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Support for Yourself

Recovery is Possible

Taking the first step and reaching out for support may feel daunting but you are not alone. Eating disorders are complex mental illnesses that affect people from all walks of life. They present differently for each and every person, and therefore the journey to recovery will look different for everyone. If you are struggling, you deserve support.
Recovery from an eating disorder is possible – we see it all the time in our community. 

How Do I Know If I Need Help? 

Society today normalizes many disordered beliefs and behaviours when it comes to food and exercise. This can make it difficult to recognize the warning signs of an eating disorder. Here are just some of the ways disordered thoughts and behaviours may show up:
Preoccupation with weight and dieting
Anxiety around mealtimes and eating in front of others
Feeling ‘out of control’ around food
Rigid ideas about food and eating
Using food as a source of comfort or punishment of oneself
Low self-esteem or distorted body image
High level of self-criticism and perfectionism
Anyone can develop an eating disorder. You do not need to look or behave in a specific way or meet certain criteria in order to be deserving of support. If your relationship with food or your body image is causing anxiety or taking away from your ability to be present and feel fulfilled in your life, then it’s time to consider seeking help.

What Can I Do If I Think I Have an Eating Disorder?

First of all, be gentle with yourself. You did not choose this and you are not to blame. When you feel ready, you can start to take the first steps towards recovery, in a way that feels right for you. Here are a few ways to get started: 
Talk to someone you trust. It might feel scary but acknowledging that you are struggling is an important step in moving towards recovery and the life you want for yourself. Be as honest as you can about what is going on with you. Remember, you do not need to go through this alone.
See your doctor. Ask for their help in referring you for the treatment that is appropriate for you.
Seek support. Read through the list of treatment options below.
Learn more about types of eating disorders, but keep in mind that every case is different.
Don't lose heart. There are people who care and will be there to help you. We at Looking Glass are among them.

Treatment and Support

Our world is not an easy place for someone struggling with an eating disorder. It delivers a constant barrage of triggers, confusing messages, and unrealistic expectations. Getting past an eating disorder is a process rather than a matter of resolve. There isn't a quick-fix or one-size-fits-all solution - and it isn't something one can do on their own.

Recovery requires a lot of support over time through programs and services that feel safe and fit the needs of the person suffering. There are a variety of treatment options available, including:
Individual, group, and family therapy. Find a Counsellor.
Inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. Learn More.
Psychiatric support.
Peer and group support.
Nutritional counselling . Find a Dietician.
Meal planning and support. 
Medical treatment and pharmacology.
Expressive and recreational therapy.
Usually, recovery comes from experiencing several of these kinds of support. Setbacks happen. Getting to a place of happy, healthful living seldom follows a straight path - but it's a path that does exist and is worth taking.

Looking Glass Foundation exists to provide a community of support and a non-judgmental, safe space for individuals of all backgrounds and lived experiences to explore their own unique recovery journey.

I feel heard, and not judged. My volunteers are supportive, helpful and kind. I feel like they are making a difference in my recovery.

Program Participant

Dealing with Relapse

Recovery is not linear, but rather a process of successes and setbacks. It is completely normal to face periods of relapse, especially during challenging times when in the past the eating disorder may have provided comfort or a way of coping. Here are some tangible steps you can take when navigating a setback:
Revisit the toolkit you have built throughout your recovery journey so far.
Give yourself permission to be human. Perfectionism and genuine recovery cannot coexist.
Remind yourself that if you have done it once, you can do it again.
Remember your reasons for wanting to recover in the first place. You deserve a life free from the control of your eating disorder, and it is possible to get there.
Trust that you can learn something from a setback. Each time you stumble yet keep on going, you are becoming a more resilient person. You can view it as an opportunity to learn more about what triggers you and develop new strategies to support yourself in difficult times.

Additional Resources 

Each individual’s recovery journey is unique. Finding the right support and resources for the stage you are at is important. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re well into recovery and wishing to expand your toolkit of coping strategies, our curated list of resources is here to support you along the way.

Visit our Blog for inspiring recovery stories as well as advice, tips and support related to:
Body image 
Setting boundaries
Seasonal transitions
And much more…
If you are in crisis or in need of mental health support beyond an eating disorder, visit our list of helplines and other support organizations across B.C.
For additional eating disorder information, resources and services in Canada, you can check out this comprehensive list we’ve curated for our community.
Looking for additional reading and listening suggestions to learn more or help sustain recovery? We’ve put together a list of books, articles, blogs and podcasts.
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