No, eating disorder recovery isn’t linear.
It has its ups & downs.
Accomplishments, slips & falls.
Steps forward & steps back.
I’m living proof of it every day.
If there’s any advice I’d give anyone when deciding to recover from an ED or any setback in life, it would be to prioritize the process over the goal to gain momentum. Don’t get hung up on the long-term goal of hitting the finish line & being fully recovered (full recovery means different things to everyone anyway!).
Instead, focus on the process, the baby steps that help you get there eventually & let yourself grow as you take them.
What matters isn’t so much getting to the point where you deem you reached the end but rather the point you make to KEEP SHOWING UP, day after day. Even on the days where you don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel.
The only thing that truly matters is waking up everyday & putting one foot in front of the other, millions of times. Every time you do, you bring yourself a step closer to finding the light.
When I started recovery, I was SO focused on just being recovered that whenever I had a bad day, I got so discouraged & felt like giving up altogether. That one bad day had the ability to cloud all the work I put in & progress I made, simply because it made it harder for me to see my finish line.
Overtime, I realized I had to change my approach & congratulate myself for the little things, like eating a fear food, not being so stringent about meal/snack times, not weighing myself 20x/day or isolating myself from my family & showing up to therapy & doctors’ appointments. Because truth is, as simple as these things seem to the average person, they’re 100x harder for us in ED recovery.
It’s only when I stopped being so focused on the prize & began to pride myself on the mere fact that I woke up everyday & chose recovery all over again, that the process became a little easier.
So when the going gets rough, take a step back. Don’t lose hope. Don’t lose sight of how far you’ve come. Face the hardship & overcome it just like you did everything else up until that moment. You’re stronger than you think.