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4 Things Needed to Recover from Anorexia

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Recovery from anorexia doesn't happen overnight - nor does it happen in days, weeks or even months.

Taking the step to get help is the first and most important part of this journey, but there are certain components of recovery that must be present in order to sustain long-term health, happiness and well-being.

If you or someone you know is suffering from anorexia, make sure the following four things are a part of the recovery process:

1. A support system

Everyone approaches recovery differently. For some people, working one-on-one with a counselor is enough support. For others, an intensive rehabilitation program is needed. For still others, group 12-step meetings is enough.

Regardless of what path you choose, you'll need to have a support system in place that includes people who will help you heal.

Understand that, while your friends and family can be helpful, they may not truly understand your struggles - which is why a therapist, a sponsor, or a group of like-minded people can give you the attention, encouragement and feedback you need.

2. A plan

To fully recover from anorexia, you also need a solid plan.

What exactly will your recovery process look like? Will you work with a doctor, a therapist or a nutritionist? Do you have the time and financial resources to check into a rehabilitation facility - or can you do outpatient counseling? Is your current living environment a safe and supportive place for your recovery?

All of these questions - both ones that deal with the big picture and ones that are more detail-oriented - should be considered, and you should have a general idea of what your recovery process is going to look like.

3. A set of realistic expectations

Like other addictions or eating disorders, recovery from anorexia might involve periods of relapse.

It's important to recognize that while you're committed to the process of recovery, things may not go smoothly for quite a while.

You may have to face long-standing, difficult emotions or work on breaking habits you've had for years. Be gentle and realistic with yourself in this process. It will take some time, but knowing that mistakes are OK can make things easier.

4. A lifestyle adjustment

Recovery from anorexia isn't just about learning how to eat again. It's about changing yourself and your life in some fairly extreme ways.

It's critical that your new life is one that will support your recovery - everything from your living environment and your job to your friends and your hobbies may need to be assessed.

If changes have to be made, make them. Nothing is more important than your health and well-being, so lifestyle adjustments must be bravely carried out for the sake of your recovery.

At the end of the day, remember that anorexia is a mental, physical and emotional condition. Recovery is a journey, and one that may feel both terrifying and exciting at the same time. Go easy on yourself and surround yourself with people who are cheerleaders for your success.

Source: Help Guide