What I Wish That I Learned in Eating Disorder Treatment

Figures of women in Oxford

Figures of women from a museum in Oxford

The past few days have caused me to realize that there are many things that I wish I learned in eating disorder treatment, important aspects of living a normal life with food in it. Without these lessons in treatment, I have struggled greatly to try to adapt to the real world and maintain my recovery.

Now, most of my time in treatment was instructive, healing, and motivating. Health care providers gave me hope with their optimism and constant support. Fellow friends in recovery stood by my side and told me their own stories. Therapy groups taught me to use music, art, CBT, or my faith as a coping skill. Dietitians crafted a meal plan to support my body, lifestyle, and other needs. Acupuncture, yoga, family nights, outings at restaurants – all of the different activities allowed me to heal and explore new aspects of myself that had lay dormant for years.

However, something was still missing. More was needed in my treatment to help me further along in recovery.

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Coping Skill #42. Attending a Group of Similar People

Joni Earkson Tada

Club SODA with Joni Earkson Tada

One of the new activities that I have been involved with on campus is with the disabilities service office. Several of us students banded together a few months ago to form a group. Now our name is Club SODA (Student Organization for Disability Appreciation). Planning events for students, speaking on panels about our struggles and strengths, and helping professors understand their students have been some of our goals.

Being part of this club has been an amazing experience. Not only have I grown as a person, I have also been able to touch the lives of others. Finally, my mental illness has a purpose: helping me to understand and love people. Now, I can be a bright light for those suffering even while I move forward in recovery.

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