National Eating Disorders Association

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Currently going through the worst relapse I've had since before I started recovery. My mind has taken over and won't allow me not to engage in ED behaviors. It yells at me every time I even think about eating. Food is terrifying and it hurts me so bad that I feel so strongly about it because I want to get better still, but it's way too hard to move on in my recovery. It feels like my normal thoughts aren't even there, I almost always think about it now, I have been for a couple of weeks now. I hate that this is happening. I don't want to do this to myself. I know I'm awesome and I can't believe I'm hurting myself so much, but it's so hard not to when the voice in my head is screaming at me to engage in unhealthy behaviors. I can't escape from it. It goes away when I'm distracted, but as soon as food is brought up I get so uncomfortable and the thoughts come back full force. It's terrifying and awful and I want it to stop but it's not stopping like it usually does by now and I'm really scared. I want help but I don't because I don't want to stop my unhealthy behaviors. I HATE THIS. :(


Hi. I am glad you posted. It is a good sign that you are reaching out for help. You are not alone here. So many can relate. I am sorry you are suffering so much after having a reprieve for a while. Did something happen that was upsetting that triggered the obsessive,compulsive thoughts to come back? Can you get back into therapy if you stopped to get it from getting worse. I know the battle in the mind. The anorexic mine screaming. Don't get help while the healthy mind is saying get help. The mind does torment and I sympathize with you. I am newly in recovery and know the voices do stop. Recovery is possible. For you right now can you tell anyone of your struggle or get any support from friends or family I encourage you to post here again. You did it before and you can do it again. Just keep reaching out and take it one meal at a time and tell back at ED. I mean it. Talk, tell back and tell ED where to go. I hope you found this helpful. iwanttolive

re: Helpless

Hey formyself—welcome to the forums! We're so glad you found us and you've definitely come to the right place for support. First of all, I want to encourage you to take a deep breath and promise to be kind to yourself. You didn't choose to have an eating disorder—these are serious mental illnesses and it's not your fault that you can't just “snap out of it.”

Remember too that you're not alone—pretty much anyone who goes through the recovery process ends up slipping or relapsing at some point. I think it's a common hallmark of those of us who've struggled with EDs to hold ourselves to abnormally high standards/expectations and be pretty ruthless with ourselves when we “fail.” This was one of my biggest issues in recovery—losing the black-and-white, all-or-nothing mindset that told me if I slipped up, I'd never be strong enough to recover. I was wrong, and you are too! I know it feels like you'll never get back up after this relapse, but you can and you will. We believe in you!

Can I ask what kind of treatment you've received for your ED in the past? Are you still in treatment (seeing a dietitian, therapist, etc.)? Is there anyone in your life you feel comfortable confiding in about what's going on? You just sound so alone right now and I want to make sure you have some kind of real-time support on the ground to help you through this. If you've never received professional treatment for your ED, NEDA can help you find affordable options in your area:

I also wanted to share some resources on the NEDA website that might provide a little bit of hope and guidance during this tough time.

General info on what to expect during recovery, including relapse:

Tips for maintaining your commitment to a recovered life:

Tips for dealing with challenging/triggering situations during recovery:

Blog post about coping with a relapse without hating yourself for it:

You aren't helpless—you're resilient and strong, and you beat this once before, which means you have it in you to do it again. Please keep us posted on your progress and don't stop fighting! We're here for you, even if you just need to vent.