What helps?

I was reading a blog post from someone I follow, and the author, Melissa, asked a very difficult but intriguing question in on of her most recent posts.

[…] I emphasised the individuality and variation inherent in eating disorders; and the impossibility, therefore, of a one-size-fits-all approach.

[…]

What are the things – in terms of types of treatment, and approaches, and qualities – that really helped?

I thought I would therefore share my response too:

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Online Support

Featured support forum: Remember it Hurts [link]
This is a support forum which has provided me with real-time help from posters which are all pro-recovery with subsections for ALL Eating Disorders. The forums is moderated loosely, and does not allow numbers, pictures, weights or methods to be exchanged and so is a very non-triggering environment.

The companion site, Something Fishy also provides various general (and useful) information on all Eating Disorders. They also have a family board for families and friends who are worried about a close one who is ill.

The forum has enabled me to share my experience with people who truly understand, to post struggles when I am no longer in intensive out patient treatment, and to be able to get advise from others. It’s high level of visitors ensures that I get replied promptly, and the rules make it  a safe, non-triggering environment.

The Joy Project, leaflets and Youtube Videos

Featured site: The Joy Project [link]
The Joy Project website has a variety of self-help guides which may provide useful strategies in helping one recover from an Eating Disorder. Includes things like grounding techniques, fun recovery activities, relapse prevention and some good old myth busting too.

Featured site: Center for Clinical Intervention GP leaflets [link]
Although aimed as GP handouts, they provide a lot of PDF fact sheets on Eating Disorders from laxatives, to calorie counting to tackling fear foods. Clear and reliable information.

Featured YouTube videos “Life After ED” [link]
A sufferer talks about her struggles with so much truth and strength and portrays the reality of Anorexia and recovery very clearly, offering a lot of hope and also showing a lot of courage for sharing her experiences.

Anti-Anorexia Art

As an artist myself, I find drawing and especially scribbling rather therapeutic (well, most of the time!). There are plenty of literature documenting sufferer’s struggles as they embark on the road to recovery, and plenty of websites with detailed information on eating disorders and tips to stay on the path to health, but very few sites seem to be dedicated to the artistic expression of the road to recovery or indeed the illness itself.

Thus, I have set up a group on DeviantART, an artist community website, which may be worth taking a look at.

Here is an extract from our introductory page:

Welcome
Art can be a fantastic way of expressing our thoughts and exploring our Eating Disordered lives. This group is for anyone in recovery from an Eating Disorder (Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Compulsive Overeating and Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified).

We encourage members to post non-triggering creative art and literature that are aimed at addressing the underlying causes of the disease, feelings and emotions.

Who can join?
This group is for anyone who is currently suffering from any Eating Disorder or is a family or friend who knows someone who is suffering

Why not take a look?

Challenging Assumptions

One important thing which I have learned is to challenge assumptions. A lot of assumptions consume my life, which make m mind spiral out of control as it decsends into the abyss of depressive mood and darkness. Yes, thinking postively can indeed change your mood.

Unfortunately, I sometimes do nt do this autmaically — it is a skill that I have learned in CBT therapy and one which I need to pull upon if I am to ever buld m self-esteem and get past me Eaing Disorder.

This requries two things:

  1. To recognise a thought is an assumption
  2. To challenge the assumption accordingly

Let’s take a look at an example which happened to me a few days ago. It was my friend’s birthday, Jessica’s, last Saturday. I dropped her a text asking when it wold be best to give her the lovely gift I had brought.

I’m working on Saturday, but my mum is in if you want to drop it off there

I turned up at her workplace to find that she was not there.

Immediate thought:

She lied to me. Maybe she doesn’t want to be friend’s with me. What on earth is wrong with me? On Facebook she is going out with someone else and not me…

It turns out my negative automatic thought was wrong. She was working at her aunty instead (her othe workplace). She was overjoyed to see me, and said she wanted to go out with just me becuase she wanted to do something special.

So, next time I need to challenge myself just that litle bit more.

Things are not as they always seem.

What is Recovery REALLY like?

I recently stumbled upon a post made on the ED Bites blog, but I thought it may be a useful resource to put on here.
It’s an hour long but the discussion may be valuable to all of those who are in recovery from an eating disorder, including both male and female speakers.

Recovery from an Eating Disorder: What Does Real Recovery Look Like? from NEDA on Vimeo.

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