How do you recover from an eating disorder?
Obviously, there’s no simple answer or magic pill. The desire to recover has to come from within.
We have to lock away the negative thoughts, ignore biased media, and come to terms with our own bodies. Spirituality can play a crucial role in recovery. It gives people struggling with themselves an anchor to cling to. With religion, the focus is both outward and inward.
There’s God or higher power that offers assistance, but you also have to deal with your own emotions in order to pray or reach a greater awareness.
Think that’s a load of mumbo-jumbo?
In a study, women who participated in a spirituality group improve quicker than their counterparts. Religion provides relief from anxiety and depression. Those evil eating disorder thoughts—the root of such stress—nearly vanish.
Religion also creates a support group. You can discuss topics that society often hushes—faith, inner demons, moral dilemmas. It encourages you to take care of your well-being and not neglect yourself. Eating disorders promote self-deprivation, but religion is the exact opposite. Eating disorders create belief systems that destroy us, but spirituality gives us one that lifts us up. That challenges our former beliefs.
Throw out old commandments like “Thou shalt not eat after 6pm” or “Strong is the new skinny.” Make room for exploring new horizons. You just might find something greater.
You don’t need to be Catholic, Baptist, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim… You just need to find what speaks to you. If you can foster a secure and loving attachment to God, social comparison lessens.
You find a higher purpose to live for. One that has no room for disordered thoughts. When we find that connection to ourselves and something outside of ourselves, life becomes beautiful. Every day, a blessing. We find our identity again … one that has nothing to do with our body image or social comparison. We let go of false beliefs.
It’s not a medical or scientific way to recovery, but it can work!
Spirituality unites the mind, body, and soul more so than anything else. It celebrates our uniqueness as purposeful creations. Religion doesn’t guarantee every evil will go away. There can still be days we compare ourselves to a slender woman on a magazine or a buff friend on Instagram. But it provides support to get through those stormy times.
We are all worthy of a life free from unneeded stress, anxiety, self-hate. We are all worthy of recovery.
Fuel for Thought: Has spirituality had an influence in your recovery? What helps you during difficult times? …and MERRY CHRISTMAS!