National Eating Disorders Association

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What does recovery mean to you?

Hey y'all,

One of my good friends, who's currently a psychology major, likened eating disorders to alcoholism the other day (like the "once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic" phrase). Basically, saying that ED is somehow always a part of you...which is kinda scary. I think I'm in recovery, but often have some isolated ed thoughts or behaviors that resurface.

So I wanted to know, what does "being in recovery" mean to y'all?


Hi Mills12-
Such interesting points to raise. My personal belief is that once someone develops an eating disorder, it is something they will always have to be aware of. Not that they will be actively struggling with behaviors for the rest of their life. Just recognizing that when difficult seasons or new stressors come up, there is a potential for those disordered thoughts and urges to act on behaviors to resurface. And that's just part of the recovery journey. I think that is normal for you to have those occasional thoughts and behaviors, it's just a matter of how we manage them and fight back against them. ED can rear its head even after remaining dormant for a long time, so that is why we always have to keep that awareness of our emotions, how we are coping, etc.
For me, recovery isn't about never having to struggle again. It's a day in and day out decision to keep fighting back. It is working towards a place of not being chained to destructive thoughts and behaviors, and getting to walk into freedom, focusing on our goals, relationships, & thriving as we are meant to. Recovery is never a place we arrive at, but it's the continual process of learning how to cope and walk in the world with an identity outside of the disease.
That's just my take, I would be interested in hearing others' perspectives on this <3 Thanks so much for your post!


Hi lovetowrite81, I've been meaning to ask you but keep forgetting, what do you like to write!!!!)))

I like your perspective on recovery. I just don't want to believe that I will always have to be having it lurking in the back round. I personally believe in total recovery. I have not attained yet, but am in my tenth month of no eating disorder behaviors. One thing that concerns me though is I know I don't eat the best selection of food. And I have chronic pancreatitis and do not follow the strict guidelines to keep it in check. I have been saying I am flying in the zone of walking in recovery. I do not want to believe this is something that I may fall back to one day. I have recently had several bad episodes of self harm, therapist and doctor know and am being treated, but I thought I would never struggle with that again and I have so I am pretty upset with myself right now over that.

But what you said does make sense. Thank you for sharing.

I write well. My mom wants me to write a book, ha ha, that will never happen. But I can talk and be a support person for someone who is suffering.

Well, I wish you a pleasant nights sleep.