The Mighty Logo

3 Things I Do Regularly to Regain Power Over My Eating Disorder

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

I believe that eating disorder recovery is a choice. I have choices — multiple times a day — to eat my food and allow it to nourish my body. It is my decision and mine alone to choose recovery on a regular basis. Nobody else has control over this, and in this way I am the only one with the agency to move toward a recovered life for myself. While it is sometimes easy to get lost in feeling powerless and my inability to count on my follow-through to feed myself without behaviors, it is just as simple to find personal power in making recovery-oriented decisions.

I recently had a form of the stomach bug, and it was very triggering to my eating disorder self. I wanted to use it as an excuse to purge; I wanted to use behaviors to make my nausea go away. I was able to talk myself out of this choice because I reminded myself of what I am truly about: recovery. Some days are harder than others, but when I follow through with recovery-oriented decisions on a regular basis, it becomes a habit to make those choices when the going gets tough.

These are some things I do on a regular basis to create personal power and find my voice in eating disorder recovery.

1. Journaling

Journaling allows me to reflect on my emotional state while I also process the reasons I am considering a behavior. I can recommit in my journal entry to eat food that fuels my body and make a pact with myself to allow it to nourish me. Journaling is essential to my mental health, and I recommend it to everybody who has trouble with racing thoughts or impulsive behaviors.

2. Reaching Out

It’s important to remind myself that I do not need to do life alone. I feel loved and supported by the family I have created for myself, which is essential to my recovery. I know that if I stumble, they are there to help me up. The feeling is mutual, as I am there for them as well. I also have professionals in my life who allow me to see my progress, which reminds me of why I am in this journey to begin with. I am reminded of my passion for living on a regular basis because I surround myself with like-minded people.

Since reaching out is the opposite of isolating, I empower myself by surrounding myself with people who love me and those I love in return. It allows me to feel like I belong on this huge planet, instead of getting stuck on thoughts that I am not enough or am alone in my behaviors.

3. Connecting Spiritually

Knowing that I am not alone means more than reaching out to friends in the mortal realm. It also means connecting with my Higher Power. By having an open-ended conversation with my Higher Power, I am not only showing willingness to change, but I am showing humility. I do not know all, but I do have choices to make. I can be guided in these choices if I simply ask for help.

My Higher Power tends to put people in my life who can help me after I ask for it, and that’s a surprising thing. This being said, I still have to make the decision to feed myself. My Higher Power cannot do that for me. The Universe didn’t create me so that I would starve myself. I have a purpose, I have a reason to be here, and I must show up for my body if I am to fulfill this.

Every time I feed myself and allow that food to nourish my body is an opportunity to feel empowered in my recovery. I am the sole human responsible for this, and since I am an adult, it’s up to me. I am strong, and I must use this strength to move toward the future of a recovered life. This is what I want for myself, and sometimes I need a gentle reminder that I am worthy, capable and brave enough to accomplish this for myself. I hope these tools can be helpful to you, too.

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

Unsplash image via Sam Manns

Originally published: May 25, 2018
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