Sunday, 8 May 2016

The anorexia recovery manual

  1. Follow your meal plan as prescribed by your medical team/family/loved ones.
  2. Continue to follow said meal plan despite any feelings of thoughts which says otherwise.
  3. Repeat.
I sometimes wish there was a manual which guided you on how to recover from an eating disorder, not to dissimilar from putting together a flat pack piece of furniture from Ikea (although this might as well be written in a different language).

Recovery wise I am doing exceptionally well, I am not officially a healthy weight, so for any of those who haven't seen me since just under a year ago you wouldn't actually know any of this had happened. I look back to my old self, I have a further bit of weight to go, as I was above the minimum weight when I relapsed last year. While I feel uncomfortable in this body I also know that I didn't exactly feel at home in it when I was restricting. So while health care professionals keep reassuring me that I am doing so well, what worries me isn't about being doing well now, it is when all the support is taken away, how well will I do then? Will I manage so long before I crumble. I keep being told that I can't think that far in the future and that this time I am doing it differently.

The steps above worked for me the first time, I followed my meal plan every single day eating the same food at the same time, but it just wasn't a way to live. I was so deeply unhappy and controlled, but also it was the first time I was a healthy weight as an adult and I was eating the most I ever had. So although I was struggling it was the best I had been in years.

Right now I am so deeply unhappy and low. I feel anxious, lonely and sad. I am not sure how long I can tolerate these feelings for. I keep pushing people away from me and I can't understand why anyone would want to with me but then at the same time I am feeling lonely and like no one cares.

I sat their with my therapist, Z, the other day saying I feel like I live my life switching between restricting and recovery, both feel awful, both feel like absolute crap. Z said to me that I never fully recovered and emotionally I had relapsed when I left hospital, which is true, but there is another way. I said I didn't believe her, right now I honestly can't see how things will be any different. I feel so utterly alone and horrid, I feel huge from the extra weight I have gained, guilty for the amount I have been eating and just this overwhelming feeling of wanting to make it all stop.

I just want it to stop, I want to numb it all away.

Does it ever change? Can you ever pass this phase and feel like you can actually do this? Or am I going to spend my life struggling through each day wondering when and if it actually does get better?

Any advice would be great, because right now I don't see how else I can push through this, old ways are becoming more tempting right now I am holding out refusing to give in. My worry is how long will I be able to tolerate it this time.


  1. It's shame and guilt that make you push people away. I used self help CDs almost like hypnosis: "love your beautiful body!". It sounds kooky, but worked for me. Everyone suffers from ED's for different reasons, you need to work out what started it, or makes you keep doing it and fix that. For me it was broken self esteem & self confidence from bullying, so I went about fixing that. Fix the underlying causes and your body doesn't need to make itself suffer and longer! :-)

    1. Hi James,

      Firstly, thank you for taking to time to read and comment on my blog it! It is so interesting to me you picked up on my feelings of shame and guilt from my blog post as when I met with my therapist today those were the key themes we discussed. I didn't realise how obvious it was!

      It doesn't sound kooky at all! One thing I've really embraced in recovery is being open to all methods and suggestions - so if it works for you I think that's great. You need to do whatever you think is helping you! I hope your journey into recovery is going well and I'm sending lots of good vibes your way :)

  2. Recovery for me was about 10 years ago. Now I just need to keep it in check. You view it differently afterwards - like now you can see what you were doing to yourself, like the shame and guilt thing. But at the time it's like you were in a zone, and you feel totally encapsulated by that. You can break out though.

    Remember anorexia is a mental illness. Everyone who has never been there thinks it's about food, hence the meal plans. I see it much more about your mental relationship with food - like your control of food is your subconcious mind's answer to its problems? Challenging those subconcious thoughts, and changing them around is a break through! For instance once you re-learn to love your body you can reward it with food rather than hating food because your self hatred is high.