10 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in Eating Disorder Recovery

The more I’ve explored what it means to live outside of perfection, the more I’ve realized how much joy I have denied myself. Worry and guilt were the two feelings holding me down, and courage was what allowed me to stop making myself my own worst enemy. Thus, I’ve realized ten things:

  1. Time is never wasted with good friends because having a dose of laughter makes going back to work easier. That, and life is just more fun this way.
  2. You can learn a lot about yourself when you allow your mind to wander and ruminate, even when it’s 2 a.m. (insomnia is not necessarily a bad thing).
  3. Trying to be productive 24/7 results in less productivity because your brain can only handle so much at one time. Breaks are healthy–and NOT a waste of time.
  4. Sometimes you have to stop doing the one activity you are obsessed with to see what other quirky things you love. This also allows room for quality people to come into your life and give you new perspectives.
  5. As a kid, I used to worry and fear about all the diseases I could possibly contract, or about making mistakes that would disappoint the ones I loved. But once I faced so many of my fears (surgeries, painful physical therapy, mental illness, and yes, stupid mistakes) I learned how strong I could be. Facing even just one fear helps you to feel like you can face them all. This isn’t easy, but at least you gain some confidence in what your mind and body can handle.
  6. Our mistakes don’t solidify the kind of people we are. As long as we learn from what we did, and feel it needs to be changed (and take steps to make that change), we can continue to grow into the best version of ourselves.

    Sometimes you have to get through all the pain to get to all the pleasure.

    Sometimes you have to get through all the pain to get to all the joy.

  7. Going with the flow is easier than having a plan for everything. Life will take you to where you need to be, and by following this principle you may have less worry and fear in your life.
  8. Food tastes better when you eat what you want when you want. I’m still learning to strike a balance and find what RACHAEL wants, but I’m getting there.
  9. Nature walks (who knew walking could be just as nice as running) and little personal adventures are cool ways to build a solid relationship with yourself. I actually like hanging out with myself now.
  10. Once you love yourself, you feel so much love and appreciation for others.
8 replies
    • Rachael
      Rachael says:

      Thank you! And it is :) I don’t feel like I identify with the eating disorder as much anymore, which is nice.

  1. Marissa
    Marissa says:

    Hi Rachael! I love your posts! They really speak to me and make me think that I’m not as abnormal as I thought I was. Anyway, I recently came across this article and thought it was interesting. I totally think we need more awareness on mental illness in student athletes. Most go through the same struggles but we feel embarrassed or odd if we would say anything or try to get help. I would like to do all I can in hopes of promoting awareness for this. Let me know what you think! http://www.foxsports.com/other/story/madison-holleran-ncaa-student-athletes-mental-health-issues-032515

    • Rachael
      Rachael says:

      I’m glad to be of some help Marissa! Yes, we are never as alone as we initially think we are.
      And that’s a fantastic article, thanks for the read! I’ll be posting it up on the Running in Silence Facebook page soon :)
      Stay strong!

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