In my eye’s recovery was always a dream, something I would think about but not try. Over 5 years I would see people’s posts on recovering or starting recovery, but for me that was always a dream far from my reach.
Now after 6 years, I have made my dream into a reality. I finally decided to reach out and start my journey!
Taking those first steps into recovery is hard but each day will get easier. I am proof that recovery is possible. Will it take time? Yes. But everyone’s journey is different, everyone recovers in their own time and pace.
Recovery is about healing your relationship with food and healing yourself, but recovery is also about finding yourself again. Recovery is trying new things and becoming a happier version of you. For me recovery gave me back my freedom – freedom to eat the food that I want, to spend quality time with family and friends and to finally be able to enjoy my life again.
Growing up, people always told me you only have one life, so enjoy the one you have. This is a phrase that has stuck with me.
Often people with eating disorders forget what their old life used to look like in terms of happiness – so when people start recovery, they also start the journey to remaking who they are as a person. I lost out on so much due to anorexia, and for me I found it hard to try and go back to who I was before… so I decided to start from scratch and reinvent myself.
Growing up, people always told me you only have one life, so enjoy the one you have. This is a phrase that has stuck with me, especially now because now I want to start doing all the things that I missed out on. Eating disorders take away so much: your relationship with food, social gatherings, freedom and happiness – so it is important to start living and do the things you want to do. Remember your life is worth fighting for! I started yoga, walking, got a new job and started going to so many events with friends and family.
Having anorexia, I was seen as a sick person, someone who was suffering and was never happy.
Life without anorexia is one I never thought I could get back. For years I thought I would never recover, I never had hope. But now, I am the happiest version of myself. Most people think an eating disorder is a safe option. For a long time I thought of my eating disorder as a friend who understood my pain and what was happening. But in reality anorexia is not safe, it’s an enemy.
Life without anorexia is spontaneous, adventurous and exciting. A life with anorexia is a life in fear – though I know in the moment, your eating disorder can feel like the only thing you have to get through. Having anorexia, I was seen as a sick person, someone who was suffering and was never happy. Now I am seen as me, Riley: a happy, outgoing person. Someone who has gotten their life back and someone who is living life to the fullest.
Life without anorexia brings so much happiness. I have rebuilt relationships with family and friends, started a new job, started a relationship and done so much more that I never thought would be possible.
I knew starting recovery I wouldn’t get the old me back, but I was ok with that. I wanted to remake myself and who I was as an individual.
Everyone has a goal in mind when starting recovery, mine was to just get my life back. I knew starting recovery I wouldn’t get the old me back, but I was ok with that. I wanted to remake myself and who I was as an individual. One thing I am certain of is that without the constant support from family, friends and my boyfriend recovery would’ve been a lot harder for me.
Anorexia will always be a part of my life and I will always have struggles with it, but now I have the skills and knowledge to control my eating disorder and change things before it gets worse. Will there be little hurdles throughout your recovery and hurdles after recovery? Yes.
But one thing I can tell you is that without a doubt you will be much stronger, and will be able to overcome those hurdles. I’ve had many but never have I let those hurdles push me backwards.
If I could go back in time, I would tell myself to never give up hope, and to keep fighting. I would tell myself that recovery will take time but that I will get there eventually. There is so much that I would say to my past self.
Everyone’s stories are different; people’s back stories, recovery stories and treatment methods are different. The one thing to remember is that you have to do what is best for you, and you need to find the route that works for you. You will always need support from family and friends during this process, but ultimately you need to do what you want in terms of recovery.
Recovery is a dream… but you can make it a reality!
-contributed by Riley
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