National Eating Disorders Association

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what is recovery like?

I'm currently suffering from what I would classify as EDNOS, but I have never been diagnosed. I'm sad all the time. I hate myself. Each day is so hard, and all I want to do is recover and get help but I'm still too fat and I just don't know how to. I just wanted to ask those of you who have recovered, what is it like? what does it feel like? can you look in mirrors again? do you feel less confused or more confused or what? I'm so scared and I just want to hear from someone who has been where I am and gotten past it...

What recovery is like...

First of all, I want to commend you on taking a very important step towards creating a healthy and loving relationship with yourself. That's most important! The negative feelings you conveyed in your post, tells me that's just your ED generating those false negative messages. I've personally struggled with an ED years ago and it's important to know that it's not uncommon to experience good and bad days during your recovery.

I would first encourage you to reach out to NEDA's confidential and compassionate Helpline (M-F 9:00am - 5:00pm EST) #1.800.931.2237. They can provide valuable guidance. Below is one of NEDA's insightful links regarding recovery I thought you might find helpful.

I think you would probably also benefit from the additional NEDA resources. Please click on this respective link regarding finding help and support groups in your area.

Yes, once you're in recovery, and in an ED-free life, you'll find that you will be able to look in mirrors again and see the beautiful person you already are! Remember, it's just the ED that's creating these false messages about yourself.

Don't forget, you are NOTt alone! I know you can do this! I hope you continue to reach out to others through this secure and valuable NEDA forum.

I hope this helps. I look forward to hearing about your progress.


Recovery is AMAZING

Hi toomanythoughts -

Living a life of recovery is better than any words can say. When I was living with my ED and when I first went into treatment, I never thought life could be this good. Recovery is having the time to think about joyful things because my head is no longer clogged with my ED thoughts. The relationships that my ED pulled me away from are back and so strong. It's not thinking of food 24 hrs a day or being obsessed with my body. I can look in mirrors all the time and appreciate all I see. There is no confusion, no fear, no hate in my head anymore. Do I have my moments when I am not in love with what I see in the mirror? Sure, but it's a fleeting thought that disappears because I know my worth isn't defined by my body. I don't stress out so much about how I look when I go out. That energy is spent enjoying those I'm with and the moments we are sharing. Recovery is silencing that ED voice. Life is so free without my ED. It's hard to explain how normal I feel. I think back to how so very scared I was going into treatment – I had no idea the joy that was waiting for me on the other side. I hope this helps and I hope you will feel all of this someday soon.

I want to feel all of that I

I want to feel all of that I just don't see how it is possible until I reach my goals. I don't see how its possible for me to one day look in a mirror and not hate what I see so much it brings me to tears. I just feel so lost all the time. Thank you so much for sharing your recovery story though, you should be really proud for how far you've clearly come. I hope one day I can be that strong.

I never thought that recovery

I never thought that recovery would be possible for me either--I dealt with my ED from the time I was 18 until I was 30, and there were some very dark times during those years, times when I thought I would never be free of ED. There were many, many times when I didn't want to be free of it because I was so scared to think of what recovery would mean. I had the same worries you do--I worried that I would gain too much weight, I didn't know if I would be able to deal with life without the ED to fall back on. But when I finally got the treatment I needed, I started to see the light that I thought I would never see again: the world outside of my ED mind. Sure, I still struggle at times with feelings of insecurity, but they're fleeting thoughts now compared to the obsessive self-hatred I used to experience. I know it's hard to imagine at this point for you, but there is a world out there without the ED, and you deserve to live in it! I hope you can find the support and treatment you need so you can find your way out of ED too!

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