Carrie's Rules for Recovery

Wait a minute, you say. I've been reading this blog for over a year and she hasn't written about this yet?

Well, I do mean to talk about this, but my main rule is this: find what works for YOU.

If staring at pictures of Brad Pitt help you fight your eating disorder, stare away. Personally, I prefer George Clooney and the guy who plays "House," but whatever floats your boat. Find yoga relaxes you? Get in touch with your inner yogi. Think that hot tea helps with digestion? Bottoms up!

Most people who have recovered have ultimately cobbled together a little pupu platter of different approaches: DBT with horses and some painting; inpatient, dying your hair purple, and lots of peanut butter; adopting a puppy, moving to Nepal, and learning the banjo.

Most people I know who have recovered, however, have all done the following:

  1. Stopped ALL eating disordered behaviors- no restricting, binge eating, purging, or over exercise. Maintaining a weight that is appropriate for their DNA. Period. Recovery cannot happen without this.
  2. Learned how to deal with the aspects of their personalities that made them prone to developing an eating disorder- anxiety, depression, impulsivity, addiction, whatever.
  3. Made peace with the past. Whether this is with some creep who was mean to you in elementary school, a diet obsessed friend/parent/sibling, or the very fact that you HAD an eating disorder, ultimately this needs to happen. Anger can and will linger- it's the process of making peace that is ultimately healing.
  4. Developed a healthy fear of the eating disorder. Lightening can strike twice. So can the lottery. Why not an eating disorder?
I have my own personal opinions about recovery, which I've blogged about plenty already. These are my opinions and my experiences. I support whatever works.

George Clooney, come to mama!

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Laura Collins said...

What is it about Clooney? I'm sure in reality he's high maintenance but sometimes I'm just sure that I and I alone understand him and what he really needs is...

Oops. Got distracted.

You have the rules JUST RIGHT. All those pieces. Can't skip any. Has to be individually formulated.

mary said...

Laura!!! LOL

yep, great list. Can I add one thing?
A good mind trick I find helpful, like the amputee mind thing on Laura's blog, is to tell yourself that it's all EASY, a "piece of cake" or whatever works along those "fake it till I make it lines." You can do anything when you set your mind to it. When I get in the pathetic mind mode of something being too hard it feels like sinking down in the mud. Ask for a rope when you need it. There are life lines all around you.

share more like this Carrie!

Anonymous said...

This is an excellent post. The first time I fell into my eating disorder, I only stopped the behavior; I didn't deal with the past or the anxiety and depression I was living with, nor was I ever afraid of what I was doing (because I was objectively fat I rationalized that it was okay for me). But yet I still thought I was over it for good.

In retrospect, I'm suprised it took three years for it to come back (and stronger than it had been in the first place).

Harriet said...

The guy on House? Hugh Laurie. Who also, rather incredibly, played Bertie Wooster in the PBS series of Jeeves and Wooster. :-)

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About Me

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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