Sometimes when things get hard it’s very difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I find sometimes that dealing with a mental illness is tough but that the scariest part is when the thought actually occurs to you that you won’t get better, that you’re stuck like this. And of course, that can be unbearable and that’s when dark thoughts start to come in.
But I believe – easy to say when in a good mood, I know (but these are the times we need to hang onto to remember that bad days pass) – that everyone can recover. Fully recover. Everyone.
Good ways to help you stay on track is to make a list of the reasons why you want to recover;
Here are some of mine;
- Babies – Yes they can be annoying as hell, and I’m certainly not ready for them anytime soon, but one of the most motivational things to encourage me to keep my weight up is to be able to someday have children!
- Make my family proud – I know I should do it for me – and sometimes I totally do think completely of me – but occasionally when I can’t justify my reasons to recover and it seems too difficult or painful, a big factor to keep me going is my family. I know that a few years ago, I would have been perfectly happy running my health into the ground if I wasn’t crushed by what it was doing to my parents. One of my life goals is to give them what they deserve and to make them happy and I know what they want more than anything is a happy and healthy daughter, I owe them that!
- Be able to eat what I want – I mean isn’t that the dream! And I feel great to say that lately I’ve been able to do that. It hasn’t been all day everyday and I’ve been getting better at listening to my body rather than binging and restricting! Of course, that may all change quite soon, but someday I
wishknow I’ll be able to eat the extra cake/pizza slice and not give a second thought about it. And my body will be just as beautiful regardless!
- Be strong enough to live the life I want – now this can be both fitness and mentally!
- In regard to fitness, I want to fill my life with as much travelling and stuff as possible and to do that I need a certain level of weight and fitness to be able to do these things. I don’t want to get halfway up a mountain – or even a hike – and have to stop because I’m about to faint. I don’t want to be on track for a skydive and have to make think about how I’m going to get my 11am 300 calorie snack in! I want to be free!
- And mentally too. I know travelling or just life in general is going to have it’s hardships and judging how low I was during university last year, I’ll admit adult life does scare me a bit. How am I going to handle responsibilities or tough situations. But Anorexia is a bloody tough situation. Mental Illness – whatever type or degree – is a bloody tough situation – if we can get through that, we can get through anything!
- Be able to say I’ve made it! – Think of how proud we’ll be when we can look back and say we’ve recovered. Yes recovery isn’t always black and white – I know there’ll always be times I think twice about eating the cake or times when I feel guilty about a month long exercise hiatus. But I’m hoping that part of recovery and having healthier mindset is that I’ll be able to recognise when these thoughts are ED-driven and when they’re normal, ok thoughts!
These are just some of the reasons – there’s plenty plenty more but that could be a very long post – and if anyone else is struggling, I recommend writing a list of your own and stick it up somewhere to remind you!
I also recently watched the Recovery from an Eating Disorder video by Anna Saccone and she mentioned a really good tip by thinking or writing a list of what life would be like in 5 years if you recover and what life would be like if you don’t and I thought that’s a real wake up call to remind anyone giving into those immediate tendencies/thoughts to think of the bigger picture.
I got the inspiration for this post from a very similar post from one of my favourite recovery blogs (which really helped me a while ago – and still does tbh!) – definitely go check out Izzy’s blog -so inspirational!
Has anyone written a list like this? Did you find it helpful? What kind of things help you stay strong in recovery?