National Eating Disorders Association

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First time post..Am I technically in recovery?

Hi. I want to say, firstly, that I am so grateful for this community and this forum. I browsed through some of the posts/comments and saw such an amazing outpouring of love and support.

Small little back story. I have struggled with an eating disorder for a very long time (too ashamed to say how long) and was finally diagnosed in Aug of 2018. I’ve been seeing a substance abuse therapist who also specializes in eating disorders (I have dual diagnosis’) over the past 6 weeks or so. I worked with her when I was still active in my substance abuse but we never really touched on the eating disorder. She tried many times but I would never let her in on that - it was too daunting of a task. Fast forward to today and we are no longer talking in depth about my substance abuse (which is fine because I have a sponsor for that) but have moved into addressing the ed. I trust her and because of that trust, I decided to follow through on her strong suggestion of adding an RDN to my team - about 4 weeks ago. My RDN is challenging me to a meal plan and also is starting to open up the discussion around thoughts surrounding recovery, food etc.

I have really really tried to follow her plan and just can’t seem to do it. She has been very patient with me but in our session today, challenged me pretty intensely. I don’t know if I’m in “recovery” since I am not following her meal plan and also because I can’t seem to get on the same page. I do trust her and I intellectually know she is very good at her job ... but.... sigh. I understand (from what she is telling me) that my eating disorder is challenged and is doing every thing possible to keep its grips on me...but...sigh.

I, of course, picked THIS time (of all times!) to start recovery - when there is a world pandemic happening. I’ve always had the best timing. ;)

So..I guess my question is: am I technically in recovery just because I’m challenging my eating disorders thoughts/behaviors? Is it likely that she will give up on me..?

Feeling very lost and overwhelmed and scared that I may not be able to do this.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Any feedback is warmly appreciated.

Hi!! Welcome for the forum.

Hi!! Welcome for the forum.
I would say, that if you have the intent of recovery and are trying your best, that you’re recovering/ in recovery/ working on recovery.
I too, am a recovering addict, along with having an eating disorder. My addiction was addressed several years before my eating disorder. With ED recovery, it’s never perfect and we all make mistakes and have slip ups. With my addiction, I personally couldn’t get back on track so easily with slipping, which is why I’ve been clean for five years. But with ED recovery, I’ve learned we have to allow ourselves more grace. A slip up in ED recovery doesn’t mean you’re back at day one. As long as you want to recovery and working at it, I would say you’re recovering. The beginning can be the hardest part. <3

Congratulations on 5 years

Congratulations on 5 years sobriety!!

I appreciate your feedback. I am working at it and feel like I’m not doing enough. I commit to my therapist and RDN to do what they suggest/offer for me and then I try to put it into action and I can’t bring myself to it. I guess if I continue to try, I’m not completely failing. I want to be perfect in recovery and I am learning (slowly..very slowly) that recovery looks different for every single person. “Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the night saying ‘I will try again tomorrow’”. -mary anne redmacher


I love that quote, and what you said is true. I too am hard on myself about wanting the perfect recovery. I struggled a lot with that mentality at first because it’s different than substance abuse recovery you know? In ed recovery, slip ups are more common and expected, perfect recovery doesn’t apply here.
My grandmother passed away on Saturday, and I slipped into behaviors over the weekend. If it helps you to know at all, I’m not being as hard on myself about it as I used to be, and I’m able to get back on track with more ease. In the beginning, I slipped and stumbled and it took weeks to meet my treatment team’s expectations. Don’t give up. I know you can do this.

Progress rather than perfection

I’m so sorry to hear of your grandma’s passing. My sincere condolences.
I think it’s amazing that you’re able to recognize the behaviors and allow yourself to get back on track with more self compassion and self love. Hopefully you see that as a reminder that recovery is possible and that you are doing it!
Thank you for sharing with me.
“Progress rather than perfection”.

You have opened your mind to

You have opened your mind to the idea of recovery and are takings steps to get there, so that is great! Congratulations on your sobriety you have overcome a difficult task already, remember that and know you can do this with your eating disorder as well. According to the DMS or diagnostic manual counselors there is something called partial remission and remissions both which have their own criteria of time length of absence of eating disorder symptoms. As many on here know eating disorders are considered a life long disorder, they take consistent work and attention to keep moving forward and not allowing ourselves to fall backwards. One of the best things to do to keep yourself moving forward is to use continued long term therapy and you are doing that. It sounds like you are still struggling with ED thoughts and actions but you're getting help which is a huge step in the right direction! Keep going!

Thank you for your response

Thank you for your response and the information about remission and partial remission. This is something I will explore with my therapist next week.

Yes - still struggling. In fact, I attended my first EDA virtual meeting tonight and was somewhat triggered by the language and specificity of diagnosis’s/verbiage in the opening. I will also be speaking with my therapist and RD about this in our next sessions to discuss whether or not this is in line with their treatment plan.

Thanks again for your response! Hope this finds you well. :)

Just checking in on you are

Just checking in on you are feeling at this point in time. Sorry for the delay in response! Sometimes it can be helpful to understand the process of recovery. It is a long journey and one that takes constant work, I hope you are doing well!

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