Recovered or Recovering?

Are you recovered or recovering? Eating disorder practitioners stand divided between these two camps. Is one label more accurate than the other? The answer is that it is a matter of perception and core beliefs. This blog post is simply meant for a healthy dialogue vs who is write and who is wrong.

Your relationship with food parallels every other relationship in your life. Often, recovery is equated with symptom cessation. When weight is restored and/or maintained, and bingeing/purging ceases, then one is fully recovered. But what about the relationship with people, “things,” and finances, along with how one speaks, how one has the urge to manipulate, and how others are treated? For those who struggle with drugs and/or alcohol, often one disorder is maintained, while the other flairs up. And when one is “recovered,” does this mean that they never ever have a thought or urge ever again for as long as they live? Or is recovered, simply being present and engaging into one’s life?

From a Yoga standpoint, one is always growing and learning. There is no endpoint to evolvement. Yoga, like recovery, is circular. As an adolescent or young adult goes through treatment, their life experience and maturity may be much different vs when they partner, have children, become empty nesters and then enter their generative years.

In the substance use treatment world, the word “recovery” is most always used as recovered tends to be a word of absolute. In addition, there is “lapse” and “relapse.” If one is recovered from their eating disorder, yet in recovery for their substance use disorder, are they only half-way recovered?

It is common knowledge that many eating disorder practitioners enter into the field based on the history of their own struggles. It takes a lot of courage and authenticity, on the part of a treatment practitioner, to come forth with their recovery story. Authentic practitioners thus equate with authentic treatment.

For me personally, recovery goes beyond food (you may notice that I keep using the word recovery vs recovered as it seems to jive more with my personal constitution). Recovery, in my eyes, is commitment to everything you say and do. It is gratitude for the individuals who guided you on your recovery journey and helped you attain where you are in your life, career, relationships, etc. Recovery is not about selling out another human based on fear, nor is it backing down from what you believe when you are perhaps coerced into doing what you know deep down is not right. Recovery is standing in your power and standing in your truth.

In my humble opinion, if you are fully recovered – but not grounded in your recovery – you may be mirroring intoxication. Recovery is not an event, but a journey. I welcome any dialogue.

BEVERLY S PRICE is a certified eating disorder registered dietitian and iaedp supervisor, experienced registered yoga teacher and IAYT certified yoga therapist. Beverly is recognized for bringing mindfulness-based yoga to the eating disorder treatment community along with yoga therapy training programs in eating disorders for professionals. She has recently launched her residential treatment placement service.

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