The Hardest Truth About Eating Disorder Recovery Most People Ignore

When you develop an eating disorder (ED) at a young age, things are often different. From the way you interact with those around you, to the thoughts in your head.

I developed anorexia before I was 12. And there is a hard truth that many people — with and without ED — ignore.

The longing for sickness.

The desire to be ill again.

The familiarity of the disorder.

Every day is a new reason to restrict, a new compulsion to binge or purge. Whether you’re at day one of recovery, or year eight. The desire might still appear.

There will be days where, after years of doing good and committing to self-care and self-love, you want to go back.

Because an eating disorder is home when you feel like the world is crashing and burning around you. It’s safe in that upside down world of not feeling.

Ive always compared it to Wonderland, it looks amazing at first, but the deeper you go, the more twisted it is, and eventually you’ll have to climb back up the rabbit hole.

Eventually, the Wonderland can turn into a nightmare. But even nightmares, when left unfinished, leave a desire to fall back into them.

There’s going to be a day where you might have to look yourself in the mirror, perhaps even multiple days, and tell yourself the hard truths. The ones no one talks about. The ones we all like to ignore.

“I want to die” might ring in your head — the darkest parts of you will come to the surface. The parts that still do not want to feel anything.

Tell them to go away. Leave you alone. Tell yourself it’s hard and you don’t want to do it.

And do it anyway.

Get better. Eat something. Cry over calories and numbers but get up and do it anyway.

These are the hard truths: Recovery isn’t easy. Life is hard. Things aren’t fair. You won’t always want to do this. Being strong all the time sucks.

The hardest truth is this: You have to anyway.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or reach the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

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