportunity to reach out to you if you are currently struggling.  You may feel like there is no hope, like you're at the bottom of a mountain that seems impossible to climb, but I want to let you know that recovery IS possible.  I see it every day.  I tell all of my clients that if I didn't believe in full recovery, I wouldn't do this work.  It doesn't matter how long you've had your ED or how severely you're struggling.  There is hope, and I PROMISE there is so much freedom and joy waiting for you if you embark on this journey.  

My former client and rockstar, Amy Sullivan, wrote the letter below to help inspire people who are at the beginning of their recovery journey.  She gave me permission to publish it here.  Now that she is in recovery, she wrote a letter to her former self, from her future self about what she wished she had known when she started her recovery journey.  I hope it inspires you.  You can also check out the amazing work she does with her business JOY'D getting the message out that recovery is possible here.

Dear Amy,

Fragile, tired girl, today’s the day, today is the day you enter treatment for the second time around.  You may think you know what you’re getting yourself into, but this time is different, this time you’re entering treatment for YOU, not for anyone else.  You’re probably sitting there thinking, “I’m not that bad, I don’t need treatment” but let me remind you how miserable you are, just because you aren’t in a hospital bed doesn’t mean you don’t deserve help. I know how hard your journey has been. Here’s some advice for you...

Trust your treatment team: Right now you probably aren’t too sure about your team, you’re still getting to know them, so trusting them seems so hard.  Let me tell you, they’re the best of the best.  You were blessed with the greatest dietitian and counselor that money can buy.  They aren’t going to let you get away with anything, but remind yourself that it is a good thing.  For now, just do whatever they say, you can do it kicking and screaming {and some things you will do kicking and screaming}, as long as you do it.

Be thankful for those who went before you: You will ask yourself time and time again if recovery is really possible.  You will have people in your life who tell you they don’t think you’ll ever recover.  Find the stories of those who have gone before you and listen to them.  Soak in the words of those people who are living proof that recovery is not only possible, but oh so worth it.  Cling onto these stories of hope when things seem hopeless. 

You’ll gain so much more than just weight: I’ll be honest, weight restoration sucks. Having to get rid of most of your wardrobe is painful, but there is no way around it.  At times you will think that you are losing everything, but let me tell you what you will gain. You will gain the chance to watch your niece grow up, and she will be the cutest little girl ever.  You will gain days full of laughter and joy.  You will gain the opportunity to travel, to watch sunsets over the ocean and to eat amazing food. 

Your parents will come around: You don’t realize this now, but this is almost equally as hard on your parents as it is on you.  You know the feeling you get when you see your dog in pain?  Multiply that times 10,000 to get what they’re feeling.  One day soon, your mom will become your best friend and your dad your biggest supporter.

One day you’ll share your story: Right now you’re not even sure if your story will have a happy ending, but it will.  Right now you still have a hard time uttering the word anorexia. You will one day share your story on the news, in front of your church and at your alma mater. Remember that non-profit you would scour their page late at night looking for encouragement?  You’ll one-day work for them. You’ll one day send over 300 pairs of earrings to eating disorder treatment centers across the U.S. to remind those brave women that recovery is possible. 

You can do this {even though you don’t think that you can, you totally can}!

Love,

Amy

If you or a loved one is struggling with an Eating Disorder or disordered eating, please reach out for help.  You can call the NEDA Hotline at (800) 931-2237 or you can use their click to chat function here.  You can also reach out to me at info@mindfuleatsnutrition.com.  If you're unsure if you have an eating disorder you can use the NEDA screening tool here.  You can also watch the video below about signs and symptoms of an eating disorder.

One of the hallmarks of eating disorders is believing that "it's not that serious".  Believe me, it is.  Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate.  Please don't wait to get help!  Let today be the start or re-start of your recovery journey, because YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Sincerely, 

Nikki

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