Recognizing Real Recovery


Real eating disorder recovery is more about how you live than how you eat.  Reasonable eating flows along with genuine recovery. To get there you need to recognize your challenges.

Here's a quote to put on your wall, on the cover of your journal and any other place that you see daily.  It's more than a healing or inspiring message.  It's a statement that describes what you can only accomplish in recovery  It's the antithesis of how you live an eating disorder life.

"Stroll through the open spaces of time to the center of opportunity."


Let's look at what this means together.

In the jam cram, keep moving pace of an eating disorder dominated life, you can't stroll. Stroll, like meander, with no set agenda, no time demands, no specific task at hand, allows room for your mind and senses to be surprised and to discover. 

Control is the operative word for eating disorders.  You have to give up control to stroll.Through the open spaces ... that refers to room where anything could happen. It's room where you are vulnerable because you are only a small part of the vastness.  This too means being vulnerable in a kind of way that is unbearable if you have an eating disorder.

Open spaces of time: again, no agenda, lots of room, no deadlines, no need to race to catch up or meet up... just open time as it is.

The center? Knowing what the center means is an incredible challenge if you have an eating disorder, especially if you are referring to your own center.  That's the central hub of your being, where your honest feelings, beliefs, values, desires reside is blocked by all your eating disorder activities.  hen you have an eating disorder you haves a ring of fear around your center.  Your eating disorder numbs you to your fear, but by doing so, blocks you from your center.

And what's in the center?  Opportunity, whatever that means for you.  The center of opportunity, a place where you can discover and move toward fulfilling your true and authentic self in the ways that are meaningful to you.

So many eating disorder recovery challenges are condensed in this one line from Baltasar Gracian. When the day comes that you can live this sentence you will know that you are in real recovery.

Please share what it means to you. Have you had glimpses or experiences of any kind where you "stroll through the open spaces of time to the center of opportunity?"


If you'd like to further explore this view of real recovery, I invite you to look carefully at the photo above while reading the quote several times.  Then journal about what comes up for you.  You might get some surprising and helpful insights about yourself and what can do do to encourage more recovery effort in yourself.


Eating Disorder Inspirational Recovery

More Eating Disorder Recovery Inspiration

Ariel's Eating Disorder Inspirational Recovery Site

Dying to Be Thin










0 # I can absolutely relate to this! I rememNina 2010-12-07 05:00
I can absolutely relate to this! I remember having the first experience of it after some time in recovery. My mind was spacious, I noticed what people around me were doing and it was like I was being born into the moment for the first time. There were no thoughts consuming me, no desperate rush to be anywhere and knowing that I was in exactly the right place and all was well
0 # Nina! I'm so glad for you. It's a gloripinkjoanna 2010-12-07 07:51
Nina! I'm so glad for you. It's a glorious feeling and a simple feeling at the same time. Because you are a healthy you you are exactly the right person to be no matter where you are or who you are with. You are here and free.

When we are stuck in an eating disorder we can't even imagine this, even when it's described to us. But once you experience it you know and that makes all the difference in your recovery.

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I think it might help other people who are nearing this place but haven't actually felt it yet.

I'm happy for you that you know.
0 # Joanna, I feel like I've had a taste ofKymL 2010-12-08 20:43
Joanna, I feel like I've had a taste of my “center” these last two weeks. It started when I realized a core belief I had about my body wasn't true, but was a cover up for my insecurities. After that, my negative self talk went down a lot and I felt a little better, so I started to look at other negative core beliefs. I've discovered so many ways I've put blame on myself because it's easier to criticize myself then to change others; even if what they did to me was extremely painful. My negative self talk is down to almost nothing right now and I've found ways to nurture myself that I never thought I even liked! I've developed a compassion for myself that I didn't believe I deserved before. I'm taking time to stop and think “Do I like this?” “Do I believe this?” “Is this in my best interest?” I've also decided that I don't want to spend my life hating myself! I'm getting close to 50 yrs old and I don't want to spend my middle years giving ED any more of my energy! I want to enjoy my body and my life while I'm physically still able. I want to explore my “open spaces.”

Yesterday I reported all my great discoveries in my therapeutic group and I knew without a doubt that I'm on the right road and I'm committed to living my best life. I felt wonderful. Then I cried all the way home. But I was able to not criticize my tears but to ask “what am I feeling?” “What are these tears for?” I realized I'm scared of these changes; I'm giving up security blankets and survival techniques that I've been using since I was a child! The old me would have gone into a panic, but I reminded myself that I've over come some major things and my Creator has always provided me with the strength. I also reminded myself that I don't have to do this perfectly and I don't have to have all the answers. Change is hard thing for me, so of coarse this is going to feel uncomfortable; it doesn't mean I'm weak or not committed to means I need to find extra support and I need to make sure I nurture myself a little more. I was able to turn my feelings of fear into a positive discovery!!

Recovery can be hard, but it is so worth it!!
0 # Dear Kym, You are in the true heart opinkjoanna 2010-12-09 09:57
Dear Kym,

You are in the true heart of recovery work! Brava!
Yes, it's hard, but not as hard as living with the agonies of an eating disorder for so many years.

Yes, you need support at this time, and yes you have the courage, honesty and willingness to put that support in your life. The grat news thats coming is that all the places within you that you feel are weak not have an opportunity to develop and grow. You are in the zone of work now that will make you healthy and strong.

Please keep sharing on this site. I am here to support you and your words will help others when they face the critical choices you are facely so bravely and well.
0 # Is there a reason that we can't see whatKymL 2010-12-09 12:25
Is there a reason that we can't see what people write...just your comments? Your answers sparks my curiousity :-)
0 # Dear Kym, Thank you for pointing thispinkjoanna 2010-12-09 14:12
Dear Kym,

Thank you for pointing this out! Yes, there's a reason you are not seeing the comments. It's a glitch in the system. So sorry. I didn't know.

It's getting taken care of today.

Thank you so much for letting me know.


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