why grief is a necessary part of recovery

just a disclaimer that my posts are not substitutes for medical or mental health advice, but are insights and experiences from my eating disorder recovery, as someone who is now fully recovered. if you or a loved one is struggling from an eating disorder, i encourage you to reach out to a non-diet, HAES-aligned care provider.

when we’re in the thick of the disorder, so much of our lives, identities, and concept of self-worth are wrapped up in our food restrictions, exercise regimens, and body manipulation tactics. recovery is a deliberate running away from these behaviors, and the rewiring of the belief systems underlying them in the process. depending on how long you’ve been struggling with your disorder, you may have even spent most of your life completely consumed by disordered thoughts and behaviors, so then the question becomes–what do i do with the rest of it? what even is the recovered version of me, or more simply, the non-disordered, authentic version of me?

if you’re having an identity crisis in recovery–you’re not alone! it is completely normal and expected to feel lost in recovery, and to lose a sense of self that was so deeply intertwined with the disorder. that’s why it is important to validate the grieving that occurs when shifting away from old behaviors. this grief doesn’t mean you are “bad” for missing your smaller, more toned body, or the societal praise you received for performing certain behaviors, or the sense of pride that came from the pursuit of thinness. what it does mean is that you are a hurting, healing human being who is going transitoning out of an old version of yourself, and so naturally, change breeds grief.

there are so many phases of recovery, and the number and duration of the phases is so unique for each individual–no journey to food and body peace is the same. and just as grief is an inevitable phase, so too is joy, and relief, and fear, and excitement, and sadness, and discomfort. i promise that the more you are able to fully feel and lean into these phases, the more fully and completely you will be able to learn whatever lessons they are trying to teach you and reveal to yourself parts of you that have been overshadowed by the ED’s loud voice. it’s okay to feel however it is you are feeling right now as you do the hard thing, and it’s okay to have nostalgia about aspects of your disorder which gave you some kind of societal reward. trust your treatment team, your support system, and your body–you are going to get through this.

my story

just a disclaimer that my posts are not substitutes for medical or mental health advice, but are insights and experiences from my eating disorder recovery, as someone who is now fully recovered. if you or a loved one is struggling from an eating disorder, i encourage you to reach out to a non-diet, HAES-aligned care provider.

hey folks!

my name is Kacey and i’m an activist, writer, sociology and philosophy student, coffee addict, and cat lady living in San Francisco, California. i’m an ardent advocate of social justice, body liberation, food freedom, and overall, a life free from the rules imposed on us by diet culture and the wellness industry.

but i haven’t always been passionate about these things. in fact, i’ve spent most of my life at war with myself in one way or another–and this manifested in a soul-sucking eating disorder and exercise addiction that consumed my entire life. it’s because i spent so many years consumed by my eating disorder that i now have a newfound understanding of how diet culture, fatphobia, and weight stigma, along with many other interlocking systems of oppression, convince us our bodies are the problem. but they’re not–diet culture is.

after many years of restricting, shrinking, and listening to the lies i was fed by diet culture and the wellness industry, and after being denied treatment multiple times due to the still pervasive misunderstanding that you must be emaciated to have a restrictive eating disorder, i decided enough was enough–and got the help i needed.

recovery wasn’t easy–it was a long, hard journey in which i had to critically examine my internalized belief systems surrounding food morality, body size, race, gender, sexuality, productivity, and every other facet of society that diet culture attempts to police. i had to challenge my fear foods, embrace restorative movement and rest, and say no to anything preventing me from being the body-liberated intuitive eater i was born to be. as Audre Lorde said, self care is most definitely an act of political warfare, and the more i leaned into it the more radically recovered i became.

and now i want to empower others to do the same.

through radically recovered, i’m taking an even more active stance against diet culture and i’m inviting you to come and join me. here you’ll find posts, articles, graphics, art, videos, and more, all about HAES, intuitive eating/living, social justice, feminism, self care, body liberation, food freedom, and so much more. i’m so excited for this journey and i can’t wait to connect with you all.

let’s unlearn together!