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The Highs, Mediums and Lows of My Eating Disorder Recovery

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October 14 is a special day because it is my one-year anniversary of leaving intensive outpatient treatment for my eating disorder. I took a lot of comfort in the residential/PHP/outpatient program I was in and was terrified to leave. A year ago, I sat in my closing circle proud of how far I had come and scared of what was to come. Was I going to be able to continue to nourish and care for myself in college without having the program I had reported to for almost a year? 

Thankfully, I wasn’t alone in this fear. While I was in treatment, I met many people who were thinking about going to college or in the middle of college like I was. They have been my supports, and in turn I have been their shoulder to lean on too. 

In honor of my one year anniversary out of IOP, I wanted to highlight some of the highs, mediums and lows I and some of the people closest to me have faced. Over the past year, I have struggled, smiled, cried, been bored out of my mind. I’ve been quick to judge the less fabulous moments of my life as moments my recovery would suffer. Over this past year, I’ve realized those moments are what strengthens my recovery. While eating ice cream and connecting with friends is a wonderful part of recovery, nobody’s life is only great – recovery or not. Having high, medium and low days is part of recovery. No matter how low your low day, your recovery does not have to suffer. 

Here are a collection of highs, mediums and lows myself and some of my friends who are also in recovery have faced and will continue to face. You are not alone. 

woman out to eat with her friend
Photo by Julia Mercedes

High: Sharing my genuine self with others and enjoying food without guilt!

woman staring at herself in the mirror
Photo by Julia Mercedes

Low: Struggling to accept your body

woman looking at her profile in the mirror
Photo by Julia Mercedes

Medium: Remembering to nourish myself despite academic stress

woman eating food on dorm room bed
Photo by Julia Mercedes

High: Having the energy to run! 

woman running
Photo by Julia Mercedes

Medium: Grocery shopping when you’re out of food whether you want to or not

woman grocery shopping
Photo by Julia Mercedes

Medium: Feeling alone/sad/rejected/homesick/like a failure and sitting with it

woman in bed
Photo by Julia Mercedes

Low: Being tempted by scales/weight talk

woman staring at a scale
Photo by Julia Mercedes

High: Eating/drinking whatever your heart desires

woman drinking a slurpee
Photo by Julia Mercedes
Originally published: October 10, 2016
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