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"Where next?": El's story

Sometimes it’s hard to let go of people, identities, or even feelings. And if your eating disorder gave you comfort (which often it does) it can be hard to know who you will be when it’s no longer there.

When you commit to recovery, that choice is empowering but utterly terrifying. The idea of giving up a part of your life, your every-day behaviours, seems impossible and daunting. The space that is left once it’s gone seems to stretch on and on, and you don’t think there is even one part of your life left it didn’t touch.

Who are you once you’re recovered?

When does ‘recovering’ become ‘recovered?’

In my recovery, I find myself waiting for some sort of closure

Some days I feel completely free, others not so much. It’s confusing. Am I recovered, or am I not? How will I know?

Perhaps what I’m waiting for does not happen, perhaps we get no ‘curtain call’ with an eating disorder. And perhaps it’s up to us when ‘recovering’ becomes ‘recovered.’

On the days that you might question your choices or begin to contemplate those behaviours you’re trying to leave behind, try to think of what you want to be - in a year, a week, or even tomorrow. It might be that who you were contributed to your illness, and sometimes the term ‘recovery’ does not appeal because it implies you will go back to what you were.

The word ‘recuperation’ serves me better than 'recovery'

It tells me that I was unwell, and I am now building my strength (mentally and physically). It tells me that it is alright for me to rest, and take care of my body and mind. It tells me that it’s ok if I don’t want to be the person I was before, that I can be someone new.

It’s ok if you want to lose your eating disorder. It’s ok if you want closure. It’s ok if you want to be well.

Please know you are not alone, whatever part of your journey you are on, no matter what obstacles you might be facing.

You will not lose your self when you recover.

You will find your self when you recover.

‘Moving On’: Sometimes means you have a planned destination. But other times, all you need to know, is that where you are does not serve you anymore.

-Contributed by El

If you've been affected by any of the issues raised in this story, or are concerned for yourself or a loved one, you can find support and guidance on the help pages of our website.