National Eating Disorders Association

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Need help and guidance. Stuck.

Hey guys!

I'm a 26 year old male who's been suffering from an eating disorder, and am not around 5 months into "Recovery". I'll try to keep this as short as possible.

While my eating disorder only lasted for a relatively short period of time (Around 2 years) It was quite intense. I was eating little to nothing, Exercising obsessively and extremely destructively, and drinking copious amounts of alcohol at night, just to get through the feelings.

I began my road to recovery after being told for months by numerous doctors that my heart and body were in critical condition, unable to handle the stress I was putting it under, I was still unable to change my habits or make one small action toward recovery.

I narrowly escaped going to hospital by desperately convincing my doctor that I could change on my own, that I could do this.

And so it began. I was seeing my psychologist twice a week, doctors appointments every other day and blood tests every second day also to keep an eye on everything. I started recovery hard and fast, but over-time, the small obsessions have started creeping back in, and while I'm DEFINITELY not relapsing full bore, I am still afraid to look at a scale. I've started counting calories obsessively again. And have started exercising also.

Some days life is incredibly, insufferably hard. Others it's just incredibly hard.

I'm finding it difficult to find any joy, or point in my life around this. I'm tired all the time, exhausted by my obsession and also unable to completely break free from it. I'm afraid of gaining weight, As I definitely wouldn't consider myself to look "Anorexic" at this point. but I still can barely function and get through a day.

I'm not happy with how I look or feel, I feel fat and chubby and horrible, and don't understand why that means anything to me, when I can't even get through a day feeling okay or calm or balanced.

I guess i just wanted to start the conversation and see if anyone else had some Similiar experiences and might be able to offer some advice, or even might be going through the same thing currently.

Any help you could offer would be hugely appreciated.

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this post.


Hello and welcome to the

Hello and welcome to the forums. You've definitely come to the right place.
While I'm sorry to hear that your experience a slight slip up I am glad to hear that you're fighting to maintain recovery.
I haven't personally experienced what you have but I can certainly appreciate how difficult it must be.
Unfortunately it is not uncommon for people to experience such slips. There's actually a whole page about it here on the NEDA website:

Try to be patient with yourself. The road to recovery is one full of ups and downs. But it sounds to me like you're determined to make a change. That's how it starts, that resolve.

- Adage

Hi Adage,

Hi Adage,

Thanks so much for the reply! I'm just really not sure of the right direction to go after this slip-up? I still have an incredibly strong urge to be in control and strive to look a certain way. Most days are just spent getting through and sitting with the pain. I'm also incredibly exhausted and rarely feel much joy at all.

Is this normal or has anyone else gone through similiar things?

Thanks so much again.

Hey redlac,

Hey redlac,

I’m so sorry to hear you’ve been having a hard time in recovery. I mostly just wanted to drop by and assure you that you are DEFINITELY not alone! This is 100% normal—recovery is a really difficult process for most people, because letting go of our EDs isn’t easy. Most of the time, an ED was serving some kind of a purpose in your life (whether it's giving you a sense of control, giving you a purpose, helping you deal with stress, etc.), so recovery doesn’t always feel good (especially not right away). I just wanted to encourage you that you’re on the right track, and remind you to please be gentle with yourself—it’s very common to still have these kinds of ED thoughts and urges even when you’re totally committed to recovering.

I also wanted to ask, are you still seeing your psychiatrist? A therapist? Is there anyone you can talk to about the depressive feelings you’re having? Hopefully you’ll find additional support here on the forums as well—you’re always welcome to seek guidance among fellow sufferers and survivors. Most of us really get it and are always ready to offer a listening ear. Hang in there!