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3 Ways I Get Through a Relapse in Eating Disorder Recovery


The past several weeks have been really challenging for me. It started with a few skipped snacks, and the next thing I knew I was in a full blown relapse. I woke up wondering how I got where I was and felt like I couldn’t stop my behaviors. I am glad to say I am out of my relapse and back on the road to recovery, but I would like to share some tips that may be helpful if you ever experience a relapse in eating disorder recovery.

1. I have really focused on my values in my recovery and strive to live a life that aligns with those values. During my relapse I spent time thinking about and writing down my values and then asking myself if my current actions aligned with them. I value spirituality, connection, spontaneity, flexibility and pleasure — and none of these align with eating disorder behaviors. Try to take time to write down your values and actions that support them.

2. Reach out to your treatment team or individuals you can talk to about what you are going through. The first person I always reach out to is my boyfriend. If he knows I am struggling he will text me throughout the day to make sure I am following my meal and movement plan. It can help to have some accountability when you are struggling.

3. A phrase that helps me through a relapse is, “Fake it until you make it.” I may not want to follow my meal or movement plan, but I am going to do it anyway and one day it will be easier. My eating disorder was screaming at me the past couple weeks, but I trust my treatment team much more than my eating disorder. Try to do the next best thing in your recovery.

Ultimately what I learned that past several weeks is that I have the power to make choices toward my recovery, even when it is really hard. I can be stronger than my eating disorder, and I can fully recover. I cannot rely on my boyfriend or treatment team to recover for me. Only I can save myself by doing the next best thing toward my recovery. If you are relapsing right now, I want you to know you can get out of the vicious cycle. You are stronger than your eating disorder and can get back on track. No matter how hard it is, please keep going because full recovery is possible for you.

Unsplash image via Brooke Cagle