What Permission Means To Me In Eating Disorder Recovery

I often find myself asking people for permission to do things. Which, in of itself, is not bad to do. However, the things I ask permission for, tend to be basic human activities. Like eating or resting for a day.

I cannot count the amount of texts my therapist and dietician have received from me that say: “Is it okay if I eat [insert food]?” or “Are you sure I don’t need to exercise for X amount of minutes?” or some variation of these.

It’s not that I don’t, on some level, know the answers to these questions. I do. I’ve spent a good portion of my life in therapy and seeing dieticians. It’s just that, well, I can’t always give myself the necessary permission.

Eating disorders love to play therapist, friend, dietician, enemy, and etc. They will take on any role you could need filled at that moment. And, at least for me, often leaves the person feeling scared and confused.

I had a dietician once physically hand me a permission slip to look at that said : I have permission to follow my meal plan.

My eating disorder loves to tell me that I can’t do things. That I don’t have the right to do things. That I don’t have permission to do things.

So, it is in moments like that, where sayings (like the one below) can come in really handy and remind me to trust in the team I have created for myself.

A team that can give me the permission I so badly need until I can give it to myself.

Quote by Jennifer Rollin MSW, LCSW-C. Image created by Sam Tryon MS RD

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