It’s Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and once again, Megan wanted to write something about where she stands now in relation to her recovery from anorexia. This is something Megan has been writing about for Shona for the past 5 years.
Eating Disorder Awareness Week is here again!! It can be quite an overwhelming week for those with a history of an ED. There are endless posts being shared with ED facts, statistics, personal stories, (triggering) photos, and it is a LOT to take in!
This year marks 10 years since I first developed an ED. I wouldn’t have thought at age 13 that ten years later I’d still be struggling with these issues, but I need to constantly remind myself of how far I’ve come. I don’t really want or feel the need to do another personal post about the difficulties and health risks of having an ED; instead, I want to focus on all the good that has come out of me pursuing recovery. As I said in a recent post (which you can read HERE), recovery is not linear. However, on the journey of recovery, there are so many magical moments that need to be cherished, I’ll share some of my personal favourites here…
- Eating when you’re hungry! A human need that you can finally fulfil without being told, reminded, or observed.
- When it’s Christmas and you can sit with your family and enjoy Christmas dinner, not feeling any negative emotions around it, only happiness. (And Easter choc of course!). Food has a huge cultural significance, and celebrating is not the same without it.
- Birthday cake! Not only on your own birthday, but your friends’ and family’s’.
- Getting rid of clothes that no longer fit, not shrinking yourself for any item of clothing, no matter how much you may love it. Instead, buying new clothes that feel right for your healthy body.
- Licking the spoon and bowl clean while baking (tastes better than the finished product in my opinion).
- Trying out new restaurants/cafes and getting something different from the menu each time you go back.
- Having a craving for a certain food and then satisfying that craving, instead of fantasising about it and eating only ‘safe foods’ in its place.
- Developing proper relationships with others because you have the physical and emotional energy to put into them.
- Travelling and being able to eat spontaneously, because the food looks good and you are in the mood for it.
- Being surrounded by good company and sharing a meal together, either at home or in a restaurant. No longer feeling left out in these moments because you can actually eat AND enjoy the food, while joining in on the conversation and laughter.
- When the people you love don’t need to change their plans and sacrifice what they want for your comfort, because you are able to adapt to new situations.
- Cinema popcorn, funfair candyfloss, pizza movie nights, winter hot chocolates.
- Listening to your body’s needs when it comes to rest and movement, not feeling guilty for being still.
- Seeing a new recipe you’d like to try, making the dish from scratch, and feeling proud of the finished product.
- Smiling genuine smiles, crying happy tears, laughing until your stomach hurts, enjoying your hobbies, and above all else, seeing the beauty in living.
This is not to discount all the hardships faced by those with an ED. I’m not saying that these things will make people motivated to recover because recovery is complex and confusing. What I am saying is that these things can, and do, occur for people in ED recovery; I’m sharing hope for those struggling. Most things on this list seemed impossible for me at many stages throughout my recovery, but I did (and do) get to experience them, and these moments make the effort I put into fighting my ED worth it. The more you challenge the ED, the easier it gets, trust me. There is a whole world waiting for you outside your ED, and it needs you in it <3
We just want to say a massive thank you to Megan for sharing this with us x
If you have been affected by anything in this article, you can take a look at BODYWHYS which provides online, phone and group support for eating disorders.
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