Is Knowing How to Recover Enough?

I was sitting in a support group when a girl said that she recovered from her eating disorder the day she “changed her mindset.” Knowing that holding onto her eating disorder was going to prevent her from doing all the things she wanted to in life, she decided to recover. It was as simple as that.

I had come to a similar realization. I knew my eating disorder was holding me back and I knew what recovery would take.

But is knowing how and why you want to recover enough?

Just one year later, I found myself still struggling and in the same position I was the year before. I KNEW my eating disorder was nothing worth having around and I KNEW it was preventing me from living my full life! Yet, I couldn’t snap out of it.

I thought I was doing something wrong. Why was I ending up in the same trap over and over again?

Knowing vs. doing

But the truth is, everyone’s journey is different. Just knowing how and why you want to recover might not be enough for you.

I’ve realized that a mindset shift isn’t enough for me. I need to prioritize physical actions and make a game plan.

To take steps towards recovery, I need to commit to sticking to my meal plan – no excuses. I have to show up and being present to every therapy, dietician, and doctor appointment. I also have to prioritize my recovery, which means I might have to turn in a homework assignment late so I have time to finish journaling.

Committing to recovery means calling in sick to work sometimes so I can practice self-care and rest. I can’t simply “know” I need rest and care. I have to actually take concrete steps to practice what I know is right.

So, don’t depend on head knowledge alone. Stick to recovery-focused actions even when they feel uncomfortable, inconvenient, or scary. You can’t simply know what to do, you have to actually do it. 

And remember: no matter how many times you have been in treatment or how long you’ve been struggling – recovery IS possible.

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