This post is a follow-up to another called “Recovered”, posted on 8/23/10.
I’m reading a wonderful book by Jenni Schaefer called, Goodbye Ed, Hello Me. (Check out her website about this book and her other book, Life Without Ed: http://www.jennischaefer.com) In her book, Jenni talks about the day she decided to tell herself that she was “recovered” from her eating disorder. This was an important semantic distinction from the phrase she had previously used: “in recovery”. Those who are familiar with 12 Steps programs like AA, NA or OA will recognize the phrase “in recovery” as something that is used by most members of such programs. Jenni decided that she was not “in recovery”. She was at that time and is now “recovered (period).”
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and trying to figure out exactly how the word “recovered” applies to me. The newest addition to my mantra is “I am fully recovered from binge-eating disorder.” I came to this conclusion when I took an inventory of the eating disordered behaviors I used to engage in (dieting, avoiding certain foods, bingeing if I “caved” in and ate a forbidden food) and those I’m engaging in now and came up empty. I thought, “I no longer diet, avoid foods, or binge. So I am recovered from binge-eating disorder.” (You, too, can get to “recovered”…it takes patience, persistence, lots of support from caring people, sometimes professional help, and a sense of humor.)
I also examined my thoughts. I looked back at my journal entries and what I wrote about in Getting Out of B.E.D. and realized that the things I heard my inner critic (“Ed”) saying back then (e.g., “You are fat. You are worthless. You are ugly. You are a failure.”) are not (and never were) true. I realized that although there is still a critical voice inside of me, I am now strong enough to “disagree” with what it says (to use the word Jenni uses in her book). So, I thought, “I rarely hear negative self-talk from “Ed” and when I do, I no longer agree with it. So I am recovered from binge-eating disorder.” Again, I stress that you, too, can be fully recovered.
Yesterday, I went to Jenni’s website and perused the eating disorder links. I noticed for the first time that the link to my book on her website says, “Recovered from binge-eating disorder, Megan wrote the compassionate and informative book, Getting Out of B.E.D.: Overcoming Binge-Eating Disorder One Day at a Time.” There it was. She posted this link several years ago and even then, she thought of me as “recovered”. Long before I could even see it myself. It was a powerful moment.
If you haven’t read either of Jenni’s books yet (or listened to her music; she’s a talented singer/guitar player), I highly recommend them. There is hope. You can be fully recovered from binge-eating disorder. Thanks, Jenni, for helping me see it clearly.
Peace, joy, health and complete recovery,