The process of recovery from an eating disorder is a process of courage. You have to be courageous to take a look at your relationship with food and your body and face the feelings you have been trying so hard to numb. You have to be courageous to learn a new way to connect with food, your body and others while the forces of habitual patterns try to tell you otherwise. In this process courage needs to be defined as the ability to do things despite the fear and not waiting for fear to pass, for things to be different or for you to feel different. Courage means to step out of your comfort zone and experiment new ways of being and new ways of feeling, responding to yourself with kindness because you know that this is difficult. Being courageous is trusting that the path will reveal itself if you allow others to support you and guide you.
Talking about courage is easy. Being courageous is very hard. It takes a lot of effort and vulnerability. It means making mistakes sometimes and trying again, embracing yourself with compassion and being patient with the process. This is a very difficult journey for someone who tends to be rigid and sometimes ruled by anxiety. I always advise my clients to start small, with drops of courage, baby steps that help you create a memory of how being courageous feels like. Sometimes this means getting up in the morning, trying a new food, allowing yourself to stay with a feeling. Sometimes baby steps are a call to a friend to say hi, sharing an idea or making eye contact. Choosing courage does not mean that you are unafraid, it means that you are brave enough to do it despite the fear and uncertainty.
Cultivating the courage to be emotionally honest, just like cultivating anything, takes time and effort. It takes allowing yourself to be vulnerable and that can be scary, so start small, but start somewhere. Maybe you can start by completing a short journal entry I created just for you to “start thinking about being courageous”. You can find the PDF document by clicking on the picture below or the following link that will take you to this article on recovery Warriors: