After 15+ years of living in the fog of my eating disorder, I am finally living my life in full, vivid color. This month I will celebrate my eighth month in recovery from my eating disorder. I have gained much in my short time in recovery…learning many lessons and recovery truths along the way.
I recently sat down to write a ‘good bye’ letter to a dear friend of mine who was finally discharging from the residential treatment home where I had met her back in February. As I sat to write this letter, I realized the extraordinary effort it takes for one to stay in and continue on the journey of recovery. And I think what I have learned thus far not only applies to my ED Recovery Journey, but to all of life’s journeys…staying on a healthy and happy path can often be work at times and ultimately we all have the choice whether to accept our road and push on or roll over and let life pass you by.
Here is an excerpt from that letter in which I explain what has helped me stay on this amazing path of recovery:
- Remind yourself daily that you are worth recovery and that you deserve a life without ED.
- Recovery is not all sunshine and rainbows. Recovery is work…hard work and it is certainly not perfect. Be gentle with yourself as you encounter bumps on the road. You will get bruised and battered, but I can testify that recovery does get easier with time and the end result is worth every scar.
- Never forget all of the tools you are leaving with today. They are invaluable. This place prepares us all for a life without ED, but recovery is our choice. It is up to us to accept these tools, take the skills we learned and implement them every second of every day. And lucky for you, DBT skills will resonate in your ears for a long time to come thanks to your beloved therapist that seems to have a bad case of DBT Tourette’s.
- Remember to laugh…loud. Remember to smile (even if it’s a fake DBT half smile). A positive attitude carries you far on this incredible road of recovery.
- Know that as you exit this bubble a scary world of ineffectiveness lies in front of you, but you now have the tools to stay on your path. Remember how lucky we are to have these tools and the choice to no longer measure our worth by numbers and sizes, but rather by true joy in our heart. If you ask me, we are the lucky ones.
- Soak up every second of the good days and ride the waves of the bad. The best advice I ever received here was to embrace the days when everything is just right in your world. Relish in every beautiful minute of that day and do not fret about what the future holds.
- Remember to stop every now and again and just be. Notice and appreciate what a difference it makes to be fully present in your life and not in the cloudiness of the disorder.
- Celebrate the victories. Whether it is adding sauce to Chick-fil-A nuggets or a one-year recovery anniversary, there is no victory too small or milestone too big that is not worthy of rejoicing in.
- Lastly, always remember that you are loved by so many, but also never forget to love yourself for this is the most important love of all.
Take good care,