Walking in Recovery with Grace, Humility, and Action
Recovery. It is such a fascinating word. It is a word so clearly defined yet recovery is not a defined experience. What does this word really mean? How does it play out in life? How does it play out in and through a situation that so desperately is in need of recovery?
Recovery is, as I like to call it a journey, different for all who embark upon it. Recovery enables you to gain confidence as you grow out of a life threatening disease and addiction. Recovery is not about an individual’s status.
It is a journey of the heart fighting against lies that want nothing more than to destroy the very reason any person exists. Recovery is a choice. Though it is not easy, for those like me who want nothing more than to say: I am living recovered-it is a choice that must be made.
Recovery requires Humility. For me, it was a chance to regain my ability to love and to be loved. It required (and does require) a level of toughness for it is a journey of survival. The addiction is misleading by instilling fear into the person. The key is speaking truth to what lies are being pressed upon you.
Recovery is a highly individualized journey, and the path will look different for everyone. For some individuals, this may involve years of treatment; for others, this may require ongoing support and care. The road is dependent on the individual.
Recovery is realizing that you cannot and never will be perfect. There will be moments. I have found it essential to choose to embrace the challenge and battle the lies with truth. Moments lessen but they will always appear. It is a choice to not allow the thoughts, feelings, or situations own you. There are times when it seems impossible to fight the moments it is here at these places I have needed to have humility.
It would be wonderful to say that recovery just comes with time and then be able to give an amount of time but I am unable to do so. There is no time frame due to the truth that recovery is not the same for any one person. In recovery, you must reject all power that the addiction has on you and shift focus.
This fights against the eating disorder, which is often characterized by black and white thinking patterns, or the need to achieve a level of perfectionism through food/weight control.
There is an assumption that when one is walking in recovery that you must be ok. There is this battle that goes on in the mind that you must make everyone around you happy that you are doing so well. This is the very moment where the addiction rears its ugly head yet again. I found that it was allowing myself to need assistance.
Recovery does not mean that you need to always feel okay. In fact, you will have many difficult days, even moments of relapse into your eating disorder behaviors. However, this is part of the recovery journey, and these experiences do not diminish the work and effort that you are putting into the process or your desire to get better.
Having been through rehab, I knew what it was like to have people around me to care, love, and push me towards health, healing, and wholeness. Transparency is a necessity. I knew it was key to recovery to surround myself with those who want nothing more than to create a safe haven for me. It was and is my level of transparency that allows me to accept who I am and who I have been made to be.
Transparency is the opposite of isolation. Transparency with the appropriate people destroyed my ability to isolate. The destruction of isolation is essential to recovery because secrecy along with isolation results in destruction. Transparency ultimately helps intervene with eating disorder behaviors.
Recovery takes action. Instead of being a slave to the demands and expectations you believe others have or others do have, you actively choose to focus on truth. The beauty of this: You are worth more than what you feel or have ever thought. Self-worth is not based on what other individuals say or feel about us. Recovery is challenging, painful, and demanding.
Recovery will also allow you the opportunity to regain your own sense of identity, apart from your eating disorder. This may be extremely difficult at first, as you may have come to define yourself by your eating disorder or associated behaviors. As you grow in your recovery, you will begin to learn more about your true identity.
However, the peace of God is constantly flowing over me like a waterfall over the rocks. God is so faithful; He is the God of the Present and the Future. It is because of His grace that I have not and will never be held to past failures but given freedom.
Thinking about the past years reveals to me the beauty of Gods hand in my life particularly. I am no longer under the tight hold that of the Eating disorder. This does not mean my life is perfect, but I am free and living life the way the Lord made me to live it, in Him.
I am honored to be able to help people struggling with Eating Disorders today. It blesses me to help others take back their life. Being a recovery consultant soon to be a therapist, I have learned and enjoyed helping those struggling with eating disorders in a more professional manner.
I am privileged to walk along side others as they reclaim their lives and restore their relationships. I get to encourage others to love and to be loved. I get to welcome others into this freedom I have been living and that is the greatest gift of all.
Article Contributed by Staff Member of Remuda Ranch Program for Eating Disorders
Reviewed and Updated By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on August 29, 2017
Published on EatingDisorderHope.com, Eating Disorder Information Help & Resources