Before entering treatment: “Well for me it’s not. I REFUSE to put myself through this hell again. I’m gonna do this whole inpatient thing once and that’s be it. I refuse to be that girl who relapses over and over again.”
Ummm….so, yeah…about that.
5 months later: “What the hell have they done to me? This is not okay. I’ll just lose a few pounds, but I swear I’ll stop when I get to XXX; that’s still well within a healthy range”.
And then not too long after… “Okay, maybe XXX lbs instead. ” “Can someone please explain why the bathroom mirror has warped, and what on earth has happened to my thighs?”
Which was followed by, “I can’t do this. I’m just gonna drink coffee. There is a TON of cream and sugar in my coffee; that’s plenty of calories. My dietitian will never know.” I’m so intelligent most of the time, how do I even convince myself of such things?
The truth is, relapse is part of recovery. It sucks, it’s unfair, and it hurts. NO ONE wants to ever go through that process again, but for many people it’s part of the journey. The recovery process teaches you a lot, and with that information you will never fall as far back as you did before. I’m not talking about physical health because with relapse that may or may not be true. I’m talking about knowledge as ammunition. You will likely have more self-awareness, a better understanding of your eating disorder, better coping skills, a recognition of personal triggers and pitfalls to avoid, and so much more . All of this puts you one step closer to your end goal. Relapse does not mean failure in any way, shape or form, so please don’t give up on yourself if it happens.