People often say that acknowledgement is the first step to recovery. It means you’re half way there.
I beg to disagree.
Admitting that you’ve got an eating disorder is a step on the way to recovery. Admitting that you’re ill is a turning point. And there’s a difference.
I owned up to my eating disorder pretty early on. I didn’t get the illness bit quite so quickly. For a while, the eating disorder was a big character flaw; then, a badge of pride; for many years, my identity – but rarely an illness.
You don’t catch an eating disorder like you catch the flu. There’s an element of choice, however subconscious, that complicates everything. That makes it harder to consider an eating disorder as an illness – and not a lifestyle choice or a fad or a prolonged and painful suicide.
You could argue any of the latter quite easily – but they’re irrelevant. If you want to get better, you’ve got to realise that you’re ill.
You’ve got to move beyond the blame and the embarrassment and the guilt – and realise that, when you’re ill, you need to get better.