The Mighty Logo

Why I Need to Believe I Can Fully Recover From My Eating Disorder

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

A lot of people think you can’t fully recover from an eating disorder. That you’ll always be in a state of “recovery” because recovery is a process, not a destination. While I enjoy the sentiments of recovery being a journey, I don’t like the idea of there being no end to my eating disorder.

Where is the hope in saying that you’ll never be recovered?

All throughout treatment and therapy and just recovery in general, we are told to have hope. That things will get better. That the eating disorder’s voice will soften. That meals will become easier. But why can’t we have hope that one day we will not struggle with the eating disorder at all?

It’s a hard process, I know that. But if we truly believe ourselves to be the strong women (and men) we learn that we are in therapy, why do we not believe that we can reach full recovery?

I think part of it relates back to our belief that we aren’t good enough. That’s a common belief of people with eating disorders. Really, it’s a common belief with everyone. We all have this sinking feeling in our stomach that maybe, just maybe, we don’t measure up to what we wish we did.

If we believe we aren’t good enough, we’re going to believe that we don’t have the potential to reach full recovery.

But we do.

We’re strong people. We’re brave people. We’re people who have fought like hell against our own mind. We can recover.

It’s a journey to get to the state of full recovery. It’s not just “I went to treatment for x days/weeks/months and now I’m perfectly fine, yay!”

But I do believe there is an end to the journey one day.

Maybe we’ll still have disordered thoughts every once in a while. I’m not saying that’s OK. Our minds will never be perfect so we’ll always have those thoughts sometimes. But they won’t be as often and loud as they are now. 

I’m excited to one day be so far along in recovery that I no longer have thoughts. To be able to eat a piece of cake without a second thought of the calories or fat content. Heck, to be able to eat a second piece of cake because the first piece was so dang good and having seconds is normal.

Recovery is great, y’all, but I’m so excited for recoverED.

I know that it’s a long way away. Who knows when I’ll get to that point. But I have hope that one day I will.

I refuse to believe there is no hope for my mental health.

I refuse to believe we will all be 90 years old and struggling to eat breakfast will our grandchildren.

I refuse to believe there is no end to our relationships with our eating disorder.

It’s not always going to be the type of breakup where you “stay friends” and still text each other every once in a while to see how life is.

This is the type of breakup where there was a nasty divorce, but you’re so much happier and you haven’t talked to your ex in years.

That’s what I have hope for.

That one day we’ll be completely free of every voice telling us that we are “fat” or that we shouldn’t eat.

I have this hope for me. For you. For every person struggling with an eating disorder.

There is hope of recovered.

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.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Image via Thinkstock.

Originally published: January 20, 2017
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home