College break is awesome. The stress from finals has dissipated and you are probably looking forward to crossing items off of your summer bucket list.
It is likely, that eating disorder treatment is not at the top of that list. After all, being inside is way more of a drag than a road trip to the beach! But how long into your adventure will it take for that pesky eating disorder voice to question how you will navigate meals for the day, what it will be like wearing a bathing suit or to start shaming you for enjoying an ice cream cone?
The truth is, avoidance is great…until it isn’t.
Here’s why you might be avoiding committing to eating disorder treatment:
You have 4 pages written for your American Literature essay that is due tomorrow morning. You still need 6 more pages but you’ve already made your font as big as possible. You’ve also increased your margins and have double spaced each line. The stress of the impending deadline feels overwhelming so what do you do? You watch Bridesmaids for the 43rd time instead of hunkering down and finishing the essay.
We’ve all used tactics like this and experienced their temporary relief. For those two hours of comical genius, you are likely less stressed. The reprieve is fleeting, however, because once the movie is over, the essay remains unfinished and now you have even less time to complete it.
Similarly, it is easy to avoid committing to treatment for an eating disorder – there is an infinite amount of other things you could or ‘should’ be doing instead – and your eating disorder is really good at convincing you that these things are more important than your health.
Consider why now is the time to prioritize healing from an eating disorder:
If you were living with a ‘traditionally – medical’ ailment like cancer or diabetes, would you delay your treatment? Would you say, ‘but I need to go to work’ or ‘my friends and I have a vacation planned’ if you knew that addressing the illness early would permit you to do these things later in life? If you knew that you could vastly improve your prognosis going forward, wouldn’t you do everything you could to prevent it from getting worse?
There will never be a perfect time to get treatment, but we know that early intervention significantly increases the likelihood of full and lasting recovery.
This summer break, we encourage you to prioritize your healing. I assure you that once you have quieted the eating disorder voice, you will be much better positioned to fully experience the activities that may have felt like priorities before recovery.
Take the first step and get in touch with us to begin your healing.
Natalie Cohen is the Marketing and Communications Manager for Walden Behavioral Care. In this role, she is responsible for the internal and external communications for the company including social media, newsletters, website copy and marketing collateral. Natalie earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Maine in Orono. In her free time, she enjoys practicing yoga, doting on her dogter Bella and exploring new restaurants in the Boston area.