“I Got My Period Back…Now What!?”

got my period back - image of feet and shins in front of toilet, wearing dark sneakers and dark pants

II remember the day I got my period back. It had been over six months. I promised myself that I’d never complain about a period again in my life. Once I got it back – I thought I would be “good”.

I had been working all through my recovery for the day I got my period back. When I finally saw blood, I was so relieved. I felt like my hard work had paid off. That same day I decided to go for a run.

When I got my period back…

I thought since I was getting my period, I was cleared to “eat healthy” and workout whenever I “wanted” to. That wasn’t the case. I was nowhere near the finish line in my recovery. Because after the five days of having my period, I relapsed back in to my eating disorder. I went back to restrictive eating, knit-picking myself in the mirror, and working out to the point of fatigue.

Is it the end of recovery?

Too often girls and women recovering from an eating disorder get stuck in the trap of thinking they are better once they get their period back.

In fact, amenorrhea was the main reason why I started to recover. I was terrified of the idea that I may have ruined my chances to have children later in life.

I want to encourage you to view the return of your period as a step in the recovery process, not the end. Once you get your period back, keep moving forwards.

Getting your period back does not always equal full recovery. It’s a triumph over one battle in a much bigger war.

Physically you can be healed, but mentally you can still have disordered thoughts.

And to truly move on in your recovery, you need to find resources. You need to realize that, yes you have your period, but your recovery is so much more.

Your recovery is you finding self love and compassion. Recovery is you seeing yourself as the beautiful person you are, a person deserving of love. It is you drastically changing your relationship with food for the better. Recovery means finally seeing food as not “good and bad”, but just food.

One of my favorite quotes is

“Happiness is not determined by your body, but by your brain”.

We choose our attitude, we pave the way to recovery. Our body size is not a factor in our happiness.You are the one who makes your happiness.

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4 Comments

  1. says: Jenny

    Hi. I’m 39, and in recovery for AN. My periods stopped for about a year. I had a bleed this week that has gone on for about 6 days, it’s incredibly light but I’m feeling so, so sad and miserable, and am crying uncontrollably. Is this normal?

  2. says: Af

    Bless you gorgeous – yes, it can happen. Your body is going through a lot of changes and your hormones are out of whack – sending lots of love. Hope you’re doing better xx

  3. says: Angela F Richards

    Hi! If you’ve found yourself in the comment section, I just want to encourage u to never give up and keep pushing forward. ED is a terrible thing to fight, but u deserve to live a better life!!
    That being said, my daughter is in recovery from anorexia and has recently gotten her period back. It’s been almost 2 years since her last cycle. She is cramping really bad, but isn’t bleeding red anymore. It start off as a brown color, changed to red for a day, and is back to brown. Is this normal as her body is adjusting to having a cycle again?

  4. says: Aye

    First, let me start by saying I have NOT recovered from anorexia. I have not increased my calories nor have I eased up on intense exercising. Yet after more than a decade of no period, it suddenly returned a few days ago (very light flow) and only lasted three full days. Still the fact that it returned has DEVASTATED me and sparked a trigger to exercise and restrict even more. Why do all these sites emphasize a period’s return being attributed solely to weight gain? This is triggering and hurting me even more. Are there any other reasons why a period would return NOT related to “recovery” (weight gain, more calories, less exercise)? I lost my period in my 20s and thought I would never see it again. In fact, I thought I was in perimenopause. So why has my period suddenly returned when I have done NOTHING different? I’ve made no lifestyle changes. Help me understand. I am devastated.

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