“Try not to think of the process of recovery as giving up your eating disorder, but rather as getting yourself back, or maybe even finding your real self for the first time.” ~ Carolyn Costin
This is perhaps one of my favourite quotes for the recovery journey.
So often I think recovery can feel terrifying because it does feel like we're having to let go of or get rid of a part of ourselves, or something that has helped make our lives bearable, even as it causes us so much suffering.
But when I started to think of recovery as an opportunity to go inwards, to connect with a deeper part of myself and to then get to know and strengthen this part of me, letting go of eating disorder behaviours started to feel less impossible. And sometimes, it even felt fulfilling and exciting.
If I let go of behaviours in a gradual way as I strengthened this inner part of me, then it actually felt possible to maintain the changes and not just white knuckle through them until I relapsed. (However please note, I don't mean for this to apply to behaviour changes needed to save your life or get you out of a very dire spot, which then often do need to be done much before we feel ready, and which we're usually only able to then do with lots of external support).
One of the things that helped me the most in tuning into and strengthening this non-eating-disorder part of me was having certain daily practices that I did every day, regardless of how motivated for recovery I felt. A self-nourishing set of rituals to mirror and contrast with all of my torturous eating disorder ones.
The practices that resonated the most with me and that I began to do daily during my long recovery journey were:
- Meditating in the morning and then again after work before I started my evening.
- Checking in with my feelings and needs (that felt like they were coming from a wise, true part of myself vs. the ever-present, compulsive needs of the eating disorder).
- Journaling, in which I often found that a wise part of myself would come through and talk to me, reassure me, even if the start of the entry was about how freaked out the eating disorder was.
And throughout these past 5 years of working as a recovery coach, being able to help others along their healing journeys, I have found that these practices have been key for my clients as well, for strengthening their relationships with themselves and thereby making it easier to gradually let eating disorder coping strategies fall away.
And if you would like to dive deeper into these practices, and have a structure for turning them into daily rituals, I have a guide to help you do this. You can download it for free below.
I hope that these practices help you to connect with and strengthen this inner part of you, your most authentic Self, who will be your greatest asset, and also reward, on this recovery journey.
With so much love, compassion and hope,
Support For Your Journey
If you feel you could use more support on your eating disorder recovery journey I would love to connect with you. Contact me to book a free video discovery call so that we can explore if working together would be a good fit. I would love to hear from you.