Eating Disorders

Recovery: Fake it ‘Til You Make It

Recovery: Fake it 'Til You Make It | Libero Magazine

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I can’t tell you whether you are ready for recovery – only you can make that decision. But I can tell you that I understand the stage of apathy. I’ve felt that way in the past. If you’re in recovery, going back to how things were when you were overtaken by your eating disorder is the easy way out. It’s also giving up – because it’s only a matter of time before going back to the beginning becomes giving up on life. Your life won’t be your own and more importantly, it may not even exist in a few months or years. I know this is what practically everyone preaches – that you need to stop or you’ll die. But it’s true. There aren’t really old women anorexics out there. You either recover or you die. I know it’s blunt, but it’s worth remembering.

Wanting to give up on recovery does not make you a freak. I think many of us feel that way at some point. You’re certainly not alone. Letting go and giving everything back to your eating disorder would feel like a sense of relief, right? It’s less work, it makes your mind feel better, etc. But that’s because your mind has an illness. You have to understand this to get anywhere.

If recovery was easy, there wouldn’t be therapists, nutritionists, support groups, self-help books, treatment centers, and other resources. And yes, you do have to CHOOSE recovery – it’s not going to choose you… but all that means is making the decision to live or die – because even if you’re still breathing while you have your eating disorder, you’re still not really living.

An eating disorder is a slippery slope. You give in once, you’re falling fast. You give in twice, you’re falling hard. You give in three times, you’re falling down into a big dark hole. And it’s going to be even harder to get out. Going back to it only SEEMS easier than this whole recovery thing right now – but it’s really not. That’s all in your head.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of using the ol’ “fake it ’til you make it” rule. You might not feel 100% like recovery, but telling yourself you want to recover and going through the motions is the surest way to make recovery really happen. It’s the same with positive reinforcement. You tell yourself, “You’re beautiful. You’re worth it.” You laugh. You don’t believe it. But if you keep saying it every day regardless – if you keep up the “fake it ’til you make it” attitude – you’ll start to believe it.

Recovery is possible.

It’s not a guarantee. It’s a possibility. It’s not simple. It is difficult and sometimes seems impossible. It’s not a one-step process. It’s a multi-step process complete with twists and turns and bending roads…and roads you didn’t even know were there. It’s not the same for everyone. It’s not always a happy process. It’s not always a sad process. It IS empowering. It’s not about pleasing other people. It is not about them. It’s about YOU. It’s not about perfection. It IS about emotion. It IS about honesty. It IS about self-discovery and self-affirmation. It’s not about what you don’t have. It’s about using what you’ve got. It’s not about hiding. It’s about finding and displaying. It’s not a quick-fix. It’s a lifelong plan set into motion by truth and nurturing and self-love. It’s not about external factors or the environment. It IS about what’s within. It is not crazy. It IS real.

Recovery is possible.

You just have to push on through, put your best foot forward, even when it feels like a fallacy. If the desire to recover is all you have right now, use that desire to pretend that success is just waiting on your doorstep. Believe it. Fake it ’til you make it. And you will. You will make it. YOU WILL MAKE IT.

Arielle is an MSW, LSW, writer, and blogger. She is a Hospice Social Worker, widow, stepmomma, and wife. She has professional experience with eating disorders, domestic violence, grief and loss. She loves her work, her family, her cats, and her dog! She most often writes about grief, loss, end of life issues, and suicide. Gratitude fuels her every move.


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