National Eating Disorders Association

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feeling hopeless

Currently feeling hopeless and scared. I'm hoping that someone out there has a story of recovery to keep me going. My fiance is basically stuck in the middle right now. On one side is her eating disorder and the other is her healthy self. We've been through ringer including 5 months of hospitalization to partial to IOP to outpatient and now back to partial with talk about going back to res. And we're supposed to get married in a month. I'm terrified that she's going to be in res when we get married. Fortunately, we are just having a small wedding with immediate family members only. But, I can't imagine how terrible it would feel if she needed to get a pass for the weekend in order to go to our wedding and it seems like a stupid decision for her to go to res and then get married and then go on our honeymoon without the transition of moving back down to partial and then IOP and then outpatient. We already booked our hotels and flights for our honeymoon because she was doing well and we thought should stick to the recovery path, but now we don't really know what is happening since her symptom use has started to increase and she may need a higher level of care. Long story, short, I'm scared that we are going to be stuck in this cycle forever of treatment, a few weeks of recovery, followed by a relapse. It seemed like we were so close to starting to live our lives together. Will we ever get there? Does anyone have any stories of adults that are recovered? Were we stupid for thinking that she would be in recovery still for our wedding/honeymoon?

Hi carer,

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! It's hard watching a loved one go through this, especially when the ED gets in the way of major life events! I certainly don't think you're stupid; EDs are challenging to treat and recovery has so many ups and downs. As for stories of adults in recovery, the "Stories of Hope" section of the NEDA site is full of them: . Some are even wedding-related and might be similar to your current situation: . Recovery is possible, and there are many people here on the NEDA site who are examples of that. It is possible to do this. Have you or your fiancée discussed this with anyone on her treatment team to find out their thoughts or see if they have suggestions? They know more about the specific circumstances and might be able to offer some more specific advice.

We're here for you! Please keep us updated how things are going. And, again, congratulations! Try to stay focused on the positive side of things, and don't forget to take care of your own health (mental and physical).

thank you

Thank you both for your posts (and birdie22 sorry that you had to post twice!) It is very helpful to hear from adults that are recovered. Unfortunately, my fiance did not get help when she was younger, but I am glad she is getting treatment now. Things have definitely gone a little backwards in terms of recovery, but we are trying to come-up with some solutions to get us back on the road towards recovery. I think it is hard as an adult because it seems like providers are usually used to working with parents. I also know that is something that she has to do herself so now that she FINALLY has a great team, I have taken a back seat and have just been there for support. However, it doesn't seem like this strategy is helping so we are going to hopefully start couples therapy so we can all be on the same page every week and we are going to try to create a more concrete contract in terms of how I can hold her accountable at home without crossing over to the food policing side of things. We hope that things will start to get better soon. The scariest thing I think for the both of us is not only has her symptom use increased but her distortions have become very real so much that she sometimes can't even recognize them as distortions. I think we are going to kind of see how this week goes with our new strategy and hopefully won't have to talk about postponing our wedding. We know that she wont be in full recovery at that point, but its just so hard to know if she will be stable enough and who knows it could even help her!

Thank you for the continued support.


Hey Carer,

As the others have said, and as I'm sure you've seen for yourself, EDs can be very difficult and convoluted things. Unfortunately, stress is often one of the things that brings on relapses, so I'd not be surprised if the pressures of your impending wedding are playing into this.

I know you don't want to postpone, given all the preparations you've made. But it does sound like this is something the two of you really will need to work out in therapy. There may be no ideal answer. As regressive as it may seem, it may be that you'll both agree to allow her to continue with her behaviors during the run up to the wedding and through the honeymoon. That may be the only agreement that helps the stress of the whole thing feel less for her, if you follow what I'm saying. You never know : It's possible that without that stress, and the demands of recovery, she'll actually find herself able to resist some of her urges.

EDs can be strange things that way.