Reclaiming Your Strength During ED Recovery

January 21, 2011 Angela E. Gambrel

There are times I am strong and focused on recovery from anorexia nervosa. There are other times I feel hopeless. It is at those times I see my life as a dark and endless tunnel. I can only see anorexia in my future, and it looks like a bleak future without hope nor life.

I felt that way last week and I could not bring myself to write one word no matter how hard I tried. I was sick at heart, and my strength was totally depleted. However, after much prayer and talk with some wonderful friends, I found myself reclaiming my strength and new hope is growing within me.

Recovering from an eating disorder takes a lot of mental and physical strength. For weeks, I struggled with anxiety and depression. I wondered why I had failed at least four times to recover from anorexia. I concluded that recovery was for other people and that my future would only contain anorexia and loneliness until my eating disorder claimed my life in one way or another. I began to shut everyone out, and didn't leave my house for three days.

Then I called a friend. No answer. I called another friend and I kept calling people until I reached a live person. I cried and confessed my pain and thoughts to her, and we talked for at least an hour. I told her I was afraid that I would never completely leave anorexia behind and that all the gains I recently had made would be lost because I was ready to dive right back into restricting.

I admitted I was afraid of the future, and that all it held was more sadness, struggle, and loneliness. I didn't want to live in this future world I envisioned.

I felt a tiny flicker of hope flare up after talking with her and several other friends. I learned that isolating myself during recovery will deplete me of my inner strength and quickly send me in a downward spiral. I had already isolated myself enough when I was enmeshed in anorexia. I have learned that one of the most valuable things I almost lost — but thank God I didn't! — was the friendships I have had for years.

I began to feel even stronger when I was able to get out, see a member of my treatment team, and then go buy healthy foods for myself. Yes, I dropped my groceries all over the snow as I tried to carry them in. This also helped me as I threw a fit about the scattered groceries and ended up screaming out my rage at anorexia in the process.

I woke up today to Michigan's cold sunshine and felt strong and able to do just about anything. I plugged in my iPod and sung along to my favorite songs as I drove the two hours to my psychiatrist's appointment. My doctor smiled as I told him I was again listening to music and singing along.

My strength and hope grew even stronger when he said he knew this would be the year I would beat anorexia. To know he and others believe in me gives me strength. I found myself singing along to "Beautiful Light" as I drove back north on I-75, feeling that yes, this will be my last year with anorexia. I am healing, and you can too. It is hard work, and sometimes painful. But the price of being out of the prison of an eating disorder is worth it.

APA Reference
Gambrel, A. (2011, January 21). Reclaiming Your Strength During ED Recovery, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: Angela E. Gambrel

Mira Misnick
February, 3 2011 at 2:50 pm

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