Things I wish someone had told me before I went into ED recovery
people always focus on the positives of recovery and block out all the other stuff. It can make the first steps of recovery harder because nobodies told you what to expect. I didn't understand what was happening with me and caused me to almost backtrack a few times. Recovery isn't always positive, it's real.
So here's a list of all the things i wish someone had told me before i went into ed recovery (based on my experience) because it's real and normal, and it's the shit i wish someone had told me. You aren't abnormal you're human.
🍃Your stomach is going to hurt. it's suck i'm sorry but it's true. It's going to hurt when you eat and it's going to hurt when you don't. Your bodies been so used to going a longass time in between food so when you start to eat more regularly it doesn't know how to cope. The positive is it doesn't last forever but the first few weeks are going to be tough. Please stick it out. Hot water bottles and hot baths are your friend and so are small but frequent meals.
🍃sweets are good for you (or at least they were for me). i have a massive sweet tooth and sometimes i couldn't face a meal but i could face some sweets. it might not be what my body needed (ie there's not a lot of nutritional value in a wham bar) but it helps you enjoy food again. Which takes me onto my next point.
🍃Eating a little something is better than nothing at all. It's okay if you can't face a full sunday roast. If you can just stomach some mash that's okay! you aren't a failure for not being able to eat a full meal right off the bat.
🍃You haven't failed at being ill because you've started recovery. you deserve to enter recovery but it doesn't mean you don't have a mental illness. You don't need to be at a certain weight or show certain symptoms before you can start recovery either. Your illness is valid and you deserve to recover even if your ED looking different to someone else who is struggling.
🍃some days will be surprisingly easy, like super easy. but some days are going to be tough as shit. You've got to take the good as it comes and survive the bad. I promise you can survive the bad.
🍃 Alcohol is not the right escape, it will not make it easier. i always used to eat when i was drunk because i didn't think about calories when i was (well i did i just didn't care) but the next morning i would feel fucking awful. Alcohol might feel like the right solution to get you to eat but the next day just isn't worth it. This doesn't mean you can't enjoy a drink, just don't use alcohol as a coping mechanism.
🍃 Your shits are going to be fucking WEIRD. you might not shit for days, you might shit 3 times in one day, it might be green, who knows it's just going to be weird. Don't get scared if you spend more/less time on the toilet than normal, remember your body is adjusting to eating more food and having more nutrients. Give your body the time it needs, you will start shitting normally again eventually.
🍃growing out of your clothes fucking sucks. It's hard, especially if you love fashion. But don't let your ed try use it as an excuse to lose weight again. You're never going to fit back into those jeans, donate them/sell them, now. Don't wait until tomorrow or next week. The sooner they go the better.
🍃 small steps are still steps. Don't feel like you have to be fully recovered within a week.
🍃 sometimes you just can't fit it all in. remember your stomach is used to very little food, you won't be able to jump straight back into eating full meals again
🍃 your period might be fucked up for a little bit, and honestly there's nothing you can do to speed that process up. Learn what's normal for you and what's not and carry on from there. Eating disorders mess with your hormones like crazy, so of course it's going to fuck with periods. because of that, what's normal for you isn't always normal for someone else. I used to either have really long periods or barely none existent, even though they're most contestant now i spot in between periods. If you don't have one while suffering from an ed it can take some time for it to come back. you aren't broken. you aren't failing recovery. just give your body all the time it needs to adjust. Even if it adjusts to something that's not necessarily 'normal' ie me with spotting (fyi i've had it all checked out by doctors etc and they've put it down to just hormones, so ya gal isn't pregnant before you all start asking me. pls don't make me go through another internal tho). Obviously if you're concerning see your GP.
🍃 Don't compare your day one to someone else day 200. It takes time but you will get there. Just take it at your own pace.
🍃 Unfollow anyone that makes you feel bad about your body, yes even friends/family. If someone you know is constantly posting out skinny teas or makes you feel like you need to lose weight, that unfollow button is right there. But also remember everyone looks different on social media, all photos are posed and staged so don't compare yourself to what you see on your feed.
🍃 Your stomachs going to grow and that okay, good even! don't worry, you aren't pregnant! but taking a test if you're worried is never shameful or wrong. I remember when I first went into recovery and I got that little pouch that we all have (yes we all have it, it protects our internal organs pls stop hating on it), I generally asked Craig if something was wrong with me and if I could be pregnant. I'd never had it before and honestly didn't know it was just my stomach.
Lastly, you've got this and you can do this. I'm so proud of you and just reading this article means you're taking a step in the right direction. You might not be ready yet, but you will be. Keep going strong my little ladybugs.
Disclaimer: this is all based off personal experience and my experience won't be the same as someone else.
ED = Eating Disorder