So, I thought we could all use a positive, motivating discussion. For those of us who have reached a point of recovery and need motivation to stay there, let's brainstorm the benefits of recovery.
Why??? Well, because I am finding that sometimes the most difficult part of recovery for me is preventing relapse. There are days when I feel like it would be easier to go back to the way I used to be. Those are the days when it is important to remind myself what I am enjoying about being healthy.
So, here is the question: What do you all enjoy about being in recovery?
I will start:
I am enjoying recovery because...
1. I have energy throughout the day
2. I can focus on my studies
3. My family and friends enjoy my company more now that I am not so obsessive about food
4. I can enjoy different foods without feeling completely out of control (although this is still a struggle sometimes)
5. I can look in the mirror and not see a scary-looking pale reflection staring back at me
6. I do not feel like I am going to faint all the time
7. My eyes have a pretty twinkle in them when I am well-nourished
8. I can help others recover, but I need to take care of myself first
9. I can plan for my future without wondering if I will still be alive
10. I do not need the number on the scale to tell me what I am worth.
For those of you who need motivation to reach recovery, think about what you wish you could do that the eating disorder prevents you from doing.
Thanks! It's great to see some positive posts. I have been recovered from anorexia for 5 years now and while I still have the ED thoughts from time to time, I just don't act on them or give them any power.
I am enjoying recovery because:
1) I can sleep again! This was huge for me. When my ED was very advanced, I was lucky to get 1-2 hours of sleep a night because I kept thinking about food and how not to eat it and how hungry I was. I would sometimes go 3 day stretches without sleep. I still have the occasional bout of insomnia, but it is not bad at all and responds to the OTC supplement Valerian quite nicely when it hits. I feel wonderful getting enough sleep and not dreading bedtime every night.
2) I'm happy! I'm no longer depressed. In fact, I'm off all meds over a year now except Xanax as needed for anxiety, but even this I rarely use (once every 2-3 months maybe). I have a couple moody days each month but feel these are related to my hormones & menstrual cycle and are not true depression. I don't have urges to self injure or wish that I were dead.
3) I have energy again! I no longer feel faint, weak, dizzy or have heart palpitations! I don't worry that I am going to collapse and die.
4) My hair is much thicker and shinier. My skin has a healthy glow and is no longer flaky and sallow. In fact, since I have been supplementing my diet with fish oil and evening primrose oil, my skin looks awesome!
5) I don't have to spend so much time exercising and waste my day on it. In fact, if I don't exercise on a given day, it doesn't bother me much. I always take 1-2 days off from exercise each week to rest and recover and I never took a day off when I had the ED without feeling so bad and guilty and hating myself.
6) My life is no longer ruled by food. I don't obsess over it, over how not to eat it, I don't watch Food Network for hours and hours, or wander grocery stores for hours or hoard food or think about it at night before I fall asleep.
7) I can eat junk from time to time without hating myself. I can go to parties and occasionally indulge and not feel bad about myself.
8) I no longer have to weigh myself every single time I go to the bathroom and even some times between. I weigh myself just once a week and the number hardly changes from week to week!
9) I eat when I am hungry and stop when I am full. This was tricky because the ED will tell you that you're full after one bite; now, I listen to my stomach and my body. When I feel weak and tired and haven't eaten in awhile, I get a snack.
10) Recovering from an ED gives a HUGE boost to your confidence and self-esteem. Because it is so difficult to recover from an ED, once I did recover, I felt like I could do anything!
11) Recovery allowed me to move on with my life instead of being obsessed over food. I started dating for the first time. I put a profile on an online dating site and I had a ton of hits. I got asked out by a lot of men, some I had to turn down because they seemed iffy, but others I dated and had fun & I met the man who is now my husband. I finished my master's degree, we bought a house, I'm writing again, I've taken up positive hobbies--gardening & photography.
12) I LIKE myself and can help others recover. I was pro-ED for many many years until I hit rock bottom, and it is just not worth it.
I love the subject of this post so much that I had to reply. Since I've become healthier, my life has not only NOT spiraled out of control (like I thought it would), it has actually become so much happier and more amazing. I believe I posted something about this a month or so ago, but I am just SO much happier - it's unbelievable.
I know a lot of you are probably on the fence about recovery. "I want to get better, but I kind of don't" or "I want to gain weight, but I don't want to get fat" or "Won't I just keep eating and eating and eating and not be able to stop!?" Every single one of these questions is probably swirling around in your head, but the truth is, you just have to TRUST. You have to trust that you will not spiral out of control...that you WILL be happier (please believe me - you will) and that you deserve to live a healthy, happy, full life.
Anyway, I'll make a short list of all the things that I have come to realize since I've been in recovery and why it is 10000% worth the effort: (sorry if some of them are repeats)
1. Flushed cheeks and LIFE in my eyes
2. More fun going out with friends (and they have more fun with ME)
3. More time and energy for work, having fun, going to the movies, going out, etc
4. Less irritable
5. PRETTIER - yes PRETTIER with more flesh!
6. Clothes look better/fit better
8. Not obsessively thinking about food/exercise
9. Less depressed
10. Honestly, I could go on and on and on and on....there is no reason that I can see that I would ever go back to the way things were.
thanks for bumping this up! it's helpful. I have experienced some of these benefits while I was doing really well with recovery, but I sort of get scared off. I don't know if anyone else struggles with this, but I am sort of scared to let myself get "too happy." I've never allowed myself to simply be and be happy. It's really quite scary. Any advice?