Eating disorder recovery is not for the faint of heart.
It’s a challenge like no other, and unexpected setbacks can literally pop up from completely out of the blue. The list of challenges one must cope with during recovery can be pretty daunting; the food intake, body image issues, and more.
But, something which is not addressed very often is the sense of loss when moving through the recovery process. For many people in recovery, the eating disorder was their only real identity for a long period of time and once it’s removed there can be a big feeling of loss.
Establishing a new identity minus the eating disorder can be confusing, frustrating, and even scary.
Exploring what you really want out of life without an eating disorder is a great place to start. Try making a list of 50 things you want in life without your eating disorder. Not only does this give you a set of goals, it also helps you to get to know your true self (without your eating disorder) better and discover what makes you unique. Also, try putting yourself in real life social situations where you might not know a lot of people. This means getting out from behind your computer or phone. Meeting new people is a wonderful opportunity to become familiar with who you really are (even though it might be anxiety-provoking).
Also, try putting yourself in real life social situations where you might not know a lot of people.
This means getting out from behind your computer or phone. Meeting new people is a wonderful opportunity to become familiar with who you really are (even though it might be anxiety-provoking).
Another area of loss that rarely gets discussed in eating disorder recovery is the sense of loss you feel when you begin to realize all the things or experiences the eating disorder might have cost you.
Eating disorders are famous for hurting, or even ending, relationships and creating missed opportunities or even destroying opportunities. Grieving these things are good, but you don’t want to stay stuck there because it will hinder your recovery.
Finding the grace in your eating disorder and finding gratitude for all you have been given because of your eating disorder is a wonderful way to heal the feelings of loss and resentment.
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