At first glance it might seem that I am just a happy, normal girl who loves to bake and walk her dog. However, I have suffered with an eating disorder since I was 13. It was only in May 2014 when I realised that this Voice in my head was slowly but surely trying to kill me. And so began the long, hard, and painful journey which is recovery...

I want My Cocoa Stained Apron to be a special place...a place for reflection, memories, shared stories...and of course a little bit of cocoa-staining ;) Recovery might be the hardest thing you ever choose to do in this life. But it is also the bravest and best decision you will ever make.:)

Monday, 13 April 2015

Recovering Alone Advice

In continuation from my earlier post, Can I Recover Alone?, I just wanted to share with you some of my own advice and thoughts on recovering alone (ie without professional help), or at home. As I said before, recovering alone IS very difficult, but that does nt, in any case, mean that it is impossible. It all depends on the individual and there are many factors which need to be considered when such a fundamental decision is being made.

Anyway, I thoiught about this for a while and there are most certainly a few things which work for me, now that I am out of hospital and my recovery commences In my home environment. It is a difficult and tricky procedure, as it is important to remember that your home might actually have been the place where your eating disorder which essentially bred your eating disorder and allowed it to be developed, grown, or maintained.But remember..this is YOUR home, NOT the home of your eating disorder. So you now need to focus on working really hard on reclaiming your home for your own...and completely forcing the eating disorder out.

Anyway, here are a few little tips of my own which might be helpful to you if you are recovering alone or at home...

  • Firstly...the meal plan. I think having a meal plan is so important as it gives you guidance and structure in that it decides when and what you will eat. Write out the meal plan and tape it to somewhere you will be abble to see it easily - on your fridge, in your diary, on the noticeboard in the kitchen. 
  • Make a food diary...every morning, write out what you are going to eat that particular day in collaboration with your meal plan. I always liked to do this, because it then prevents any indecisiveness or "dithering" when it comes to choosing what you are going to eat that day. And then maybe if you want to tick boxes beside each item of food and tick them off as you go through the day. This might help you to stick to it better, too.
  • One of the key things to remember when you are recovering alone/at is so, so importnat to make as many people as possible aware of what's going on for you. That was there are less ways for the eating disorder to hide and you will bbe able to receive as much support as possible. Show them your meal plan and let them know exactly what you're having.
  • always eat together, if you can. In addition to having more support during the meal and snack times, being in the company of others will divert you from the intrusive thoughts and won't leave you as vulnerable.
  • create a coping box ...I found this especially helpful when I was in the initial stages of my treatment and wasn't allowed to exercise :) but it also a very useful thing to have if you are struggling to distract yourself or divert yourself from engaging in unhealthy eating disorder behaviours. For anyone who doesnt know what a coping box is, it's basically just an old empty cadboard ox of any kind, filled with different sorts of items. Whenever you are feeling anxious, stressed, panicy, or need to distract yourself after a meal or from engaging in any compensatory/obsessive/unhealthy behaviours, grab the coping box and take one of the items from it. Each item in the box should be one in which you use in or associate with a hoy/distraction technique which you particularly like or find especially helpful. Before making the coping box make a list of such distractions and hobbies. Then put an item related to this activity in the coping box - maybe a paintbrush, knitting needles, your favourite DVD, a wooden spoon for baking, a board game, scissors and coloured paper for crafty things...the list is endless really. (Check out HERE to see this post! ;) . Once you have selected your item from the ox, get stuck into the activity right away.And of course as another funny way of passing the time you could spend ages just decorating and messing around with your lovely magic Coping Box! ;) 
  • Make an inspiration board or a collage!!! So fun and absolutely BRILLIANT for distracting yourself ;) (i wil try to get around to making my own inspiration board soon, and posting about it on here) 
  • This is another thing to bear in mind if you are recovering alone. Do you need any sort of medication? I strongly recommend having ablood test done as having an eating disorder could mean that you are deficient in a number of vital nutrients. You might need to start taking vitamins, or calcium tabblets. It's very important to make sure you are getting the  nutrients your body may be lacking in so do try to get a blood test arranged right away.
  • of the most important things to remmeber, of all. If you cant do it and have to seek help...DONT think you are a failure. it does NOT mean, in anyw way at all, that you've failed miserably. Nothing could be so further from the truth. It takes so much strength to reach out and ask for help, and, rather than interpreting it as asign of failure in your recovery, you should simply regard it as just another necessary and important step towards getting better and healthy once more. Remember...we're only human. Human beings aren't meant to carry huge loads alone. <3 xxxxx
Benny is so happy, so free. And you have every right to be just that, too. Don't ever forget it. <3 xxx

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