I generally don't like making broad, sweeping statements about recovery. Recovery ends up being about different things to different people, and we each have our own road to travel on the way to wellness.
But (and there's always a but) some people just get it so damn right that I think maybe broad, sweeping statements really aren't all that bad.
A mom on Around the Dinner Table posted this in response to learning about another person's relapsing daughter:
Whatever medication and therapies are offered your d, you can play an active part yourself in
- teaching her that she has an illness where she will always be vulnerable to going down this path under stress
- helping her to understand this, but teaching her that she must never choose this path in response to stress
- helping her to create a future with possibilities beyond the pain she is feeling just now
- reminding her how much she is loved (which I know you do all the time)
Yes, this. If you could strip recovery down to the bone (I'm pretty sure that pun was unintentional), clear away all the extras and figure out just the basics, this would be it. Much of the hard work of recovery is in learning our own vulnerabilities and demons. Not just learning what they are, but what makes them come out of the locked closets in which we place them, and how to shoo them back in.
It's been tremendously humbling to begin to accept that I will never be invulnerable to anorexia, not completely. But now that I'm learning to accept this, I can focus my energies on clearing out the wreckage from my eating disorder.