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By On May 1st, 2018

Eating Recovery Day celebrates eating disorder recovery stories with #MyRecoveryLetter

Today, May 1, marks a special day for those who are or have lived with eating disorders. Eating Recovery Day is intended to show people that recovery is always possible and celebrate those who have achieved recovery.

The day was created by the Eating Recovery Center as an effort to encourage more conversation about eating disorders in a way that focuses less on the difficult topic of the actual diseases in favor of the more hopeful topic of living a healthy life in recovery.

“Often, the stories we see and hear about eating disorders feature the depths of someone’s illness,” Dr. Ashley Solomon, Executive Clinical Director of the Eating Recovery Center, told Teen Vogue. “We see pictures of people at very low weights with warnings about not engaging in eating disorder behaviors. I’m not convinced that helps anyone. First, it doesn’t reflect the realities of the people who struggle with eating disorders. Most people with eating disorders are not at low weights, for instance. And focusing on the illness can give it more power.”

This year, the Eating Recovery Center is encouraging survivors to share their stories about recovery and living post-eating disorder with the hashtag #MyRecoveryLetter.

In one recovery letter, award-winning eating disorder blog author Lindsey Hall wrote: “What recovery is at the end of the day is learning how to live in a world where your life is a flexible definition of ‘okay.’ To live presently in the hazy grey of the non-black and white life you’ve chosen through recovery.”

“As long as you are there, showing up every day and shining as you do, it is worth doing the work of recovery,” wrote another survivor.

“It’s crucial for people to see recovery reflected in others,” Solomon said. “While recovery will look different for every individual, seeing what it means to be recovered in other people is a starting point for envisioning it for one’s self.”

Solomon is sure to note that recovery can look very different from person to person, but recovery is always possible.

“Most people who recover from eating disorders actually have very similar relationships with their bodies and food as people who never had eating disorders,” Solomon said. “We have lots of reasons, including recent studies, to believe that people can recover at any age and regardless of how long they have had an eating disorder.”

She also explains that seeing others’ stories about recovery can help make living with an eating disorder feel less isolating and the process of recovery seem less intimidating.

“Recovery happens in community,” she said. “Whether that’s an eating disorder treatment community, a family, or another type of community, connection is an important ingredient in creating a life outside of the eating disorder. Eating disorder recovery takes persistence and is not an end state. It requires not just stopping certain patterns, but starting others. That might involve things like changing your sleep, learning to ask for help, slowing down, or practicing mindfulness. Practicing these new behaviors day in and day out is what makes up recovery.”

If you or someone you love are living with an eating disorder, give Brookhaven a call at (888) 298-4673. We can answer any questions you have and help you find the best treatment plan for you. 

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