Eating Disorder Recovery Is Courageous

March 10, 2021 Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

When I reflect on some of the bravest people I know, those who are in eating disorder recovery often come to mind. That's because the pursuit of eating disorder recovery is courageous. It can be scary to take the steps into a new way of life apart from this illness, but the decision to move toward healing is also incredibly brave.

If you suffer from an eating disorder but want to be free of its stronghold on your life, then I consider you a heroic warrior—no matter what stage you're at in the process. Whether you have been in recovery for a decade or you have just begun to heal, there is tremendous courage within you. Even in the midst of fears or anxieties that might shake you to the core, remember that eating disorder recovery is still a courageous act.  

Why It's Courageous to Recover from an Eating Disorder

Eating disorder recovery is one of the most difficult journeys I have undertaken in my own life, so I know firsthand just how much resilience, determination, perseverance, and courage it takes. I spent years on the fence, wavering between a desire to heal and a resistance to the unknown. I feared that eating disorder recovery meant losing a sense of identity.

I couldn't picture myself without the illness that consumed most of my adolescence and young adulthood. But I eventually realized that life with anorexia had become unmanageable, that I would have to summon all of my courage to experience freedom on the other side. Maybe this is where you are right now—perched on the cusp of healing, unsure if you can take the leap but wanting to at least make an effort. I call that bravery, and here are just a few reasons why I think eating disorder recovery is so courageous. 

  1. The decision to recover from an eating disorder requires you to surrender the urge for control and trust in a process that feels chaotic or uncertain.
  2. The decision to recover from an eating disorder exposes you to uncomfortable and painful emotions that you used to be able to numb out from.
  3. The decision to recover from an eating disorder often means that you have to contend with shame or stigma from people who don't understand. 
  4. The decision to recover from an eating disorder forces you to confront the deep insecurities or anxieties lurking under your behaviors on the surface.
  5. The decision to recover from an eating disorder hinges on your full, steadfast commitment in spite of all the obstacles and temptations to fall back. 
  6. The decision to recover from an eating disorder opens you to the vulnerable admission that you don't have it all together and you're in need of help.
  7. The decision to recover from an eating disorder compels you to recognize the messiness, imperfections, and brokenness of your own humanity.
  8. The decision to recover from an eating disorder pushes you to unearth a new identity, find your true voice, and form a loving relationship with yourself. 

The Courage to Do What Is Hard in Eating Disorder Recovery

None of the reasons I mentioned above come easily—quite the opposite, in fact. However, because eating disorder recovery is so hard, those who embark on the journey have my eternal respect and admiration. Eating disorder recovery is courageous, so I applaud the brave steps you are taking to heal.

Please share in the comment section if this resonates with you and how courage manifests in your own eating disorder recovery.  

APA Reference
Schurrer, M. (2021, March 10). Eating Disorder Recovery Is Courageous, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 15 from

Author: Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

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