5 Tips for staying sane in recovery

Catherine Liberty's picture

There is no denying that at times recovery can become both frustrating and emotionally draining.

During my own bulimia recovery I often found myself wishing I could flip a magical switch that would instantly allow me to de-stress, relax and focus. If only it was that simple, right?

Remember, you're not “crazy”

There, I said it. You are not crazy – and you have never been crazy!

I don’t believe anyone who has an eating disorder is “crazy” or “insane” – what horrible disempowering words they are. However, I do know that a lot of the time, recovery can certainly make you feel that way. 

Luckily, there are some simple steps that will help you to remain calm and focused throughout the process. 

5 steps to sanity in bulimia recovery

Take a look at the steps below, and think about how you could apply them to your own recovery. 

Step 1. Find some “recovery buddies”

Having someone to talk to who has stood in your exact shoes, who understands every element of bulimia, and who can truly empathise with both the struggles and triumphs of recovery is such a wonderful thing. 

Recovery buddies can help with accountability and loneliness, they can offer advice or encouragement, and they’ll definitely help you to feel more sane! 

Our members make recovery buddies through our extensive friendship network, but if you’re not a member of Bulimia Help you could think about joining forums at other sites like B-eat, Something Fishy,  and Men Get Eating Disorders Too - or perhaps even joining a local support group where you could make some “real-life” support buddies. 

Step 2: Blog your feelings

There is something so therapeutic about writing. Whether that is writing in a public blog, in your private journal or just about anywhere! Writing allows you to clarify, organize, soothe and release those pent up emotions – all essential elements for maintaining a balanced state of mind during recovery. 

Step 3: Enlist the help of a loved one

Talking about your bulimia, and your journey to recovery is a very intimidating concept, especially if you’ve hidden your eating disorder from loved ones for many years. However, enlisting the help of a loved one can really be invaluable to your recovery – being open and honest with others allows you to become much more open and honest with yourself. 

If you would like to talk to a loved one but don’t know where to start then please check out our freely available resources on talking about bulimia, designed to help you take those first important steps. 

Step 4: Visualize your recovery

Spend a few minutes each morning visualizing the day ahead as you would like it to play out. Imagine yourself making recovery-focused choices and decisions and flowing effortlessly through the day. 

If you know you may face potentially triggering or stressful situations, try to rehearse those situations in your mind before they happen. In doing this you are effectively training yourself how to deal with them in a better, safer, more recovery-focused way. 

Step 5: Check your reading material 

Recovery really makes you appreciate how difficult it can be to “remain sane in a crazy world”. That is, a world obsessed with fad diets, weight-loss, celebrities and other people’s bodies. 

So to hold onto those feelings of sanity while recovering from bulimia, I highly suggest that you seek out some recovery-friendly reading material, and ditch any trashy magazines and websites once and for all. 

If you’re stuck on places to start, HealthyGirl.Org, Adios Barbie, A Voice in Recovery and Nourishing the soul  are some of my personal favourites. I read their blog sections all the time while recovering, and found them very inspirational and refreshing. 



Get access to our FREE mini course to end binge eating







The information provided in this website is for information purposes only. The information on this website is NOT a substitute for proper diagnosis, treatment or the provision of advice by an appropriate health professional. Please refer to the full disclaimer and copyright. If you do think you might suffer from an eating disorder, it is important that you talk to your General Practitioner, as there are many physical complications that can arise from being at an unhealthily low weight or from losing weight very quickly, or from purging. We advise you to seek professional help with working on an eating disorder.


Copyright © BulimiaHelp.org. 2013. All rights reserved.