Re-Live: Experiencing the World Post-Eating Disorder Treatment
They say acceptance is the prelude to recovery. Recognizing the existence of our eating disorder and knowing that we need help to address it require courage. Checking ourselves into facilities for the treatment of our bulimia or anorexia is similar to the beginning of a quest taken by the hero/heroine of a novel. It is scary, yet the promise of seeing a world beyond what we know and how we know it is encouraging.
After fighting our fight, we ask ourselves, “What now?” The part between the climax and the epilogue is up to our own writing. This is the chapter where we find ourselves on our way back home after slaying the dragon. Without any more villains to face, we are left with ourselves. It becomes a period of contemplation, a period of knowing, a period of revelation.
Here is a list of what we can do to help us re-experience the world:
Find out who we are beyond our disorder.
Oftentimes, people associate us with our disorder, therefore our identity becomes dependent on it. We begin to believe that it’s a characteristic that sets us apart from the rest. However, our disorder is not a personality.
Within the post-treatment period, it is only normal to feel lost. We are restarting; we are so far from who we were while going through our disorder, and more learned than who we were before that. Despite it being a part of our history, our disorder does not define us. Let’s consider this period as an exciting time to find out who we are, what we live for, our likes and dislikes. See how fulfilling it is to finally be in control of our own story.
Find peace out of normalcy.
The concept of normalcy is scary after finding comfort out of extremity. During post-treatment, we are expected to have normal weight, normal eating habits, normal body size, normal coping mechanisms.
Let’s take this time to be at peace with our recovery. After all, we can still discover other parts of ourselves that make us unique. A normal lifestyle does not mean a boring lifestyle. Find fulfillment in the fact that we are at our healthiest, that we are at our best to reach for the goals we’ve set.
“Little by little” is a mantra that we can use throughout our recovery. It’s okay if we remain uncertain on where to go from here on, or what to do. Finding a purpose takes a series of small steps.
We begin by setting up small goals, simple ones, such as joining the family for dinner or eating out with a few close friends. No matter how simple it may seem, every goal fulfilled takes us closer to a greater goal.
Find support from loved ones.
Voicing out our need for people is just as difficult as accepting help from them. Since this journey is more of a trek than a walk in the park, having someone can make the climb easier.
We all require different kinds of support. See what works, what feels light in the heart. Knowing how to accept love and care can teach us when it’s our time to give.
The terrain we have to traverse is surely uncomfortable. The most important thing to carry with us on our journey towards home is the patience for ourselves. By the epilogue of this story, may we have a vision of the world in all its details.