Recovering From Bulimia vs Recovered From Bulimia
My name is Patricia. A few months shy of my 32nd birthday, I’m approaching the fifth year anniversary of my eating disorder recovery. While I consider myself recovered from bulimia, this milestone has been occupying my thoughts in recent months. One recurring theme involves asking myself what does it actually mean to be “in recovery” from bulimia and when do you actually become “recovered”?
Bulimia Recovery is Individualized
I believe it’s more than just semantics. Invariably, I always come back to the same answer: bulimia recovery, or recovery from any eating disorder, is an individual experience and you’ll know in your gut when you’re there. In my case, I believe the state of my recovery to be defined by my current state of mind and my daily resolve to survive beyond bulimia. There is no fixed path and no set timeframe, but perhaps you can consider yourself recovered when you face those demons at the root of your mental illness in the first place, and can look back on those times without triggering an eating disorder relapse. And yes, relapses are a part of the recovery process. Looking back, my relapses were essential in conquering my mental illness. Relapses taught me to be humble; to have compassion for myself, and mostly, to accept them as a normal step of the recovery process. More importantly, relapses didn’t deter me from giving bulimia recovery another shot.
I've Recovered From Bulimia
Personally, I know I am recovered from bulimia because I can speak up about having suffered from a mental illness and I don’t care anymore about the reaction I will get from others. I know I am recovered when I go for coffee or a drink with a friend, and I’m comfortable replying to an invitation to eat, by saying that I won’t eat between meals if I’m not hungry. I know I am recovered because I know my triggers and have learnt how to avoid them. I know I am recovered because, when I can’t avoid a trigger, I can turn to someone I love or trust and tell them that I need help. I know I am recovered because when I go for a morning run and I sometimes feel tears running down my face, I know they’re from the overwhelming feeling of love and gratitude I feel for being alive. I know I am recovered because I no longer run to run away from myself, but rather to become who I am a little bit more everyday. I also know I am recovered because it has been a few years now without a relapse, and I will do everything I can to keep it that way.
Your path to recovery, much like your recovery journal is your own, it’s your journey, and it’s personal; but at the end of the day, we all share some things in common on that road to eating disorders recovery. I suspect if you currently suffer from an eating disorder or if you’re in recovery, that you want to reach a point where your inner dialogue about self-harm, food, and body image have changed. Soon enough, this will translate into behavioral changes.
I wrote this post, hopefully not only to inspire you in your own lives and journey into recovery, but also to inspire you to share your stories with me. I’d love this to become a forum for others to feel comfortable enough to share their stories of triumph, or to feel comfortable to ask for support in your setbacks. So to anyone reading this, if you are ready to share, please feel free to reply. What is your journey into recovery like so far? For those who have recovered, what can you share about that AHAH moment where you knew you were recovered?
Lemoine, P. (2013, April 30). Recovering From Bulimia vs Recovered From Bulimia, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, October 16 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/survivinged/2013/04/recovering-from-bulimia-vs-recovered-from-bulimia
Author: Patricia Lemoine
It definitely takes time and one must be gentle with themselves since it's very tough to not restrict and accept that the scale will fall where it does. I completely understand and empathize with your situation. The journey to recovery is long and emotionally demanding. #staystrong
Guest Author on the "Surviving ED" Blog