This week I thought it would be a great idea for us to talk about some interesting and unique recovery strategies that members of Bulimia Help have developed on the spot.
These are spontaneous strategies that some of our members have found useful during challenging situations, or times when they hadn’t anticipated facing triggering situations.
This is a great opportunity to get a little insight into some spur of the moment strategies that have actually helped people to avoid episodes of relapse during bulimia recovery...
I really believe that reading about others experiences in recovery can be so invaluable because although all of our journeys can be very different, we often face many common challenges and we certainly share many common goals.
I know during my own recovery I was always eager to learn from others, especially when it came to “recovery strategies”.
While it’s always better to plan your strategies ahead of time, it’s also useful to develop the ability to think up new and strange techniques that you can use in order to avoid relapse as you go along.
This is important because no matter how well prepared you are, there will always be times when you find yourself caught-out or triggered out of the blue. The decisions you make in those few moments really can mean the difference between staying on track and relapsing.
I got the idea for this week’s theme after stumbling across an old blog of mine from 2010 – I called it “strategy one million”.
In that blog I shared a unique strategy I had used in order to help me overcome the urge to binge and purge and I also asked other members if they had ever come up with different and random methods that had helped them to stop bingeing or purging.
I had written about how I was overwhelmed by the urge to overeat as my husband was about to leave leftovers on his plate and also leave me in the house alone with them.
In this case I had quickly strategized and actually ended up asking my husband to flush away his leftovers so there was absolutely no way I could eat them.
As I said in my blog, as hard as it can be to admit I didn’t even trust myself to not take the food back out of the bin so I knew I had to completely get it out of the house.
I felt so vulnerable at that stage I couldn’t even think about flushing his left overs myself so I had to face up to any embarrassment my request may have caused.
After sharing what I thought was a unique and quite strange strategy I realized that people in recovery often come up with creative ways to make recovery-focused choices and decisions.
One member shared a very inventive thing that she used to make 100% sure she would not be tempted to overeat or binge on leftovers. She told me:
This may sound yucky, but I used to empty our cat's litter box right on top of the food in the trash. There was no way I would try to get it out then.
Another member also shared this unique strategy story with me:
I saw someone once squirt fairy liquid all over their food which makes it totally inedible…when she went into overdrive preparing food, once she calmed down from her frantic cooking she stopped in her tracks, realised what she was doing and quickly squirted fairy all over it.
One day in recovery I was so close to relapsing by bingeing on cakes that my friend had brought around that I took the remaining cakes, opened my front door and threw them right out into the snowy street.
My friend presumed they had all been eaten and no one questioned their disappearance. I felt horrible for doing that, but at the same time I felt proud that I was able to act quickly and put my recovery first.
Know that even if you don’t have a plan or strategy, you might just be able to come up with something creative just in time to ward off a relapse.
If putting recovery first means acting a little strangely or doing things that you consider to be “weird” at best then know that’s okay too!
If you have any wacky or random strategies that you've used to avoid a relapse in recovery then we'd love to hear about them at Bulimia Help!
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