What is Recovery? Five Steps to a Healthy Recovery

Updated: Sep 12

Since September is National Recovery month, I thought that it would be a good idea to write about recovery and five tips that can help anyone with their recovery! When you think about recovery, what is it that comes to mind? Is recovery possible? What does it even mean? What does it look like? If you ever looked up the definition of recovery, you will discover that there isn't one way to define it, and this is because recovery is a personalized term that is unique for each individual that goes through it. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Commission (SAMHSA), recovery is “a process of change through which people improve their health and wellness, live self-directed lives, and strive to reach their full potential.”

If you are working on overcoming a challenge and recovering from addiction, toxic relationships, trauma, or anything else that you wish to overcome, then the following tips can give you a great boost on your journey through recovery.

Tip #1

Believe that you CAN!

This might sound simple or maybe impossible to some, but if you believe that you can overcome your challenge and achieve recovery then you will do whatever it takes to make that happen- no matter what anyone says or what you read on the internet. With eating disorders specifically, there is so much negativity online and there are even professionals in the field who believe strongly that recovery is not possible and once you have an eating disorder you always will be sick. This is absolutely bullshit -excuse my language- and I can say that with certainty because I have worked with people struggling with eating disorders for over 20 years and as someone who struggled with both anorexia and bulimia, I can tell you with 100% certainty that recovery is possible. What I believe is true is that the eating disorder will always be a part of those struggling, but over the years it will become a much smaller part and the other parts of you will become stronger. If you believe that you can recover then you will not allow your eating disorder to define you. There are so many incredible resources to create a better version of yourself.

Tip #2

Surround Yourself with Positive People

This one is extremely important because many people who have struggled with various challenges, specifically addiction, have the tendency to surround themselves with people who are similar and most likely share similar negative thoughts and feelings. If you can surround yourself with people who are supportive of your recovery and who believe in you and your abilities, then you will develop a more positive attitude about your recovery and your chances of overcoming your challenges are much higher. Having a positive mindset can not only improve your recovery, but your physical health as well. It can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, lower your blood pressure, and helps you get a better night's sleep according to multiple studies.

Tip #3

Prepare for Relapse

While recovery is not easy, if you anticipate relapse and accept it as a part of the process, then you will most likely be less disappointed and have less negative feelings associated with it. Relapse is a part of the process of recovery, just like if you were learning to ride a bike you can expect to fall and get hurt but ultimately you will be able to ride very