[Valid Atom 1.0] Life With Cake: Eating Disorder Blog: Recovery or Recovered?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Recovery or Recovered?

A couple of years ago, I volunteered at a nonprofit eating disorder organization, USF Hope House for Eating Disorders. Upon meeting me, the director posed the question, "Do you think it's possible to be "recovered" from an eating disorder?"

With all of my OA program knowledge, and knowing that her program wasn't 12-Step based, instantly I replied, "No." Was she serious? Recover from an eating disorder? I had learned better.

Since then, I have questioned the term "recovered" often. "Recovered" could be rather subjective, depending on who you ask.

Does "recovered" mean that you just don't indulge in bingeing, purging, starving, or compulsive exercising anymore?

Does "recovered" mean that in addition to the above, you also never have another ED thought again?

How do we measure "recovered?"

"Recovery," on the other hand, while a humbling state of mind, could feel insecure to those who believe in "recovered," because it suggests a lack of permanence. One must watch their back at all times because the disease is always lurking around the corner, patiently waiting.

I don't have the answers, but what I do know is that over the last 15 years, I've met more and more people who believe they are "recovered." While I don't believe myself to be "recovered" because of all the mental hangups I still buy into when it comes to body image and food, I don't necessarily believe that anorexia and bulimia are diseases...in the same way that compulsive overeating mimics the disease model of addiction.

...To be continued.


Jill said...

I struggle with recovered/recovery myself. I believe just an addicts will always say they are an addict, we must do the same. We will forever be more suseptable to the tempations of ED, so each day we must choose recovery and most days it may seem like it comes naturally there will be times when the voice will be a wee bit louder and feel a wee bit more comforting. I absolutly love your blog title!!!

Life Works said...

Thanks for sharing your post, it was interesting to read your thoughts. I would also like to share our Life Works Community Blog, which gives a source of information and inspiration from some of the leading counselors at Life Works (www.lifeworkscommunity.com).


MelissaS said...

i ask myself the same questions. after 30 years, i don't binge, purge, starve or eat compulsively anymore BUT the ED is always ready to kick my butt. food is way too often on my mind. i'm a very normal weight, but i worry about it all the time.

the next step for me is excepting that my body doesn't want to be particularly thin. hmmm, let's see how that works...