Recovery Conversations: A Q&A with Abigail

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**Content warning: This is one person’s story; everyone will have unique experiences in recovery and beyond. Some stories may mention eating disorder thoughts, behaviors, and symptoms. Please use your discretion when reading and speak with your support system as needed.

Recovery Conversations is a question-and-answer series that shares voices and stories of eating disorder recovery. In this post, Abigail lends advice to others struggling with an eating disorder and then shares how she protects her recovery and practices self-care.

What advice would you give to someone currently struggling with an eating disorder?

I don’t mean to sound corny, but I think it’s important to tell anyone struggling three things: 1) you’re not alone, 2) it’s not your fault, and 3) it won’t be this way forever. You probably feel like this is some weird problem that you’re supposed to fix on your own, but it’s actually a real disorder that millions of people have. Many professionals understand and know how to help you overcome an eating disorder. If you’re scared about living your whole life worried about food and weight, you should know that you don’t have to. You can recover with help from professionals who know how to treat these disorders.

What do you do today that helps you maintain your recovery?

The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely made recovery harder, but I am glad I have some tools to fight my eating disorder with everything else going on. The one I use a lot lately is reminding myself that I don’t have to do what my eating disorder tells me to do. For example, if I have a disordered thought that I should restrict, I don’t have to immediately restrict. Instead, I can label it as just a thought and follow through with my usual meals and snacks anyway. It seems obvious, but I couldn’t do this when I was sick with my eating disorder.

What are your favorite forms of self-care?

Reading inspirational books or following inspirational social media accounts is a good way to get into a better mindset. Sometimes I just scroll through them to get into a good mental space, and other times I journal them down and write about how they relate to my life and recovery at that moment.

(I also love the usual self-care things like baths and sheet masks!)

Favorite recovery quote?

“The worst days in recovery are better than the best days in an eating disorder.”

This quote is a good reminder that the hard days in recovery are temporary and will hopefully lead you to a better place eventually. On the other hand, the best days in an eating disorder will just keep you stuck.

If you were to write a book about recovery, what would it be called?

Recovery Is A Choice Worth Making!

We want to hear your voice of recovery! If you are interested in participating in our Recovery Conversation series, please email blog@emilyprogram.com to learn more.

Eating disorder help is available. Find care for you or a loved one by calling The Emily Program at 1-888-364-5977 or by completing our online form. 

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