It’s not about the food, people.

Yesterday was a big day for me. I had 5 appointments, 4 related to Ana. By the end of the day, I felt the most motivated and committed to recovery than I probably have in this entire journey.

My recovery is not just about food, though. I mentioned I had 5 appointments today. Recovery is from anorexia, but it’s also from the severe depression and a lot of self-loathing I’ve had for a long time. It’s about so much more than the food. The food is the visible symptom of much that is complicated underneath. And so my recovery is holistic:

  • Eating disorder treatment/food focus: even this has many parts
    • Dietitian: expertise on the nitty gritty of nutrition; my help in specific planning to become an intuitive (normal) eater
    • Medical: check all the fun stuff – heart rate, pulse, blood work, etc to make sure my physical health is not in immediate danger
    • Psychiatrist: #allthedrugs to help me feel better (it’s actually #notthatmanydrugs but here’s my chance to say #hoorayfordrugsthatwork)
    • Therapist: specializes in eating disorders, but we also talk about other stuff
  • Spiritual discovery/soul focus
    • At residential, I realized how much spirituality and core beliefs have been missing from my life for the past ten years when I “left Christianity”. I have been reading the Bible (John) and sharing thoughts/discussion with my aunt and cousins. I find myself very motivated to rediscover the spiritual part of myself and this identity is playing a crucial role in my recovery
    • My aunt has been my spiritual treatment team basically 🙂
  • Self-care/body and mind focus
    • I consider myself low maintenance in general. I wear clothes for many years, beyond trend, little makeup (and no reapplication), only do mani/pedi for special occasions, etc. One thing I have done pretty regularly for about 8 years is get chiropractic adjustments and medical massages. Lately I haven’t even been doing that.
      • I visited my chiropractor yesterday and scheduled massages for the rest of the year. I have also stopped biting my nails and been painting them, which is something I’ve always wanted to do.
      • Yoga was a daily activity in treatment and I enjoyed it more than I ever have. I would like to continue practicing yoga on my own now.
  • Mental Health/depression focus
    • At the beginning of treatment, I did an exercise about self-worth. I considered my favorite people in the world and WHY they are my favorites. NONE of them are my favorites because of their appearance. The qualities I have realized are the reason they are my favorites have become my aspirations in the journey to overcome depression (another post to come on this)
    • Another big part of this is learning new interests/hobbies. I have picked up knitting on this journey, and really enjoy it! I was going to not sign up for kickball due to my social anxiety (see below) and depression, but went to the first game and decided to continue.
    • Therapist: the same therapist for eating disorders, but we also focus a lot on healing from depression, which is likely the underlying cause for the anorexia
    • Neuro-Linguistic Programming: weekly meetings with a NLP instructor who works with me on getting what I want in life (overcoming barriers and fears); JJ has done a lot with this in the past and wanted me to see if it could help; it’s an outcome-based approach which I like as it suits my concrete way of thinking
  • Social/relationship focus
    • I used to be VERY social. Throughout my adult life, I have become increasingly socially anxious to the point that I have isolated myself quite a bit. I know this has resulted in my being a pretty crappy friend to a lot of people, who have basically stuck with me anyway and I am forever grateful.
    • One of my goals in recovery is to overcome my social anxiety and truly enjoy being around people again. Honestly, this is probably the scariest one of the four foci for my recovery, but I think it’s crucial to really being well.

I have learned throughout this journey that recovery is not just about the food. It’s so much more.

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