You want to get better but this is some yellow brick road
The road to recovery is often a long and frustrating one but it can also
be a time of great hope and great relief. You probably have thought on
and off about trying to "quit" your eating disorder. As you
begin this process you may experience a wide range of emotions: fear,
impatience or frustration on the one hand, and determination, confidence
and empowerment on the other.
Not sure about taking the first step?
Deep down you may have known for a long time that you needed to stop bingeing
and purging or starving yourself. But maybe you were too afraid you would
get really fat or that something the eating disorder gives you would be
too much to lose. Maybe you have tried so many times before and your efforts
only lasted a day or a few hours, and you have been afraid you could never
really beat it. Or maybe you do not know how to begin a recovery process.
The most important thing is that you have decided to try to make some
changes in your life.
Is it worth it?
Ultimately you are choosing to get back your physical and emotional health.
Sometimes it may not seem apparent to you that this eating disorder is
taking a toll on your physical health
but it truly is. You may
notice that the bingeing and purging leave you feeling tired, edgy and
irritable. You may feel like you are on an emotional rollercoaster. Be
aware that you are not instantaneously going to feel healthy and energetic.
It will take time. But getting your health back and getting your life
back is worth your time and patience.
Losing your way
You can expect that there will be good days and not-so-good days and maybe
even some terrible days. Despite the best intentions, most people in recovery
will have "slips" where they fall back into disordered eating
habits. A variety of situations may trigger a slip. Avoid being hard on
yourself when you slip or fail. Criticizing yourself for a slip can actually
further discourage you and lead to more steps backward. What is far more
important than your slip is whether you are willing to try again. Remember,
no one says change is easy but change will happen if you keep trying.
Research on relapses actually indicates that the more times you try to
quit a behavior, the better chance you will eventually succeed.
You shouldn't have to do this alone
Most people find it helpful to see a mental health professional (a psychologist,
psychiatrist, social worker or counselor, with a state license in their
field) to assist in this process. Individual and/or group therapy, medical
monitoring, psychiatric medication and nutritional counseling are the
most common elements of treatment or intervention that are helpful (or
even essential!) for individuals with eating disorders. One or more of
these processes could be used at any given time; and many of them may
be part of a person's recovery process over time.
Kudos to you!
This will take time, so you should be sure to credit yourself for every
single step you take, and know that your goal is not an easy one.
Help at hand
Among the resources on the B.C. campus are the University Counseling Services,
the Health Service, the Women's Resource Center, and the Dining Services.
See the other parts of this section for details of what kind of help is
available on-campus, and also for information regarding off-campus sources