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The Gift of Eating Disorder Recovery – Learning to Let Go

Posted Jan 15 2011 2:02am

eating disorder recovery let goOne of the biggest gifts that recovery from an eating disorder has given me is the knowledge that anything is possible. No matter how difficult the problem at hand is, I know that there is no challenge too great.

What could be worse than days of binge eating and purging, the constant obsession, numerous eating disorder clinics and the complete loss of the ability to participate in life?

I lost jobs because of my eating disorder, I lost relationships, I had no social life and most of all I lost hope that I would ever really recover.

But some sane, sound part of me wanted to live, and in order to live – really live – I had to have freedom from food and weight obsession.

So I embarked on my journey to real recovery, which included implementing every tool that I had ever learned through years of therapy, support groups and my personal spiritual journey.

I knew that one of the fundamental truths of Spirituality in any religion is that you need to let go to get freedom.

For me that meant letting go of:

  • Dieting
  • Restricting
  • Researching food plans and diets
  • Talking incessantly about food and my weight
  • Endless hours at the gym

Among other things…

The process of letting go is difficult to conceptualize, but we all know on some level what it means. It means realizing that we cannot control our food and weight any longer. And that any recovery will come from a deep realization of this fact.

The greatest gift of coming to the other side of this process of letting go is that it can be applied to any other area in your life.  Personal problems with relationships function much the same way. Have you ever tried so hard to make something work? Gone to any length to save a relationship, to control the other person’s behavior, to make them do something? And the result is that it makes the situation so much worse?

You end up full of despair, losing your self esteem and possibly even falling into a depression.

Recovery from an eating disorder has taught me that the only way to win is to let go. We cannot control food, weight, people or situations. It is our role to do our best, show up and let go of expectations.

A problem can never be solved with the same thinking that created it.

So the lesson for today is the spiritual paradox that if you want something you have to let go.

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