A reminder that others may be further along their recovery journey than you but there are people who are just taking the first steps on it too. Neither of those matter and it is perfectly okay to go at your own pace.
There is a huge misconception, not only in recovery but in life too, that we should be further along or have achieved more by now.
This happens no matter what stage of life you are in – from being a baby who should be walking, being a teenager who should be ready for exams, being a millennial who should have moved out, being a 30-something who should be settling down and so on. Often this comes from looking at and listening to others – especially those closest to us, but commonly people we have never met on social media too.
We all find ourselves comparing our lives but this can be detrimental to your recovery journey. Today we want to encourage you to evaluate the pressures you feel and work out what they are, who they are coming from and why you believe them. What is making you feel like you should be ahead instead of right where you are? Can you see how far you have come and start to embrace the the title of this post – “your speed does not matter – forward is forward”?
There are a lot of quotes encouraging you to not look back, but reflection can play a key part in moving forward as you overcome eating disorder behaviours and habits.
Reflection is something we delve into in clinic, empowering us to let go of what we cannot change, accept and do something about what we can. This is different to being at a standstill (not being prepared to work on your mindset or take action) or hesitating before getting help. These do not mean you won’t move forward, but they mean right now you have slowed right down to a stop. Looking back helps you to discover more about yourself and keep going on your recovery journey. Some of us need to spend more time diving into this than others, but you are still moving forward when you explore this.
In clinic, our clients are at different stages of recovery. We all have setbacks and bad days, we can see how others are navigating their journey and begin to question where we are. That’s why it’s so important to have an inspiring group around you who can help you to focus on yourself and not what others are doing. Remember in school being told to “look at your own paper”? That rings true here too.
Prioritising yourself is not selfish. It is reassuring that you can go at your own pace and do not need to worry about how others are getting on. Whether in eating disorder treatment or not, we say we all need more of that!
If you take anything away from this post, let it be patience. Trust that you will get to where you want to be. It does not matter how long it takes you or anybody else. The most important part is that you are now on the road to recovery.