National Eating Disorders Association

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New to Forum.

Hello everyone, I am new here. I've been in recovery for 11 years now and recently have felt like I am beginning a new phase in my recovery. I'm turning 30 this year and have had a lot of stressful events to deal with; firstly, I've just completed 2 years of trauma therapy after leaving my job as a mental health counselor. I went into counseling to help other children with trauma, as getting help myself saved my life and I wanted to pay it forward. I worked with kids involved with DCS and the juvenile justice system, and some terrible cases eventually broke me and I knew I couldn't go back. I went into another job doing research for a while, but concluded that wasn't a good fit either and have transitioned to being at home for now to take some time off and make a new start. This transition to being off, while an enormous blessing, is also a challenge because I am an anxious person who has spent years coping with my physical symptoms of anxiety by staying busy. Now, I need to slow down and it is great but also hard. Plus, a friend of mine whom I trusted (not something I do often or easily) grew resentful that I had the ability to take the time off. My husband and I work very, very hard and are frugal, so it's not like we just throw our privilege around. We try to give back and count our blessings, but when my time off began she started behaving like we were suddenly millionaires who were looking down our noses at her and her boyfriend. They are both at much different points in their careers than we are, so I understand why it might be hard for them, but at the same time we have never made any comparisons and have done our best to support them, including trying to help her boyfriend find a job. She and I initially connected as people who suffer from anxiety with histories of trauma, because it isn't easy to talk about with most people and we were good at supporting each other. But now that I am successfully closing my therapy and have found some financial stability for the time being, she is being so hateful, not to mention very unhealthy for herself. She lost some weight due to a health issue 2 months ago and has been refusing to get tests she needs because she likes being thinner. I finally decided to end our relationship last week because she not only has been increasingly resentful and unhealthy in many ways unrelated to me, but she has also gotten into the habit of talking about how little she is eating and how "tiny" she is, in an rather obvious attempt to trigger me. It's been upsetting and made me very sad, because I hoped we could be friends for much longer, but I knew I couldn't be around such a toxic person anymore when she wasn't willing to change or help herself.

Stress in general has always been a trigger for my thoughts gremlin (the voice in my head that tells me I'm fat and to stop eating). As of late, in addition to the stress, I've also just noticed some normal body changes that seem appropriate for my age, but which are making me anxious. This ranges from taking longer to recover from a cold than I used to, to noticing that it seems to be more challenging to stay as fit without making more of an effort. I work out regularly, but didn't need to do much in the past to stay where I feel good. Recently, I've noticed that it is taking more work to be there, and it's making me feel fat and scared. I haven't weighed or measured myself and I've continued eating well, telling myself over and over again that I'm not fat and to love my body, but it's hard. I realize in a way I never did before my body will change and my sense of control, which hasn't been challenged all that much in the past, is getting its first dose of reality. It is bringing up my old thoughts gremlin and making me realize that there are preconceived notions I have about my body which haven't improved as much as I hoped, and even though I am still meeting with my therapist, I feel alone with this fear. I don't feel unsafe or like I will do anything harmful, just upset and confused. I'm not sure where to go from here, because ultimately no one can change my mind but me. As much good work I've done, and I have made a lot of progress in many ways, I've also got some serious unhealthy thinking to break down that I've managed to mostly keep at bay until this point. Anyone who has any advice on how I can help myself between therapy sessions, please let me know what you think. Here is what I do currently to cope:

1. Talk to my support system, whether in person, via phone or text
2. Journal my thoughts if I can't talk to people
3. See my therapist
4. Do something calming, like knit or watch TV
5. Go for a walk

Thanks for reading. I appreciate your insights and thoughts.


Hi cgarv!

Welcome to the NEDA forums! I'm sorry nobody has gotten back to you sooner, but we're glad you're here :)

It sounds like you've been going through a lot of major changes lately and it's awesome that you're doing what's best for you. Sometimes it's best to move on from toxic friendships/relationships even though it's hard to do, so I really commend you for that. It also sounds like you've made so much progress in recovery over the past 11 years, so congratulations! Recovery is a journey that has many ups and downs, so don't feel discouraged if you're feeling anxious about the future after making all of these changes.

Here are some links that might help you while you continue your recovery:

General Recovery Info:

Blog Tips on Self-Care:

You might also want to check out other articles on the recovery section of the blog:

Hope these can help you in some way, please keep us updated on how you're doing with all of these changes. We're here for you!

re: New to Forum.

Hey cgarv--welcome! We're so happy to have you here and you've definitely come to the right place for support. This is a great community full of people who really get it, so please feel free to reach out anytime you need insights or advice or just a place to vent. :) Congratulations on 11 years in recovery and for taking the steps that are necessary right now for you to be well. I'm so sorry to hear about the triggers going on in your life right now. Just wanted to add another link from the NEDA website that's super helpful in terms of coping mechanisms: Keep taking care of yourself and keep fighting!

Thanks everyone. I appreciate

Thanks everyone. I appreciate the links, I will take a look at them all :)


Hi Cgarv,

I have been following this thread & just wanted to check in and see how you have been doing? Thinking of you <3



Hi and welcome . I'm sorry you were having a hard time with this. I really hope you are doing ok. Hugs.