I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, recovery is a hard road. But it is oh-so beneficial.
I’m going to be honest for a moment. I’ve been struggling with relapse thoughts lately and was in need of some motivation myself.
Having been in recovery before, I know all the good that comes with it.
At times it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It feels like you’re working so hard, but is it ever going to get easier?
When am I going to experience the benefits of recovery?
The road is long and winding in every which way but at the end of it, there’s something almost like a pot of gold. You get your life back.
Sure there are still hard times, but no longer being trapped in your disorder, has so much more to offer.
These are my top ten reasons, and big motivators this week, to recover.
To stop the negative side effects of your disorder
Eating disorders go hand in hand with many negative consequences: dizziness, cold intolerance, and constipation (*insert blushing emoji here*).
If you’ve experienced any of the side-effects than you know how miserable they can be.
There is nothing fun about having to sit under four blankets, two sweatshirts, a hat, and three pairs of socks (no this is not an exaggeration) just to get your body back up to a somewhat normal temperature.
When every time you stand up the sky goes black for a moment and you have to grasp the closest object, or person, to stop yourself from falling, there is nothing glamorous about that.
This is one of the first things you get back in recovery, no more negative side effects from your disorder. It is truly amazing what a little nourishment can do and how quickly our bodies bounce back.
To heal your relationship with food
I wrote an entire article about this topic that you can read here.
This is not an easy task but it is most definitely worthwhile. Just think. What a feat it would be to have a slice of cake on your birthday and enjoy it, or not to think twice about going out to eat somewhere.
I most definitely did not enjoy crying over having to eat some mushrooms.
I hated the fact that I would spend hours researching dessert recipes, fantasizing over what they would taste like.
In recovery, you begin to heal that broken relationship that you have with food. What an amazing feeling it is to no longer be fearful of everything that you put in your mouth.
It’s even better when you allow yourself to enjoy the taste of it.
To rebuild friendships and have a normal social life
Often times, when we are trapped in our disorder it leads to isolation or relationship tension.
I cannot tell you how many times I have gotten into fights with friends or family.
I’ve had cookies shoved at my face, supplements pushed at me, and countless tears spilled over my disorder.
Nothing hurts me more than watching my eating disorder destroy my relationships with others, which then causes me to isolate. I’d much rather have been alone than have to see firsthand how I am hurting those around me.
With recovery comes the capability to rebuild my ruined relationships. I no longer feel the need to isolate, because there are far fewer tears being shed.
My relationships have in fact grown stronger through this and my friends and family have been the stronger supports during my small bumps in the road.
Read my thank you to my support people here.
To be happy
These disorders make us miserable. We are filled with guilt and shame, which lead to feelings of unhappiness and often times depression.
Letting go of your disorder, in the long run, leads to happiness.
I have met countless individuals who have been in recovery before and unfortunately relapsed. We discussed all of the positives about being in recovery and what we hope to get back.
Every single person said happiness.
The definition changes from person to person, but regardless, we all had the same goal.
With letting go of my disorder, I have experienced more happiness this past week than I had in the months of my disorder combined.
I find happiness in the smallest, or biggest, of things, in the sound of the wind or the taste of my coffee. I find it while petting my dog or having a conversation with my grandmother.
In recovery, you seem to find happiness around every corner.
To travel the world
I don’t know about you but I would love to travel anywhere and everywhere on this planet. But with my disorder full force, it prevents me from doing so.
I dream of traveling to Africa and tasting the local cuisine or scuba diving in Australia.
None of that would be possible while under the spell of my eating disorder.
There is no way I would be able to go to magnificent places with no energy and nutrition in my body.
If I am barely able to stand, how am I supposed to travel the world?
To be healthy in your body
Heart palpitations, fainting spells, and all the associated medical tests are not fun. Living a life revolving around clinics and procedures is draining, and consequently, expensive.
With recovery, comes a healthy body. That is one of the most important things almost every specialist I have met has said.
The first priority is to make sure your body is healthy.
After some proper nourishment, my body was ever so resilient and healed itself. For some, it takes longer than others and that is okay.
What matters is that your body, your home, is alive and well. And that goes hand in hand with perseverance in recovery.
To improve your self-esteem
What a weird concept. How could weight gain improve my self esteem?
But it does.
At first, it is difficult to get comfortable in a new body, yet through hard work and lots of therapy, you become proud of where you are now. You are proud of your journey.
For me, that translated to a boost in my self-confidence. There are of course days where I am more fearless than others, but I no longer retreat into my shell due to insecurity.
Recovery has taught me that I can be proud of who I am. My past is nothing to be ashamed about. It was an experience, regardless of if it was positive or negative.
I learned that my body is a temple. I am thankful every day for its resilience and determination to fight, even when I put it through hell and back.
All of this translated into an increase in self-esteem, regardless of my current appearance.
To accomplish your hopes, dreams, and goals
I am a prime example as to how eating disorders get in the way of this.
I had to leave school in order to seek treatment.
Even while I was still at school, I almost failed every single one of my classes.
I have many dreams for myself and I hope you do as well. I want to grow up and work in the medical field. I want a husband and children. I want a life worth living.
None of that is possible with my disorder.
With my brain barely functioning how am I supposed to study effectively? How can I socialize properly?
I can’t. It’s just not possible.
To start living
Someone once told me that there’s no such thing as a functioning eating disorder patient. We convince ourselves that we’re fine when in reality we’re far from it.
Eating disorders hold you back from truly living in every which way. When you’re in recovery, at times you feel on top of the world.
In recovery, you’re set up for success. You have the world at your fingertips now that you’re no longer trapped in your disorder.
Recovery gives you your life back. It allows you to start living.