We publish blog posts on a weekly basis, often based upon the theme of the treatment programme which changes week on week, tailored to the needs of our clients. However, to shake things up we asked our Instagram followers to suggest topics they’d like to read about on our blog. At the end of the day, this blog is for you (not for us!) and it was truly moving to hear your ideas…
A topic that came up at least twice was “how to start recovery when you’ve been unwell for a while”, or, “going from chronic to wellness”. This is an important one as we know that to a saddening degree, eating disorders are often left untreated until the individual reaches a point of crisis. This means that by the time someone accesses treatment, they may have been with their eating disorder for quite a long time.
With all that in mind, it is still possible to recover and at Orri, we believe that holding onto hope is a crucial aspect of our treatment and approach (“hope” is in fact one of our company values!). The fact that this topic was suggested on Instagram is testament to that someone’s self-belief – which is amazing.
We spoke to our specialist clinicians to hear their tips for those wanting to kick-start their recovery.
Be proud of yourself and patient with yourself
Firstly, it’s important to pay attention to the recovery-focused voice inside of you that 1) wants to recover and 2) truly believes that it’s possible. A big part of the recovery journey is learning to give that voice a megaphone so that your self-belief is the first thing you hear in the morning and last thing you hear at night.
It’s also important to recognise that recovery is a journey and it will have ups and downs – you may have already experienced some – so be mindful that there will be times when it feels excruciatingly challenging and you’ll have to hold onto a self-belief that may feel very distant from your reality. But, recovery isn’t recovery without challenge, so, welcome the hurdles that come your way with a sincere knowledge that your future, recovered self will thank you for the work you put in today. As Romy, our Psychodynamic Psychotherapist says “it all comes back to love.” Don’t be afraid to give yourself compassion.
Reach out to specialists who can help guide your journey
Whether it’s a clinic like Orri or a helpline like Beat’s, there are people who can help point you in the right direction. Don’t feel as though you’ve exhausted your options if you’ve been in and out of treatment before. Some people – like many of our clinicians – have spent their careers supporting people in similar situations to you. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t have that same support. If there’s one thing you can do today, perhaps it’s picking up the phone or sending a quick email or enquiry form to get the conversation going.
Set small and achievable goals
Often we can get lost in the ambiguity of “recovery”, particularly as it is so different from person to person. It might be easier to start from where you are and make small, incremental steps forward that don’t feel too overwhelming and threatening at first. By taking small steps you can build a momentum that works for you at your own pace – this is actually how we tackle food with our clients: starting from a place of comfort and security and slowly making changes.
Small steps still add up to big changes – you know yourself better than anyone else, what could you do today (that feels achievable and not too daunting) that can help progress you forward in recovery.
Share your journey with someone and make yourself accountable
Our Clinical Psychologist, Dr Katie Kalinowski, suggested telling someone about your recovery aspirations and thereby making yourself accountable for your own journey. We often find that saying it “out loud” can help cement our objectives and when we’re feeling wobbly, the knowledge that someone is aware of what we’re working on can help keep us on track. Whether it’s a specialist therapist, a parent or a friend, confide in someone who you feel reflects the positive aspects of recovery and will reinforce the steps your taking with encouragement, patience and understanding.
Manifest, manifest, manifest!
As we’ve said before, sometimes the concept of “recovery” can simply feel too far away for us to comprehend. If this is the case for you, perhaps start by making a recovery-focused vision board. Take a big A3 sheet of paper (or cork notice board) and fill it with pictures of things you’d like to do, inspirational quotes and positive role models that reflect what you would want your recovered life to look like. Then, place it somewhere you can see it every day. If you require a little more privacy than this, give it a go on Pinterest! There’s no harm in dreaming big and seeing different aspects of who you are on a colourful board in front of you.
Here’s a quote from Gabrielle Bernstein that we’re inspired by today:
“Don’t dance around the perimeter of the person you want to be. Dive deeply and fully into it.”