As anyone who has suffered from an eating disorder will know only too well, recovery is not a straight line and there will likely be times of relapse. However, it is important to understand that just because a person relapses, it does not necessarily mean they will start back at square one.
Coping with Relapses in Anorexia Recovery
The most important aspect of coping with relapses is to have at least one person with whom you can remain completely honest. This is because anorexia thrives on dishonesty and you can very quickly end up convincing yourself that you are fine, despite this most definitely not being the case. We all need someone to challenge us, whether we have been in recovery for weeks, months or years.
Identifying Relapse Triggers
In order to get better from a relapse, you do not need to know what triggered the relapse, you only need to recommit to returning to your meal plan and accept any treatment you can find. However, it can be very useful to know why a relapse occurred, as this will help when it comes to relapse prevention planning in the future. For example, if you know going on holiday or being away from home for other reasons plays havoc with your meal plan, you can address this issue prior to your next trip with your therapist or eating disorder specialist.
Tips to Overcome Anorexia Relapses
If you are in relapse at the moment, now is the time to start challenging what you want out of your life. The truth is that you have two choices, either carry on down this path of destruction and end up back in hospital (or worse), or make a decision that today you will do everything you can to turn things around. Writing out small goals about changing eating habits and exercise levels can make a big difference. It is absolutely vital that you let at least one member of your treatment team know what is happening. If you can’t face talking, write a letter or send an email. Remember, anorexia is not going to change anything in your life for the better. It is a parasite which will gradually suck the life out of you, leaving nothing left but an empty shell. You are worth so much more than living with a life threatening disease. Embracing recovery again requires taking steps in the right direction on a daily basis. You are not alone and owe it to yourself to try again.