National Eating Disorders Association

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recoveryrunner
Am I recovered?

I'm two years into my recovery, almost three, after being inpatient for nine days. I'm a competitive runner, and through running I have found peace and confidence in myself. However, I feel as if my ED is consuming me, every thought, every second, everyday. I feel like a fraud because I'm not underweight, and on paper, I'm "healthy," but it's so hard for me to get past the feeling that if I eat anything "unhealthy", my day is ruined and I must punish myself by eating only healthy food for the next week. It's taking a toll on my social life, too. It's hard for me to go out with friends, and I lie to them by saying I'm allergic to certain foods so I won't have to tell them the truth. They all think I'm recovered, but really, I'm not, and I'm worried they're going to judge me. Even when I do go out with them and have a challenging rule, the guilt consumes me for the rest of the day.
Anyone else in a similar predicament?

mameegan
yes

yes, very much the same situation, however over the past couple of years i have disclosed to many where I'm at with my ED. Many think its easier for me now than it actually is, however. while i have never been a competitive runner, i have been a passionate, and obsessed runner. i continue to try to not only moderate my eating, but my runs and workouts as well. as well as be ok w rest days. omg, so difficult!!!!!

dropthemetaphor
re: Am I recovered?

Hey recoveryrunner—I know how you're feeling. First of all, you're not a “fraud.” Don't slip into impostor syndrome about your ED. We all deserve treatment, no matter how sick or not sick we look to other people. EDs are mental illnesses which means the real damage is being done to our psyches (this is why recovery trajectories usually see us letting go of our ED behaviors long before we're able to escape the ED thoughts).

Based on your description, I'm going to say no, you are not recovered (even though you are actively working toward recovery). It sounds like you are still very much consumed and driven by your ED thoughts and guilt, and it's affecting your quality of life in a major way. Please be gentle with yourself about this—it's really common in recovery to cling to these behaviors that have been so comforting for so long. When you were in treatment, did you learn any skills or tools for dealing with these kinds of thoughts in a healthy way? Are you currently in therapy or some kind of ongoing treatment?

NEDA has some useful links about the bumpy road of recovery that you might find helpful:

General info about recovery: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/learn/general-information/recovery

Stages of change in recovery: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/learn/general-information/unders...

Questions to ask yourself during recovery: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/learn/general-information/life-d...

Slips and relapses during recovery: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/slips-lapses-and-relapses

Finally, please don't feel ashamed about not being fully recovered—it's an up and down road and it's not like flipping a switch. Technically I'm four years into full recovery from bulimia/exercise bulimia/EDNOS, but I still have days and weeks where my ED thoughts are really strong and I have to fight way harder than usual to silence them. Can you confide in any of your friends about what's going on? I'm sure you know this is a tough road no matter what but it's even tougher alone. Don't give up—you can do this, you just need to apply your tools and a support network. Keep us posted!

_admin_moderator
edit notification

recoveryrunner, your post has been edited to comply with our community guidelines: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/community-guidelines. Users are not allowed to mention specific foods, as this may be triggering for other users. As you continue using the forums for support, you might also consider reviewing our page on sharing your story responsibly: https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/community/sharing-your-story-responsibly. Thanks for helping us keep this a safe space for everyone!