Best Things My Husband Did For My Recovery

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I have created a list of all the things my husband did for me over the course of my eating disorder that helped me to recover, the biggest of all was to take things at my pace, but gently push me.

  1. He encouraged me to talk about it. At first I was extremely shy and embarrassed about my illness. we even had to come up with code words for things like “purging”, “eating disorder”, or “help me”. Our secrets keep us sick. Encourage open conversation and make sure she knows that as embarrassed as she feels, you are not judging her and love her no matter what.
  2. He didn’t try to fix me or be my babysitter or my parent. Well, he did at first but it wore him out, made him angry and made me more secretive. When he stopped trying to parent me it was a lot easier to have a real relationship.
  3. He gave me space. I knew he was always there for me but when things were hard but he let me make my own decisions and my own mistakes. You will not be able to stop her from being destructive some days. If you try, her disorder will either reduce her to tears, prevent her from going to you in future or run straight through you in a blind rage. Interject in critical moments (after dinner, when she’s acting anxious or in situations when she usually has symptoms) and make sure she knows you are there – poke your head in the room and ask if she’s ok, go into the kitchen to make some tea, just generally make your presence known. Don’t burst in or try to make her stop, or be confrontational – be gentle.
  4. He questioned my inner critic. That little voice in my head that says I’m not good enough, I’m fat, I’m anxious, I need to eat, or purge, or “Fix it” etc etc etc. When I’d say something that was clearly from my eating disorder’s perspective he questioned it and made me use my logic to work against it and realize it was wrong.
  5. He understood that I wasn’t always myself. The me that yelled, or cried,or lied (that happened a lot..) wasn’t really me. He forgave me.
  6. He brought other things into my life so our lives weren’t always about my disorder. We played card games, board games, video games, went to the park, etc. We found hobbies and activities to engage in that distracted from my disorder. It’s what my therapist calls constructing a life worth living. Do things that make your life worth living.
  7. He didn’t question my weird cravings or judge me when I ate healthily, or un-healthily.
  8. He encouraged me and supported me in EVERYTHING that might make my disorder better. He stood by through treatment (twice), drives with me an hour for my specialists appointments and waits during the appointments. He supported me when I chose to go to yoga to help me connect in a positive way with my body and when I desperately wanted a puppy to help me live for someone other than myself.
  9. He helped me figure out what what motivated me in life. What I wanted in my life OTHER than my eating disorder. He encouraged me to find connection and when I found it, he supported me and my ideas – no matter how crazy and far fetched.
  10. He loved me, no matter what. I knew he was always there for me.

So, what do you think ?