Eating disorder recovery does not end when the behaviors do. It does not end when the urges stop or subside for some amount of time. It continues, only it is a different battle. The battle turns to the emotional. Recovery becomes about what has fueled the eating disorder for so long and why an eating disorder was used to cope. It becomes learning about new ways to cope and finally working through all the pain, hurt, despair.
I find myself in that place especially at the moment. Instead of turning to my eating disorder or having the urge to do so, I am turning to my Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) instead. Long before my eating disorder came into my life, I struggled with OCD. It was my “effective” coping mechanism for as long as I can remember. In fact, I cannot remember a time in my life without OCD. It even has strong ties to my eating disorder. The two have shared an almost symbiotic relationship with each other either working in-tandem or replacing one another as coping mechanisms. It is only at this point the two are beginning to separate and I find myself more stuck in the OCD more frequently.
For the first time in a long time, I am feeling the weight of attempting recovery. This one for my OCD. This is also while still in recovery from my eating disorder, which I still have work to do on and have to work to maintain. Both while also controlling my anxiety.
One thing that recovery has taught me, however, is that if you do not try, you will never know what could happen. For the longest time, I went through the motions and waited to see if anything would come of it because I had nothing to lose by at least trying recovery. I had no idea I had absolutely everything to gain. I have gained beyond my wildest hopes and dreams.
I think it might be time for me to try OCD recovery. I have nothing to lose and I have no idea what I have to gain. The possibilities are endless. And maybe, just maybe, there is freedom from the obsessions and compulsions out there. A freedom that I have never known in my entire life.
I encourage all of you to challenge your negative coping mechanisms you may be harboring in recovery outside the eating disorder. Or have you been successful? Maybe you are working on more emotional issues right now. What challenges have you given yourself lately?
Keep fighting the good fight! 🙂