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End Time: 11:40
Rachel Wilshusen, author of Emancipated Love Junkie: Liberating Myself From Anorexia, discusses her non-linear road to recovery and why asking for help was the best decision she ever made.
Publish Date: Feb 24, 2021
Rachel Wilshusen, author of Emancipated Love Junkie: Liberating Myself From Anorexia, discusses her non-linear road to recovery and why asking for help was the best decision she ever made. Like many individuals who suffer from eating disorders, Wilshusen thought that she could battle her anorexia alone. However, after reaching out to her loved ones, Wilshusen discovered that the support of her friends and family was exactly what she needed to finally reach the other side of her recovery journey.
If I come and I think that's I think that's true. I think people find that out. If you do reach out, there are people right there waiting to help like Oh, I could help you. You shouldn't have to do this on your own. Let's harness that energy and terror and excitement you have towards something else and and move together towards a different place wherever that place takes us. How How would you say recovery sort of changed is you transitioned out of treatment in a sort of reached out for help, had this experience of treatment and then as you transition out of that stage, how did recovery change at that point? You know, I felt like going through treatment. I went to an eating disorder center in Los Angeles, and I felt like that was such a pivotal point for me to me. I see it as the big moment of breaking through rules, education, getting the tools, tools that weren't just about eating, but also about how to treat myself. And so I felt like living afterwards, moving past treatment and being by myself. It was this kind of realization of like, Oh, I've got the tools. Now I just need to start being able to implement them on a constant daily basis. And every day was kind of this choice of choosing choosing my health and choosing to continue that so much went into starting treatment that I wanted to feel like it was worthwhile that I had come out and that it wasn't just for nothing and that I would really show that I would value my health every day. So eso for me there was there was two parts to that. The first part was this whole reaching out Thio. I saw a dietitian and a therapist on a regular basis, and those touchpoints became really important to me to maintain a connection. So I didn't feel like I was just again by myself. And I think the other part was all about self care because I feel like in treatment there was a lot of emphasis that was put on treating yourself well, treating yourself with respect and this idea that you deserve to be healthy, you deserve to be well. And so, coming out of treatment, I had to try to continue that of I still deserve to eat. I deserve to treat myself well. And so every day was a process of helping myself to eat by keeping in mind that I deserve this even sometimes it felt ridiculous to do so often times I felt after treatment, like, Do I deserve to eat like do I really? And and, uh And it was just kind of like, You know what? I'm just going to eat this and help myself that I do, which is this idea of, you know, fake it till you make it that sometimes recovery doesn't feel honest. It doesn't feel natural or whatever, and and still just going along with it and saying like, Hey, this doesn't necessarily resonate with me today, but I'm going to do it. I'm just going to eat. I'm just going thio, give myself a bath or whatever it is to show kindness to myself. Yeah, it makes me think of all the nose as a treatment provider myself. It makes me think of all the things that I said to people in treatment and my work and eating disorders over the year years and and all of the things that are you know, my fellow providers say that I know can feel so hard to believe when we're talking to people who are in the midst of treatment, it feels so hard to believe that you deserve. It feels so hard to believe sometimes that it could actually be better. It feels hard to believe that it will get better, that it won't always feel like this and hard Thio believe that it's okay to give yourself that self care. It's okay to give yourself that self love and and even harder to believe it's critically important to do that right there is the line between like maybe it's OK and no, this is a really important thing for you to embrace in your day to day life so that you can you can, you know, sort of stay well and take care of yourself. So I think a lot about that that we we encourage people so much in treatment. And then it is hard sometimes to remember that those things are all true, that providers are not telling you all these things about self care and take care of yourself and how how great recovery can be If you know we can really keep doing these things we gotta do to practice. We're really not just making that up way. Really believe it is. It's true. It's hard to remember that sometimes, isn't it? It's really hard to remember it, which is why I think it is so pivotal to still have connections outside of the center because the same is going into treatment. I feel the same coming out, that you need support and that it is okay to not do it alone. You know, like coming out. You're used to it in a center of well, here's your Here's your meals is just very structured, you know? So coming out, I think that it's important to have training wheels that are in your camp and in your corner that you can lean on to you for that extra support or going Thio alumni meetings and those kind of things. And I think that just remembering, I don't know for me a lot of times it was telling myself this might not seem true, but it is true. That was really helpful for me is it might not seem true. It is true. I am going to again today. Just choose to try to believe it. And again I mean it with it being a journey. It's not to say that every day was perfect of like, Okay, now I'm now I'm there. I'm on it, You know that you have your moments of slip, but something I truly believe is that even when you slip and you then get back up and go again, I think that actually makes you continuously stronger. So I think you're getting continuously stronger towards recovery, even though you might have a couple of step backs now and again that those are all just you getting stronger with your resolve to choose.