Recovering, or in other words, getting better from an eating disorder, be it Anorexia or Bulimia Nervosa and other various forms of disordered eating, is hard. Incredibly difficult and it is not about weight gain at all. For me, you have to get better emotionally first. You need to tackle the problems that lies deep down first, otherwise, getting better will be even more extremely difficult.
Recovery requires acceptance, belief and most importantly, knowing that there is hope out there, to actually start to get better. You, yourself will have to make a decision and you have got to want it more than anything else in your life. You need to know it will be hard, but at the end of the day, so worth it.
First step to any problem, is to talk it out. Suffering from an eating disorder is a rather secretive illness. It can turn you into a manipulative liar almost, and it can make you do horrible things, to people around you as well as to yourself. Telling someone, that you have a problem is a weight lifted off your shoulder, no pun intended. It can really help you think in a more rational way, however, when you are deep into your eating disorder, your mind gets very distorted indeed. You cannot logically think for yourself. Your mind is just preoccupied with food, numbers and weights and your focus is your body, and your body only. Nothing else matters to you. Therefore, telling someone will help you so much.
One thing you have to remember when recovering is that, everything will be a trigger. There will be something in everyday that will make you want to go back to your eating disorder, but it is a learning process and by triggers in recovery, you will learn how to deal with it along the way. Of course. there will be relapses, or more so ‘lapses’ you could say, and that is expected, however, as long as you get back up after a lapse and continue with recovery, shows that you are stronger than the eating disorder itself.
It will depend on the severity of your eating disorder to make a decision about what treatment is best for you. Do not be afraid of hospitalisation. Of course, you will be scared, however, just thinking of a life without this disorder will make you want to get better, therefore, there is no choice but inpatient treatment. If you choose recovery and hospitalisation is suggested, I would suggest you jump at the chance. It is for your own good and you will come out of the other end feeling more positive and seeing things in a new light. Sometimes, being out of your normal living accommodation, I find is incredibly helpful for recovery. Sometimes, giving the control to the professionals and ‘losing’ your ‘control’ is what you need and for the best. Then there is outpatient treatment, which is helpful with the right therapy and a good support system and that is beneficial in both inpatent and outpatient treatment
Find a good therapist. Someone who is empathetic and someone you can have a really good relationship with.
Outside of treatment, really try hard to focus on something else. I find that playing guitar, writing, listening to the radio and music really helps me take my mind off negative thoughts and ‘the voice’ of anorexia. Throw away your scales, as hard as that may be. Take labels off food, if counting calories has become an obsession to you. Throw away those fad diets information and fashion magazines. Those things will stray you away from recovery, so it is best you throw away everything that can be a big trigger to you.
Most importantly, if you are strong enough to recover from an eating disorder and get through this tough journey, then you can do and achieve anything in life. That is how I look at it. Surround yourself with successful and positive people in order for you to become successful and positive yourself.