I remember the day I got my period back. It had been over six months. I promised myself that I would never complain about a period again in my life. Once I got it back – I thought I would be “good”.
I had been working all through my recovery for the day I got my period back. When I finally saw blood, I was so relieved. I felt like my hard work had paid off.
That same day I decided to go for a run.I thought since I was getting my period, I was cleared to “eat healthy” and workout whenever I “wanted” to. That wasn’t the case. I was nowhere near the finish line in my recovery.
I went back to restrictive eating, knit-picking myself in the mirror, and working out to the point of fatigue.
Because after the five days of having my period, I relapsed back in to my eating disorder.
Is it the end of recovery?
Too often girls and women recovering from an eating disorder get stuck in the trap of thinking they are better once they get their period back. In fact, amenorrhea was the main reason why I started to recover. I was terrified of the idea that I may have ruined my chances to have children later in life.
I want to encourage you to view the return of your period as a step in the recovery process, not the end. Once you get your period back, keep moving forwards.
Physically you can be healed, but mentally you can still have disordered thoughts. And to truly move on in your recovery, you need to find resources. You need to realize that, yes you have your period, but your recovery is so much more.
Getting your period back does not always equal full recovery. It’s a triumph over one battle in a much bigger war.
Your recovery is you finding self love and compassion. Recovery is you seeing yourself as the beautiful person you are, a person deserving of love. It is you drastically changing your relationship with food for the better. Recovery means finally seeing food as not “good and bad”, but just food.
One of my favorite quotes is