TW: Eating disorder recovery, relapse and mental health. Specifically focusing on restriction relapse. No weight / calorie numbers will be in this post.
I’ve been seeing a wonderful doctor at an incredible eating disorder clinic for the past few months. Over the past month I have been sticking to a very strict eating schedule to try and help me get into the swing of standard eating patterns and slowly reintroducing food to my day to day life.
I saw my doctor last Friday who was, albeit frustrated that my weight is still declining, really proud of me for sticking to my new schedule. In all honesty, I found the schedule easy because of who I am as a person. It wasn’t the eating that was easy, but the timekeeping was.
Knowing that I had free range over what I ate and portion sizes made it a lot easier for me. He was keen for me to start increasing portion sizes as we are currently on a two week gap from seeing each other again, and was concerned that my weight would plummet further.
During the conversation, I was feeling really positive about this next step! However, a couple of days ago I had a total breakdown, up until then I had been sticking religiously to my eating schedule.
The issue with this was that we hadn’t discussed what to do in that moment, if I did relapse. I came to the conclusion that I just wasn’t hungry, but that isn’t a good enough excuse not to eat whilst going through such an intense recovery process. I felt like a failure, the thought of eating consumed my mind for hours and hours, so much so that I was 3 hours off the time on my schedule. I honestly didn’t know what to do.
For my eating disorder, I have learned through recovery, it is self destructive to restrict in the way that I do, however in that moment I felt that if I did eat anything, then it would result in further, different self destructive behaviours.
After hours of deliberating, I turned to beatED, the leading eating disorder charity in the UK. I’ve never used their services before, but I felt like I was in such despair and in a really tricky and stressful situation. I was connected to a lovely woman on the live chat within a minute and it was the most helpful, and calming situation I could’ve wished for in that moment.
I explained my dilemma, and just had a full blown negative rant to be honest! The woman asked me more questions and we had an honest chat about everything, my recovery so far, my support system and what the charity could do for me. After around 40 minutes my head had stopped spinning and I felt like I could make a clear, informed and calm discussion as to what to do in that moment.
I made an informed decision to skip the meal, and although I was initially riddled with the feeling of guilt, reading back over my conversation with the lovely lady at Beat, I knew that in that instance, I had made the correct decision for my wellbeing and immediate health.
I never expected recovery to be easy, but after riding a semi positive wave, I was upset to have relapsed during my recovery.
But knowing that tomorrow will always be a new day is a very comforting thought.
Recovery isn’t a sprint, it’s a bloody long marathon, a tough one at that, and I am really proud of myself for even accepting help after years and years of the eating disorder taking over every single aspect of my life.
It’s going to be a long road, and I feel like I’m starting all over again and the past few months of hard work were all for nothing, but know in reality that that isn’t the case.
I’m armed with knowledge to over power & combat my eating disorder, and I’m excited to pick up the pieces and give it another go.
If anyone is struggling, or wants to support a loved one going through a tough time with an eating disorder, I couldn’t recommend beatED enough! It’s an incredibly supportive and kind community that I feel lucky to have at my finger tips.
Journaling Maddie xxx