I’m sure you’ve realized by now that the "recovery inspiration" section of our articles is rapidly growing. What can I say, I just love to share a good success story!
That is because I truly believe the inspiration we can draw from the successes of others can provide an invaluable source of motivation and reassurance in recovery. However I also understand that reinforcing the idea that recovery will take at least 6-12 months, and in many cases even longer, can be very intimidating, especially if you’re just starting out.
So with that in mind, as part of this weeks special recovery article I thought it would be a great idea for us to talk about something called
Bigger picture thinking has a lot to do with focusing on the end result of recovery; it's about really trying to see how all of the smaller steps you are taking in recovery now will at one point join together to form a Bigger Recovery Picture.
Of course bigger picture thinking is not everything, but it can certainly help us to remain rational, logical and hopeful at times when recovery seems to be "too challenging" or when progress appears to be taking "too long."
Worse still I always imagined that some part of me would have to stay recovery-focused for the rest of my life. After almost 11 years of bulimia and a life time of disordered eating I felt like bulimia was a fate I would never quite escape from.
As positive and determined as I was so recover, I was terrified of the time it would inevitably take and I know the majority of people in recovery can relate to those feelings.
Learning how to hold onto the bigger picture really helped me through the more challenging times of recovery, helping me to remember that in the end the time it had taken to heal would be worth every second.
After my first month of recovery using online bulimia treatment (in the form of The Bulimia Help Method) I was already seeing many wonderful benefits but I also continued to experience terrible insecurities. I hadn’t really given any thought to the bigger picture at that stage and so I found it hard to accept that I wouldn’t just recovery over night or within the space of a few months.
I remember the first time I read the Bulimia Help Method. It told me that I should be prepared to use structured eating for at least six months before my urges to binge would fully subside and before I could move on and learn to eat intuitively.
On top of that I read countless posts from other members of Bulimia Help who had been in recovery a lot longer than me, but who were evidently still struggling.
At times trying to contemplate the time it would take me to recover shook my confidence. Again it all related back to the fact that I was yet to learn the art of Bigger Picture Thinking.
I know in recovery we don’t like to focus on numbers or the amount of days we have been recovering because the days often don’t give a true indication of progress.
So during recovery I looked at these numbers and days in a different way, something that really helped me to start thinking about the bigger recovery picture.
One day I decided to perform a little "recovery calculation."
1. First, knowing the date of my first bulimic episode I calculated the number of days I had suffered with bulimia for. It was a pretty big number!
2. I then calculated the number of days I had been in recovery for at that point and compared the two numbers.
I had been so desperate for immediate change up until that point, but really being able to compare the vast amount of days spent being bulimic, to the small number of days spent recovering I was finally able to start seeing the bigger picture.
For such a long time I was convinced that nothing was really changing, that my progress in recovery was "too slow" and that recovery was taking "too long" but in that moment I was able to appreciate just how much progress I had made.
The number of days I had been in recovery for was only a tiny fraction of the days I had been bulimic for, but during that tiny fraction of days in recovery I had made so many changes and so much progress, I just needed to have my eyes opened to those changes.
Near the end of my recovery I did this calculation again - you can read all about my days spent recovering from bulimia by following the link.
The strangest thing is that now I’ve made it through and have fully recovered from bulimia it feels like recovery took no time at all! (My Bulimia Recovery)
So although it can feel like recovery is taking a long time now – in the grand scheme of things it really won’t take up that much of your life.
If that journey to a full life-long recovery takes a year or maybe even a little longer is it really that big of a deal?
Whether it’s a few months down the line, a year down the line or a even a little longer than that, when you finally escape from bulimia you will know it was more than worth every second.
During my own recovery I spent a lot of days at breaking point and losing hope but looking back I can say I would suffer them a hundred times over if it was what I needed to do to get to the place I am at in my life now.
After suffering from bulimia for almost 11 years it took me 15 months to recover using The Bulimia Help Method - in reality that is no time at all!
This week I want you to think about YOUR bigger recovery picture.
How can you help yourself to think about the bigger picture?
How can you start to acknowledge the true progress that you are making regardless of bumps in the road?
I’d love to hear your ideas, suggestions and experiences of using bigger picture thinking in recovery!
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