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How I Conquered My Eating Disorder Recovery During the COVID-19 Pandemic

When I first started social distancing in March, I was terrified. I did not know what this would mean for my recovery and if the limited food shortages would mean a strong desire to turn back to disordered patterns, or if the discussion around the coronavirus (COVID-19) would cause my eating disorder to rear its ugly head.

Instead, as the world fell apart around me, I slowly started to come together. Like a caterpillar, when the world was ending I became a butterfly. I am not saying it is easy, but pushing through this time showed me how strong my recovery really is and that all the resilience I worked to build up before social distancing paid off. That even though activities I loved were being canceled around me, my hard work in recovery was for something.

It would not have happened if I did not realize two key things: I need to use my resources and in persistence, I can conquer anything, including the one thing I thought I could never conquer, especially amidst a world pandemic.

That just goes to show the power of persistence. I told myself for months, with the help of my recovery coach, that “I choose to heal.” I even made it my alarm and although my eating disorder told me I was past that, I started reminding myself that I was choosing to heal and act toward that. I had people hold me accountable for creating meals and reminding me to eat despite the lack of structure of quarantine.

I had to realize that asking for help is OK. In fact, it is more than OK. Asking for help is everything. I had to create my own challenges and hold myself accountable to do that. I learned to fall in love with the process of baking through quarantine because I prioritized my future. I reminded myself of how I wanted to be after this was over versus what I wanted my body to look like. I had to hold onto hope that one day this will end, and I want to be my best recovered self after all this over. I had to constantly remind myself of that when triggers came up, and lessen my chances of seeing the triggers. If I did see them, such as the Instagram push-up challenge, I had to remind myself I made a commitment to my healing and move forward.

Since it’s been two months of social distancing, I have grown tremendously. I have taken a time when the world is falling apart and put myself back together. It was tons of hard work and yet I am so grateful I went through it. Every day of choosing to make the choice to heal has brought me to where I am today. My point is that you can too conquer your eating disorder in these times. The key is persistence and reminding yourself that one day, life will return and you want to be the best person you can be, not the best body because you are more than a body.

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Getty Images photo via ksana-gribakina