Compare and Despair: Don’t Let Comparison Ruin Your Recovery

It is easy to fall into the trap of: compare and despair. Recently I wondered if my recovery was “good enough.” But what does “good enough” really mean?  “Was I challenging myself often enough? Getting outside my comfort zone often enough? Was I recovering at the ‘right’ speed? Could I be further along if I were to possibly be doing more?” These were a few of the questions that muddled through my head.

Comparing myself

As a perfectionist, I had to step back and really look at what I was asking myself. What measures was I using? Right away I knew that in the back of my head, I was comparing myself to other people’s recoveries.  

Compare And Despair

This person seems to be further along than I am. That person doesn’t seem to be struggling with the same thing as I am. She is doing a certain action per day. She doesn’t have as many fear foods as I do.

I had to remind myself of a quotation that Jenni Schaefer used once, “Compare and despair.

By comparing my recovery to anyone else’s, I will always come up short, I will always feel like I’m not doing ‘enough.’

In reality, everyone’s recovery is unique, their own journey that only they can walk.  None of us are exactly alike (yay for the uniqueness that makes us who we are!!). This means that our recoveries will all be uniquely our own.

We Are On Our Own Journey

Each of us has had different factors that have contributed to developing an eating disorder. We each have had our eating disorders for different amounts of time and to different degrees of severity. 

All of us have our own recovery plans, with different factors, people, support, and tools that we are utilizing.  Therefore, none of our recoveries will be the same.

But let’s come back to the “good enough” definition.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who has thought this.  “Could I be pushing myself harder? Could I be further along than I currently am?” Only each of us can know that for ourselves.

Listen To Your Soul

I’ve worked on becoming more in touch with my heart and intuition in my recovery, listening to the tiny whisperings of my soul. I have learned in my recovery journey what works for me and what doesn’t work for me. Now I understand I am the kind of person who needs to take baby steps. Challenging myself bit by bit, allows me to grow stronger in my self-confidence while building the blocks of my recovery.  

As I continue to challenge myself and consistently expose myself to my fears, I’ve grown and those fears have lessened.  As I look back at the progress that I’ve made, I can see how far that I have come. I have come to see what works for me with the challenges I take on and the fears that I face. 

Am I Good Enough?

So the question “Is my recovery ‘good enough’?” is one that asks me to turn within. To be honest with myself, let go of perfectionistic standards and expectations, and let go of comparing.  For me, it comes down to:

Am I moving in the direction (towards complete recovery) that I want? And am I consistently growing? Am I consistently progressing?

The answers lie within me, just as they lie within you.  We each have our own individual demons, difficulties, and challenges that we need to overcome. And we will all move at our own paces.  Our commonality, however, is that we are all on this journey of recovery together.

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