Without Honesty, You Won’t Recover from an Eating Disorder

June 29, 2016 Z Zoccolante

"If you can’t be honest you won’t recover from an eating disorder," the woman said while leading group therapy during my inpatient stay at the hospital.

Honesty is a foreign concept to eating disorders. They have a fantastic ability to spin lies. They tell us we’re fat, that we’re rejected, isolated, and alone. They tell us that they’re our best friends and that they’ll never leave us. At first, the statements might fill us with joy – hurray, a best friend who never leaves. But soon, it’s torture – an abusive friend who won’t ever leave. The problem with lies is that they grow with silence. The best way to mute them is to bring them into the light of honesty. Without honesty, you just won't recover from an eating disorder. Here are four vital things to be honest about in your eating disorder recovery.

Be Honest With Yourself About Your Eating Disorder to Recover

Although the eating disorder brought chaos into our lives, it also came with the illusion of control. When we take an honest inventory of the damage and unhappiness the eating disorder has caused, we get a clearer picture of what we have lost. We can be honest about where we’re at in the process. We may have days where we feel out of control, hopeless, scared, or afraid that recovery’s exhausting or not possible. We may have other days where we feel like we’re making progress.

Be honest about where you are today. A huge part of recovery is learning to sit with scary emotions, and to feel them without hiding or running away into our old destructive patterns.

Being able to sit with ourselves honestly is the beginning of change.

Be Honest with Your Therapist about Your Eating Disorder Recovery

If we can’t be honest, we won’t experience eating disorder recovery. Here are three vital things to be honest about in your eating disorder recovery. We may be tempted to lie to our therapist, to omit or withhold information, or to downplay the eating disorder. If we think of recovery like building a puzzle, it makes sense to have all the puzzle pieces. Our therapist is there to help us be healthy and whole. If we aren’t honest with them, then they can have a difficult time helping us see the entirety of our puzzle.

Our therapist is an ally, not an enemy. They are there to help us put the pieces of our life in order so that we can create a future that we want to participate in. Although it can be scary to be open and honest with your therapist, it will benefit you.

Without Honesty with Your Higher Power, You Won't Recover from an Eating Disorder

Through recovery, I find that a lot of people experience anger with their childhoods, the disorder, other people, and things they discover about themselves. Most people think that it’s inappropriate to express angry, dark, or negative emotions at a higher power. However, the more we hide parts of ourselves the more we wind up feeling separated from a higher sense of strength and even from other people.

Trust that your higher power wants honesty from you, not nice, little perfection (Higher Power Concept). Your higher power wants you to show up as you are and have an honest conversation. Venting any negative feelings, helps to clear them and keeps us attune to a larger sense of strength.

Without Being Honest with Your Support Team, You Won't Recover from an Eating Disorder

There are people who want to support you in your recovery (A Support Network Is Vital to Eating Disorder Recovery). This is a great thing, and it’s important to know how to lean into your supports. It doesn’t help us to have a support team, if we’re not honest with them. People can only meet us where we show up.

First, ask for support when you need it. Your recovery is important and you are worth it. Be clear on how exactly people can support you and what feels best for you. Then allow yourself to receive, which can often be the most difficult thing. Receive support. Allow others to encourage you, let you cry, listen to you, come over to cook, or eat, or take walks with you.

People want to help us, we just must tell them how.

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APA Reference
Zoccolante, Z. (2016, June 29). Without Honesty, You Won’t Recover from an Eating Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 25 from

Author: Z Zoccolante

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