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5 Reminders I Give Myself When I'm Afraid of Relapsing

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I went to the doctor yesterday because I needed medicine for my throat. Today, I need medicine for my mind.

The minute I stepped through the doorway, the nurse had me on a scale. Even though I’ve been thinking about doing it for months, I haven’t weighed myself since I first started therapy. My validation needs to come from myself, not the scale. But more than that, I don’t trust myself.

Apparently I was right not to trust myself. I went to the doctor and I got an antibiotic for my throat, a pain reliever for my head and a number on a scale with the potential to send me spiraling. Today, my mind hurts worse than my throat. Today, I need a different kind of medicine.

Here are five things I’m reminding myself today to avoid relapse:

1. Stay.

Running away from my problems by going back to unhealthy coping mechanisms won’t solve anything. I need to stay and be present.

2. Be rational.

Don’t let negative thoughts take over. Fight back. My weight is not unhealthy and it is my mind, not my body, that’s making my imperfections stand out so much more today. My body is exactly the same as it was before I knew these numbers and I was able to love it then, so why not now?

3. Be kind to yourself.

It’s OK to take today and invest it in being gentle with yourself. Self-care is not selfish. You don’t have to earn your food. You don’t have to look a certain way or be a certain weight to be wanted. You are enough. Everything you’re doing is enough. Let it be.

4. Lean on others.

They may not understand, but it’s better to let your friends and family know you’re struggling today. A kind smile, a laugh and a reminder you are loved exactly as you are can be incredibly powerful in helping you pull through and avoid old habits.

5. Let yourself believe not relapsing is worth the effort.

This is hard, but it is worth it. Look for hope in the people around you and find the strength to believe there are better days ahead. Don’t give up on yourself. You are worth the effort. Your life is worth the effort. You will be OK. Stay. Give yourself a chance.

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.

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Thinkstock photo via Maximkostenko.

Originally published: February 28, 2017
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