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When I'm in the Darkest Moments of My Eating Disorder Recovery

I have long known that eating disorder recovery would not be linear, but lately things have been looking pretty low in my recovery. When I’m in a place like this, it’s hard for me to admit to myself — let alone to my family and friends — that I am struggling. It is sometimes hard for me to recognize what I need. But as my supporter, there are ways you can help me during this time.

Remind me of what I’m doing right. Working on recovery truly is work. Show me that getting up this morning deserves a high five. Remind me that showing up to my last therapy appointment was a “win.” Let me know you’re proud of all the work I’m doing. Even though I may struggle to see it, I have committed to this work before, and I can do it now.

Show me what I have to recover for. Remind me what life has to offer that the eating disorder will never be able to give me. Give me a sneak peek of what a fun Saturday afternoon looks like. Show me pictures of your new puppy – I could really use a smile right now. Even just a moment of joy might help me remember why I’m doing this.

Hold hope for me. Sometimes I feel like giving up on myself, but when you hold hope for me it helps me keep going. This includes helping me get the support I need from my treatment team and reminding me that I am strong–not weak–for asking for working on myself. I don’t expect you to “fix” anything. Just be there and remind me that you believe in me and my ability to recover.

Don’t comment on my weight. When I’m in recovery, my weight is in flux. I know you think you’re being helpful or offering a compliment, but no matter how my weight is changing, it is devastating each time you point it out. Please keep our conversations about events and ideas outside of my body.

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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