Eating Disorders

Breaking Mental Boundaries in Recovery

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When I first started recovery, I was not fully committed to the process.

As time progressed, I began to understand my lack of commitment came from not physical weight restoration, but from the emotional blockage in my mind.

Breaking free from social isolation and from my perception of others’ expectations have been two areas in my life I have had the hardest time overcoming. Shattering these walls has been an ongoing task.

My support system at school and my family, especially my older  sister, have helped me the most.

As the younger sister, I am always looking up to her for guidance and I still copy everything she does. Seeing her be active, lively, and free in all areas of her life has helped me in the struggle to break these fences I built. Her motto of “never giving up” forces me to see past my own thoughts and back to the external world, the world I am just a small part of where it is my responsibility to be fully committed to being active.

Being  social is not easy for me. I find comfort in staying at home on the weekends, ignoring friend’s messages to go out for dinner or drinks.

With anorexia, the excuse of being too tired became an easy cop-out.

However, when I started to step outside my shell and interact with others, I finally realized how selfish anorexia was and how it had restrained me to my own head.

Although it is very hard to break out of the routine of saying “no” when a friend calls me up to grab some coffee, it is these spontaneous drives and 6:00 cookie dates that bring a smile to my face. These memories help me remember I have a future completely free from anorexia.

Saying “I can” and “I will” instead of “I can’t” and “I shouldn’t” has allowed me to partake activities I had only ever dreamed of doing.

By continuously challenging my thoughts, I see each day as an opportunity for growth.

Breaking the mental barrier of needing to please everybody and living up to imagined expectations is another ongoing process. A friend recently told me: “Who cares if they don’t like you…don’t conform to anybody. Stay honest and true to yourself.” As I continue to abide by these words, I have been discovering who I am, what my core values are, and what I enjoy doing.

This is what I believe full recovery means: to break the mental and emotional barriers we have built through the years of isolation with our illnesses.

We reclaim our lives in claiming control over the illness, refusing to be a victim, and refusing to give into its whims.

There’s not going to be enough time to do all the things we want to do. We have to prioritize and choose what we want, which is why breaking free from the structured routines and rituals is integral in full recovery.

Breaking free from isolation has allowed me to make friends, connect with people, and be a part of a community.

Shattering fictitious expectations allows me to relax, enjoy each second and wake up each morning with a smile.

My life has endless possibilities I could only dream of holding one day. No longer do I feel constricted by rules and regulations set by my mind.


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