The program I attended to treat my eating disorder runs a group called after care for former patients to support each other under the guidance of a therapist. Some months ago, I had a really difficult time going to after care. Hearing stories of people relapsing made me afraid I would do the same and I discounted my own struggles to the point that I never let myself have a chance to process (share what I’ve been up to/struggling with) with the rest of the group; I was falling into my old patterns of catastrophizing and minimizing my problems, respectively.
Last night, on a whim, I gave after care a second chance. I had not attended the group for awhile, but I had some extra time yesterday and thought it would be nice to reconnect with others in recovery. I am so thankful that I attended group last night…and I participated. I rated my own need to share as high enough that I got to share first, and it was really nice to get some support on an issue that has been bothering me in recovery. The new me is sometimes difficult for my friends and family to embrace compared to their concept of the old me. So, I asked for some help from the group on setting boundaries in relationships in order to preserve my new sense of self and not fall into my old patterns. The group reminded me to validate the people around me when they voice concerns about the changes in my personality and I appreciate the reminder that everyone needs some validation. I love being validated, and I can understand that when a close friend or family member is concerned about a change in me, it would be nice for me to validate that concern before asserting that I am happy with my new changes.
I am glad I gave after care another chance, and I look forward to receiving more support from the group in the future as well as providing support for my fellow recovery friends.