I think I will put my two cents in on what full recovery from an eating disorder looks like to me.  It is my opinion that it is a very individual and unique process to go through recovery and therefore everyone’s outcome will not be the same.  I think many people strive to return to the person they were before the eating disorder took hold and that is very unrealistic and to me dangerous thinking.  In fact having been diagnosed and gone through treatment I believe that I have changed for the better.  I like who I am becoming more and more as the days pass and accepting that I am different has been nothing but positive.  I have to be realistic when it comes to recovery.  To me that means accepting that I have to take care of myself first and be aware of areas that could cause struggles.  You can’t just automatically recover and live life as though you never had this experience.  To me there could always be a stray occasional thought but that doesn’t mean that I am not recovered or that I am on the edge of relapse.  My brain has been physiologically wired differently due to this disease and those pathways are hard to rewire.  Recovery and recovered seem very synonymous to me which is why some people adopt the thinking that recovery is a lifelong process.  I agree one hundred percent that it is a lifelong process, but I also believe that to fully live a life of recovery you have to take that step and confidently say that you are recovered.  I have never called myself fully recovered and I think that is a hindrance to me fully accepting my life.  I know in many people’s experience, including my own, they are waiting for some defining moment where they are recovered and boom everything would be perfect.  Black and white thinking is often the thinking that led us down the destructive path to begin with.  I used to tell myself oh I will be recovered when I don’t see a therapist anymore.  Oh I will be recovered when I can plan meals and go grocery shopping without getting stressed.  Oh I will be recovered when…..the list was endless.  I believe full recovery is possible because I am living a functional, fulfilling life where I once wanted no life at all.  I am living full recovery so why shouldn’t I take that leap and declare myself recovered?  Calling myself recovered doesn’t change who I am or invalidate the fact that life is a process and I will continue to work towards a better me every day.  So I challenge you if you are in that ambiguous area where you aren’t sure if you are recovered or what that looks like to you, to take that step with me and start referring to yourselves as recovered and see what happens!  And for those continuing to struggle, hold on to hope that there are many of us out there who have been through this hell of a journey and are succeeding.

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