If Only it Were that Simple


Monday, I began reviewing the website, Simple Steps.

If only recovering from an eating disorder was as simple as two steps. It’s a grand promise, a glorious assumption, a wonderful wish.

Background:

Been there… Done that. I developed anorexia when I was 14 years old. I fought for my life, gave up on my life, cried in misery, sought expensive help, was prayed over, cast-out, pleaded with, coached, counseled, recovered, relapsed, fed, fed too much, and more. The first round of this multi-approach therapy lasted about six years. In that time I was inpatient twice for separate three-month stints.

At age 20, God finally shook my world a little, just enough to rattle the loose marbles in my head; they fell loosely into place. I married at age 22, but then my husband deployed for a year. I balanced on the edge of a healthy weight, with moderately healthy behaviors until the next move.

Suddenly, all of the simple techniques I had finally mastered in order to teeter on the recovery balance beam, weren’t so simple anymore. In spite of every best intention, I slid quickly back down the slope toward hours of exercise and the  well-proved, food-fear diet.

So, my first qualm with Simple Steps, is the premise. It’s not easy. Personally, from years of experience and in-depth observation of multiple case studies, a website is insufficient to address even the deadly symptoms of an eating disorder, much less the deeper roots and causes.

I read a few of the success stories on Simple Steps. Rachel seemed to agree with me about the difficulty of overcoming an eating disorder.

“You would think such a scare is enough to kick start action but trying to recover at home without real support and guidance is difficult for not only a sufferer but family as well. I felt powerless and hopeless, as did my parents and little brother. In fact we felt lonelier than ever as though we had been sent into battle blind.”

You have to read Rachel’s story, because she ultimately comes to a very different conclusion.

But here’s the clincher of my first day’s review of Simple Steps. It’s not simple. Recovery is much more than gaining lean muscle mass and beginning to follow a regimen. For an anorexic, that prescribed meal plan may seem like a savior, but it’s simply stepping out of one cage and into another.

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