• Emma Green

Maybe I’m the only one who can't recover

When I was struggling with my eating disorder, I used to think that maybe I was not capable of recovering. Maybe I was too damaged, too disordered and had been ill for to long to get better. Maybe everyone else could recover except me. I couldn’t imagine living my life without a voice inside my head continually dictating how I should eat and exercise, berating me whenever I couldn’t meet the imposed standards and making me believe that I would never be good enough. I thought that because of studying psychology that I ‘knew the tricks’ and that therapy wouldn’t work for me. I looked at the recovery rates for eating disorders in the scientific literature and felt doubtful that I would be part of the seemingly small percentage of people who fully recover. I was frustrated by the health professionals I had interacted with who just didn’t get it. A paediatrician who told me that I was being manipulative by struggling with an eating disorder. A GP who told me that maybe I should just have ‘high calorie drinks’ if food was a problem. A psychologist who suggested that the bullying that triggered my illness was ‘just teenage girls’. Against my own doubts and skepticism, I recovered. It certainly didn’t happen overnight. It took around 6 years and 4 therapists. What allowed me to make those first steps was a curiosity and a willingness to see if it was possible for me. I realised that unless I believed in myself, nobody was going to be able to help me. If you are struggling, know that you are not alone and that you can get better. I know that not everyone can access professional treatment but I firmly believe there are sufficient resources and tools that anyone can use to make a full recovery. You are worth it and it’s never too late. You’ve got this!

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