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Recovery blog

Accepting Recovery

By: Melanie Smith, LMHC

Posted on November 27, 2017

One of the biggest mistakes someone can make when pursuing their recovery is being resolved that they can do it without experiencing some uncomfortable feelings and struggles. The reality is that struggles happen, unpleasant thoughts and feelings will arise from time to time, and that life in recovery is hard work. But here is the good news: thoughts, feelings and struggles do not have to get in the way of your recovery.

Another common obstacle for those working on recovery is holding on to the belief that they can do it all on their own. Here's a quote from Joseph F. Newton that I think sums it up nicely, "people are lonely because they build up walls instead of bridges." It is so easy for our fears and insecurities to get in the way of asking for what we need. I believe it takes courage to admit not only to ourselves, but to those around us, that we are struggling. Utilizing support from those around you is essential. I don't know of anyone who has successfully "done recovery" in isolation. Support can not only come from your family of origin, but also your friends, co-workers, support groups, your outpatient treatment team and the Renfrew Alumni community.

So my challenge to you is to accept recovery and all that comes along with it. This means knowing that difficult and unpleasant thoughts and emotions may arise from time to time, but that thoughts are just thoughts. Thoughts do not define us and they do not have to control our behavior. Be confident that you have the power to make positive changes in your life and not allow eating disorder thoughts to take control.

Bottom line: Accept that life (particularly life in recovery) is not always easy. Accept your thoughts and feelings for what they are. Accept that sometimes you struggle and you need to ask for help. Accept support from those around you. And most importantly, accept that you are uniquely you.

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