Recover in Community to Heal Eating Disorders, Addictions
We recover in community. We may think that our eating disorders, or addictions, separate us from others (Never Alone: Overcoming the Loneliness of Eating Disorders). We may think that no one understands, that we’re unique in our “specialness,” or our suffering. Then we enter therapy, a facility, or a group, and we begin to see that we’re not as unique as we thought. Our “special” form of suffering is shared by others, and guess what, they understand us. They don’t just try to listen and sympathize. They actually understand us because they’ve gone through the same things. One of the key factors in eating disorder recovery is connection to others, because we recover in community. Here’s three ways to connect in recovery.
Different Therapies Help You Recover in Community
I’m a strong believer in therapy. It helps us discover the root issues that caused the eating disorder and assists in building the tools to move beyond them. Most people will choose to see an individual therapist, which is also what inpatient eating disorder facilities offer as part of the treatment. There’s also a strong push for family therapy for eating disorders as well. The basis behind this is that each person in the family contributes in some way to the family system. If the system can be addressed as a whole progress may be made with the entire family dynamic contributing to more peace, family unity, and understanding (Eating Disorders: A Guide for Parents and Loved Ones).
Support Groups Offer a Community for Recovery
My inpatient treatment consisted of individual therapy as well as group therapy. At first, I was resentful of group therapy and very closed to share my secret. But as others began to share, I realized that I felt connected to their lives, their pains and struggles with their bodies, or circumstances in their lives. We had a lot more in common that I’d thought. Also, there were sad situations some women shared that I’d never experienced. Hearing them made my heart’s empathy expand and remind me that even though I was struggling to recover, I still had a lot to be thankful for.
Find a Movement Class for a Ready-Made Recovery Community
Exercise is a tricky word during recovery, especially if over exercise was a problem. However, the body is made to be moved, especially to help us process emotions that come up during recovery. It might be wise to take a break from heavy exercise for the first bit of recovery. Instead take walks in nature or meditate. Then, when you feel peaceful about movement, join a class. Think about it as moving your body. A lot of people I know in recovery have developed a yoga practice. During my recovery, I took up aerial silk, and later pole dancing, to connect to my feminine energy again. Whatever movement you decide, do it solely for the sake of your body enjoying it and maybe to laugh with a community of people moving their bodies in the same space.
In the beginning, we think our addiction separates us. But in the end, during recovery, we see that our eating disorders, and all the issues underneath, can bring us together with others for connection and healing.
You are not alone and you are not as separate as you think (Experiencing and Overcoming Loneliness with Addictions). We do not recover alone. We recover in tribes and community, in groups, and in facilities with others.
Keep moving forward towards your recovery.
Watch This Video on The Importance of Community in Recovery
Zoccolante, Z. (2016, September 7). Recover in Community to Heal Eating Disorders, Addictions, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/survivinged/2016/09/we-recover-in-community