“No eating disorder is made the same, so it’s time to stop treating them as if they were.”
I wanted to share my personal recovery top tip that powered me on throughout treatment. It can be summed up in this quote:
“What you think, you become.
What you feel, you attract.
What you imagine, you create.” – Buddha
Before I started treatment, I had no tools to visualise a future for myself, let alone an identity for myself.Partially because I didn’t really know who I was, I really struggled at picturing what my life could look like years down the line.
As many clients will agree, the Recover team are incredibly empowering. Once you begin treatment, you not only realise how worthy you are of love, you realise just how much you’ve missed out on, purely by not allowing yourself to dream.
The clinic introduced the concept of positive visualisations quite early on in my recovery. The therapists educated me in how I was perpetuating the darkness around me by wallowing within it (i.e. not even trying to change my outlook to something more positive). I was asked to acknowledge the tiny flashes of light, the glimpses of freedom, and focus on them instead of my darkness.
I was taught that not only could I dream, I could also believe in those dreams. And slowly, I started to experience my dreams coming true. Meditation, affirmations and vision boards only helped me to further piece together my identity, as well as a future that I was excited for.
And this isn’t just spiritual mumbo jumbo – I recently read The Brain That Changes Itself, a fantastic book about neuroplasticity. The book combines real life stories with academic research that proves how our brains adapt and adopt to new roles and responsibilities, as long as we consistently train it to do so. The most amazing thing about the book is how the brain can recover almost any degree of physical injury. Reading the book made me realise how during recovery, I trained my brain to think a different way, and in doing so, I became a different person.
Recovering is something you choose to do every day. Being recovered is when those choices aren’t even a choice anymore, they are habit.
I remember at the “peak” of my recovery I was elated by, simply, life! Whenever people doubted themselves, I remembered thinking “…but don’t you realise? You just have to believe you can do it.”