Self-Care in recovery: Reasons to recover
This week I got a haircut.
You may be wondering why as a recovery blogger I’m telling you about my haircut, but it was significant for me and got me thinking about how eating disorders affect our self-care.
In the midst of my illness I generally cared very little about maintaining my appearance as whilst I had an intense and terrible relationship with my body image, I can count on one hand the number of times I thought about the likes of hair or makeup. This isn’t something I remember acknowledging at the time however looking back I almost entirely neglected the maintenance of my appearance. In considering this I have been trying to establish whether this is a good or bad thing, or whether it’s necessarily either. I guess it makes sense as all my energy was directed towards my disordered behaviours and my thoughts were entirely consumed with food leaving no space for anything else. In addition to this, my obsession with my ED identity and extremely low self-esteem meant I felt both unworthy and unable to ‘make an effort’.
This realisation has certainly provided me with an excellent counter argument to those who still believe this mental illness - fatal to 1 in 5 sufferers, is a choice driven by vanity. There are so many flaws to this clearly obscene claim, however I feel this evidence just how inaccurate it is. It has also shown me another reason to be grateful for recovery as I am now beginning to feel more able to look after myself again. At the start of my journey I had to dedicate all my efforts towards increasing my intake, however with weight gain has come the ability to expand my self-care repertoire. I still have days where I am scared to look in the mirror and days whereby I know I must choose not to in order to steer clear of body checking habits. That said, I am finally feeling more like myself again and it has felt wonderful this week to put on a new outfit and straighten my new bouncy hair to go out for dinner with my family. I am of course very privileged to be able to do so, but this is something I always deemed just something other people could do - never me, and so I am incredibly proud of how far I’ve come.
This post has not been especially deep or meaningful, but I’m making it a late addition to my reasons to recover post (https://therecoverybean.wixsite.com/therecoverybean/post/the-life-i-want-to-live-3) as it is exactly that!
More from me soon,
Mais// The Recovery Bean <3