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The Revelation I Had While Reflecting on My Eating Disorder Recovery

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June 2nd was World Eating Disorder Action Day; a time for raising awareness, understanding and debunking the stigma. In my experience, it has been helpful for people recovering from eating disorders to look back on how far they’ve come and everything they’ve survived.

Recovery is something that looks different for everyone. Each journey is unique. This is why you should be focusing on your own progress without comparing it to anyone else’s.

I’ve reflected extensively on my journey so far, and realized I had a lot of my own misconceptions about recovery. Most of the time, I would look back to where I started and compare it to where I am today and only see the fact that I still have an eating disorder. After roughly four years of fighting anorexia nervosa, I’m still not 100 percent better — this illness is still a daily struggle. The negative self-talk and disappointment I’ve shown myself because of this often overshadowed all the accomplishments I have made over those four years. These are the very things I should be reflecting on and be proud of.

I recently had a revelation — I’ve been belittling my progress because I’m not yet fully recovered.

The truth of the matter is that I’m not where I want to be, but I’m also not where I started.

When I began my recovery from anorexia, I was very physically and mentally ill, in denial of my sickness, pushing away my family and doctors because I was afraid and I felt hopeless.

In the four years I’ve been fighting against my eating disorder; I have conquered fear foods, I have been in treatment, I have gained life-saving weight, I have advocated and raised money for an eating disorder organization, I have graduated high school and college, I have been accepted into university, I have fought additional mental illnesses and I have survived.

I haven’t fully recovered from anorexia yet, and I can’t say I’m close to full recovery, but I can tell you that I have achieved great things. I have climbed so many mental mountains to get to where I am today, and although I still have a long way to go, I should be proud of myself.

I am proud of myself.

Success is not merely measured by reaching the finish line. It’s the seemingly small, everyday victories and the milestones along the way that will get you to full recovery. It’s the whole package that is worthy of celebration. Every feat, no matter the size, is a sign of your bravery.

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 mixformdesign

Originally published: June 19, 2017
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