“Relationships and Recovery(By: Peggy Miller)

As I reflect on my own recovery journey, one aspect that stands out the most is how my relationships have healed and grown as a result of my recovery.

An eating disorder takes away the physical time and mental capacity that is needed to build strong relationships. An eating disorder convinces a person that they are not worthy of love, time, or space- which are all things that relationships need to grow and thrive. An eating disorder thrives in secrecy; relationships thrive in vulnerability. An eating disorder seeks to steal life; relationships are meant to give life.

These are just a few of the ways that eating disorders make it impossible to form and maintain healthy relationships and connection- with ourselves and with others. Food is meant to bring people together and be a way to joyfully connect, and eating disorders steal that.

During recovery, I had to decide what I valued and wanted for my life, and I think this is an important aspect of eating disorder recovery. I wanted a life that was full of healthy connection, and my eating disorder would not bring me that. Even though recovery felt scary and hard, I had to choose it in order to live a life that aligned with my values.

I hope that this short reflection helps you consider two things. Firstly, what are you values for you life and is your eating disorder allowing you to live in line with them? Secondly, how would your relationships change if you chose recovery today? Or, if you have been in recovery for a while or are recovered, how have you seen your relationships heal and grow as a result of your recovery?

About the Author

Peggy Miller is currently a graduate student in Lipscomb University’s Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She is thankful for all those who have supported and encouraged her in her own recovery journey, and she is passionate about spending her life holding hope for her own clients and walking with them on the beautiful and messy journey of healing. In her free time, Peggy enjoys spending time with her dog, family, and friends. She loves good coffee, hiking, ice cream, and hugs.