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Recovery blog

Relationships Impacting the ED Recovery Process

By: Rachel Tenny, MA, LPCA, The Renfrew Center Alumni Coordinator

Posted on December 11, 2018

Shame and secrecy cause by an eating disorder may break down relationships with friends, families, and peers…and more than that, the repercussions of your eating disorder will impact the relationship you have with yourself. You may have heard the saying "You can't love somebody else until you love yourself". In this case while we aren't talking about love, it's the same idea.

Having a relationships, regardless of the type, with anyone prior to working to understand yourself and your recovery can be difficult. If you are not able to approach yourself from a place of understanding and compassion, it will be hard to do that in other relationships.

During our winter workshops, this week and last, we facilitated conversations about ways to prioritize investing in yourself and living a life that has meaning. Some questions that were asked, that can be helpful for you to consider today were:

• What are ways your eating disorder has caused you to lose connection with yourself and your body? This can be both in past situations and in your current day-to-day life.
• What are you doing to connect with yourself currently?
• What does living in line with your values look like to you?
• In what ways has recovery reconnected you to yourself (values, priorities, goals, etc.)?
• What have you learned about yourself that surprised you since leaving treatment?

As you think about the types of relationships you are in or want to be in, take some time to ask yourself the following questions:

• What relationships are you in that support your recovery? Which do not?
• Does the way you are spending your time and the relationships you are involved in align with the values you have?
• If you were living more congruently with what matters to you, what would your relationships look like? What would your days look like?

While supportive relationships are a vital part of last recovery, the relationship you have with yourself is one that you will always have. Take some time as you prepare for the year ahead to reflect on ways you want to prioritize and live out your values, connect to yourself, and then relate to others in the year ahead.

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