The Risk of Relapse During Recovery
So, you’ve finally done with your eating disorder treatment, and you’re back to daily life. You’d assume that the hard part is over; however, you have to face the fact that your journey to recovery isn’t over yet. There’s always the chance of relapsing within the months after your treatment, which is why it’s best to be wary of what to do when the urge to relapse is there. Chances are, you’ve already been told or guided as to what to do in case the urge to relapse becomes apparent, but it’s always a good idea to learn more and be further reminded on relapse preventive measures while you’re recovering from your eating disorder:
Know Your Triggers
First off, it’s important that you’re aware of the triggers. Triggers are any circumstance, emotion, or situation that can suddenly prompt the urge to engage in your eating disorder. If you ever feel the sudden urge to restrict, or binge, or purge (depending on your eating disorder), try and analyze what event or circumstance may have triggered it and understand why it triggers your urges. Identifying and understanding these triggers can help you better cope, or at least help you know what to avoid. If looking at magazines or browsing through social media are potential triggers, try to avoid them and keep yourself busy, which brings us to the next tip.
Keep Yourself Busy
Try to involve yourself in a healthy hobby or activity, re-discover reading or take up old talents and pastimes such as crafts. You can even volunteer, hike, or join a group activity. Do the things you genuinely enjoy not just to distract yourself from your eating disorder and urges, but to further develop and grow as a person. So try to find something you’d always wanted to do, and if you don’t know which activities to do, then take a gamble and try some things out — who knows, you might be a remarkable painter or photographer, or have a knack in volunteering.
Know That You’re Not Alone
By this, we don’t just mean that there are other people like you who are going through the same thing, but that you have people who are there to help you out — your support system. When going through recovery, the most important thing to do is to surround yourself with people who love and support you. They can be friends, family, or your eating disorder care providers, who are willing to encourage you to keep going and are there to listen if you ever get the urge to relapse and help you through it.
Going back to triggers, it’s important that you have a healthy coping mechanism to help you through the situation and curb the urge to relapse. It’s possible that you’ve already identified and developed your coping mechanism during your treatment, so use it. Your coping mechanism or plan could include talking it out, or writing it down in a journal, or recording yourself venting out your feelings and expressing your thoughts. If you’re having trouble developing a healthy coping mechanism, you can always ask your support system to help you with it.
Recovery can be quite challenging, but having these tips in mind could help you out. But it’s also important to note that you don’t have to do this alone. If you’ve recently undergone treatment for anorexia, and feel like you need professional help during your recovery phase, you should never hesitate to ask help with your anorexia recovery center to assist you. Lastly, never be too hard on yourself if you ever fall off the wagon, there will always be people, whether they’re the professionals assisting you or your support group, who will be there to help you.