All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Treatment

You may have heard of or even read the book ‘All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten’. This is my version of that story based on my personal experiences in eating disorder treatment. Here are just 5 of the many important life lessons I have learned during my journey.

It’s okay not to be okay. Ever had a loved one pass away and people tell you “don’t be sad!”? No. You are allowed to be sad. Society has given us this unwritten rule that you have to be happy all of the time. There are no bad emotions… it’s how you deal with them that can be ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

It’s okay to ask for help. When I was in the throes of my eating disorder, I realized I could not recover alone no matter how hard I tried. A cancer victim doesn’t try to heal themselves; they seek medical attention because they know they can’t fight their illness alone.

Nothing changes if nothing changes. I held a belief for a long time that I could recover while still continuing my habits of calorie counting and food restriction. It doesn’t work that way. If you truly want to change, you have to put in the hard, ugly work. The only way out is through. And I promise, it will be worth it.

If you don’t face your fears, you allow them to control you. I was controlled by food and numbers for a long time. Because of this, I missed out on countless social events, distanced myself from friends and family, and had a poor quality of life. Ignoring bad behaviors does not help; it only makes things worse.

Your life isn’t yours if you always care what others think. I now realize that I lived my whole childhood doing what others expected of me and not what I actually wanted. My behavior specialist once asked me, “What would you do if you gave no fucks?” Do those things.

There are so many more things I’ve learned so I will probably do a part 2 in the future. Feel free to comment any life lessons you may have learned in treatment/recovery.

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