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Find hope. 888-364-5977

August 18, 2015

Clients' Thoughts About Recovery

By Dr. Mark Warren and clients at TEP

Recovery from an eating disorder is the clear goal of treatment, however, the scientific literature on clients' experience of recovery is often defined in different ways. In general, the literature tends to focus on re-feeding, growth curves, medical stability, and resolution of behaviors. At TEP we fully endorse that these are the first steps towards recovery and without them no discussion of recovery can take place. That being said, recovery from an eating disorder can have various meanings for those who suffer from these illnesses. In general, there are psychological, social, and identity issues that also change when someone describes themself as being in recovery. We feel it is important to talk to our clients and their families to gain understanding of what recovery means to them. With this in mind we had a conversation with clients about this issue. We asked them to answer the question "How do i know if I am in recovery?" Please find their responses below:

I know I'm recovering if I...

Am able to go out and get what I want

Do not count calories

Feel hunger cues and am not anxious when hungry

Eat when I'm hungry

Have a whole day without thinking about the eating disorder

Go to sleep without worrying about what I have to eat tomorrow

Engage in a cause bigger than myself

Listen to my body's needs and functions

Give up fear about talking about the eating disorder

Am known to others and have them aware of who I am

Can do the things I want, despite ED telling me that I can't

Can recognize that bravery is following my meal plan, NOT restricting

This post has been updated with additional client thoughts since it first appeared on the Cleveland Center for Eating Disorders (CCED) blog in 2012.

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Recovery for life is possible 888-364-5977

Recovery for life is possible

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The Emily Program