After years of suffering from an eating disorder, I can finally say I am recovered. It took me so long to get to this point and at times I felt as though I would never reach it. Recovery is difficult and tiring, but worth every ounce of energy, every tear cried, etc. It is at the end of that difficult journey that a person is able to reach living life again.
Recovery is not all doom and gloom nor is it sunshine and rainbows. Some days are better than others. It is in those dark days that it is important to remember why we are fighting so hard for recovery. These are the things that really kept me going on those tough days and I hope that they inspire you as well.
1) Be Comfortable – Wear clothes that feel comfortable to you, whatever size you may be. I know for me, I have been tempted to wear a size smaller because I cannot possibly be a size higher or maybe I only had a size smaller in my closet. However, I was not comfortable in those clothes. They did not fit! I needed to be wearing the right size. I had to shop for a new size or find something else that was more fitting/comfortable. Whatever size issues you may be going through, make sure each and every day that you are leaving your house in clothing that feels good to you and that you are comfortable in.
2) Remember Your Values/Goals – As Jenni Schafer says, “What dream is bigger than Ed?” For me, every time I felt like giving up, I remembered that I have a dream of going to graduate school and making an impact. I knew I could not do that if I was in the eating disorder. I wanted graduate school a lot more than the eating disorder. (I am applying soon!)
3) Journal – Expressing your emotions, good and bad, in a creative way in a journal is so helpful. It does not have to be in words, it can be in drawings, collages, etc. It is a really great outlet for emotions that are difficult to articulate or seem to build up to the point of exploding. A journal is also really helpful when it comes time for therapy and you can easily look over your week. It is definitely something to at least try.
4) Have Compassion/Kindness – This is a really hard one and a BIG challenge, but it is also really important. When going through all the difficulty of an eating disorder and recovery, it is especially important to have compassion and kindness towards ourselves. Slip ups will happen. Everyone has slip ups. It is in those moments we must try to find compassion towards ourselves rather than anger, frustration, shame, etc. It is with compassion that we are able to move forward and recover from those slip ups. Remember: Talk to yourself as you would speak to a friend. What would you say to them in those moments?
Recovery is absolutely possible. Keep fighting and never give up.
Kristin Bulzomi is a writer and an advocate for eating disorders, recovery, and mental health. Her blog, KristinSeattle, details her own journey in recovery from an eating disorder and mental illness. She uses her experiences to discuss important recovery topics and as a platform for increasing awareness.
Kristin has a Bachelors degree in Psychology from The College of Idaho. She is in the process of applying to graduate school.