How Relationships May Change in Recovery

As soon as you take your first steps in recovery from an eating disorder, your relationships will start to change. By the time you enter into the maintenance stage of living in recovery, you may focus more of your efforts to dealing with this. By now, you're feeling more comfortable about your day-to-day eating habits and you have many tools and people to reach for when things come up.

With the people who have been in your life for many years, there will likely be communication and relationships patterns that no longer fit with your new version of self. Now that you are more confident and comfortable speaking your mind, people may not know quite how to handle that.

Perhaps you used to be controlled by people pleasing, doing anything to avoid the guilt associated with letting someone down. Perhaps the people around you aren't ready to accept an inter-dependent relationship, rather than a co-dependent relationship with you. As you change and grow, not everyone in your world may jump on board. This is a big adjustment for everyone.

If you're not paying attention to these relationship issues, other people can easily trigger a "lapse" into unhealthy food behaviors, or even a full-blown relapse. Watch for sure-fire signs of relationship struggles, such as talking about other people's faults or wishing they would change. You will have more peaceful relationships if you remember that you can only change yourself. You are lucky enough to have these recovery tools at your fingertips – others are not as well-equipped. Practice compassion for others and healthy communication strategies that protect your recovery.

Your relationships can grow with you, if you give yourself and others the time and attention that are needed for long-lasting change.

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